Chief, Boatswain Mate Leroy Storsby Reed
Name : Leroy Storsby Reed
Rate : Chief, Boatswain Mate
Assigned to (WWII): USS Savannah
Assigned to (Korea): USS Toledo
Service : United States Navy
Entered Service from : Texas
Date of Birth : 12 March 1923
Date of Death : 3 January 2001
Date of Service : 10 December 1940 to
15 October 1963
Awards : America Area Campaign
American Defense Service
This story of my father
WWII Victory
Leroy Reed can be read
European Theater - 3 Stars
along with the story of my
Navy Occupation Service
father Joseph T. Lippi
National Defense Service
which can be found in
Korean Service - 3 Stars
"Buried at Henri-
United Nations Service
Korean Presidential Citation
Good Conduct - 6 awards

Leroy S. Reed's Story as told by his son Joseph E. Lippi……

Leroy S. Reed was born March 12, 1923 in Huffman, Texas to James and Lucy Reed. Leroy's parents were farmers and he was put to work on the farm at an early age. Leroy had 2 brothers and 3 sisters and was the last of the 6 children.

Leroy in his early years ...

My father took the oath of allegiance on December 10, 1940 at the age 17 and joined the United States Navy. He completed training and was assigned to the USS Sangamon from May 15, 1941 to July 16, 1941. He was later transferred to the USS Savannah on September 18, 1941 and served through World War II until February 2, 1947 as a Boatswain Mate First Class.


the Escort Carrier USS Sangamon & Leroy, age 17

The Savannah according to the Naval Historical Center operated off the U.S. east coast and in the Caribbean during most of 1942 and took part in the invasion of French Morocco. Early in 1943, the Savannah went to the south Atlantic, where she assisted in capturing the crew of the German blockade runner Kota Tjandi after that ship was scuttled to avoid capture. In July and August 1943, the Savannah provided gunfire during the landings at Salerno.


the USS Savannah & part of her crew
Leroy is visible in the yellow oval

On September 11, 1943, she was hit by a radio-controlled bomb that killed nearly 200 of her crew during the battle of Salerno and left her badly damaged. My dad told me a story regarding that incident. He said he had spent hours and hours helping carry out the burnt bodies of his fellow crewmen from below to the upper deck. He said he was covered with soot and so exhausted he laid out on the deck to get a little sleep. He was suddenly awaked when two men were lifting him onto a stretcher thinking he was one of the dead. The ship eventually returned for repairs in the United States. In February 1945, the Savannah escorted President Franklyn D. Roosevelt during his trip to and from the Yalta Conference.

the USS Savannah shortly after being hit near Salerno
she was hit by a German guided bomb


Damage, chaos and casualties aboard the USS Savannah on 11 September, 1943

Dad met my mother and me (age 2) when he was stationed at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard and visiting a friend in New York. They met when dad attended the birthday party of his close friend Don who had been recently discharged from the Navy. Mom's friend Marie who had married dad's best friend Don invited her to attend the party. They dated and were eventually married on August 10, 1946 at the U.S. Naval Hospital Chapel on Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn, New York.

Leroy, Joe & May
picture taken August 10, 1946

On February 3, 1947, my father was stationed on the USS Cascade until January 9, 1948. He was promoted to Tug Boat Captain on January 17. 1949 at the U.S. Naval Station San Diego, California and served in that capacity until June 30, 1950 when he was assigned to the USS Toledo. During this time my sister Judy Lee Reed (Meeker) was born on May 30, 1949.

Leroy at the helm of Tugboat Y7B

Tugboat Y7B

On June 30, 1950, Dad was assigned to serve on the USS Toledo during the Korean War. The Toledo was one of the first warships to arrive on the scene in Korea. The Toledo became the flagship of the Admiral and on August 4, 1950 she bombarded North Korea during several significant battles. The Toledo participated in the landing at Inchon, contributed fire support for the 3rd Marine battalion and shore bombardment for the amphibious operation at Wonsoan. The Toledo returned to the United States for a short overhaul and then returned to Korea to participate in a number of other significant battles.

the USS Toledo & USS Juneau at Yokosuka, Japan, 1950


Gun crew on USS Toledo, September 1950 & Leroy returns home from Korea

On September 27, 1952, Dad was transferred to Adak, Alaska and assigned as the Chief Master at Arms. We lived in Adak, Alaska for 2 years. On June 9, 1954 he was stationed on board the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany until he was assigned on March 23, 1956 to the Bainbridge, Maryland Naval Training Center as a Company Commander. He spent his time "pushing boots" and teaching the fundamentals of the Navy until August 1, 1957.

the USS Oriskany off New York City, December 6, 1950


Leroy teaching recruits Navy fundamentals

My Father was promoted to Chief Boatswain's Mate on September 16, 1958. From September 26, 1957 until September 22, 1959 dad was assigned to the USS George Clymer. During this time my sister Annette Marie Reed (Lowe) was born on November 26, 1957. He was reassigned on September 22, 1959 to the Beach Master Pacific Fleet until November 1, 1960. On December 9, 1960 he was again assigned as a Company Commander at the San Diego Naval Training Center. He remained in this position as a Company Commander until he retired on October, 15, 1963.

Company Commander Leroy Reed & Petty Officers
US Navy Training Center, Sand Diego, California

Dad started a new career in 1963 as a Senior Science Laboratory Technician in the Physical Science Department at San Diego State College and served in that capacity until he retired in 1985. In all the years during his Navy career and his career at the State college he always took the time to enjoy all his children and his grandchildren.

Leroy's family ...
left top: Keith Meeker - Leroy - May - Annette Lowe - Mary Lippi - Jarrett Meeker
left: Joe Lippi - Judy Meeker - Jon & Jenny Meeker - Andrew & Jamie Lowe
Jarrett Meeker passed away, April 27, 1987 ...

On January 3, 2001, our father died from asbestosis in his lungs which was a service connected disability and had a full military funeral. He is buried at El Camino Memorial Park in San Diego, California.

Leroy's full military funeral in 2001 ...

Our father was a very special man. Along with our mother he devoted a significant amount of time to me and my sisters in all our personal and family activities. They sacrificed time, money and personal pleasure in order for us to realize our own dreams so we would achieve the best we could in forming our lives and careers. Dad was a very kind man, very wise in financial matters, had a keen sense of humor and an in ornate ability to "size up" people very accurately in short period of time. We all miss him very much.

Leroy over the years ...
Special thanks to Leroy's son Joe Lippi, to Leroy's wife May, to his daughters Judy & Annette and to his entire family ...
published March 12, 2007 (Leroy's birthday)