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Family Matters: Relatives at War

The Reed Family

Drafted into the Army in April 1918, Vincent Cornelius Reed served during the last few months of World War I, and then stayed in Germany as part of the Army of Occupation. As his diary relates, Reed’s experiences in combat were terrifying, particularly during the St. Mihiel Offensive of September 1918. Following the Armistice, he made the most of opportunities to travel and absorb the local culture while stationed in Garolstein, Germany. After the war, Reed embarked on a career with the US Postal Service, carrying the mail for 35 years. Like many WWI veterans, Reed survived his time in the trenches only to see his sons pulled into the next world war. James R. Reed, the younger of Vincent Reed’s two sons, managed to escape the front lines. He served in Italy on aircraft maintenance from August 1944 to December 1945. Unlike his father, James Reed drew on his military service as the basis for his post-service professional life. Following his time in Europe, James became a flight engineer for TWA.

Image of Vincent Cornelius Reed

"I shall never forget that night as long as I live." (Memoir, page 22)

Vincent Cornelius Reed's story

Image of James Ross Reed

"You don’t think about what mothers go through." (Video interview, 39:53)

James Ross Reed's story