REID, Everett Owen

Everett Owen Reid

Machinist Mate First Class on 7 December 1941
Submitted by Eileen Reid Johnson

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Everett Owen Reid was born on 6 December 1917 in Nekoma, Rush County, Kansas. His birthday would later save his life in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1941. Everett was the third son in a family of five boys followed by two girls and they grew up on a farm. Later, his father, Charles Lewis Reid, and his uncle Roy owned a Ford dealership in Holyrood, Kansas, Reid Brothers Motor Company, in which they sold and repaired Ford automobiles. Everett was a hard worker (he was a newspaper boy, performed custodial work at the train station, and was a golf caddy) and by the time he was fifteen he was a mechanic’s helper in the Ford garage. He later drove a tractor in the harvest fields, a gravel truck for a road construction company, and a tow truck. He also worked as a mechanic in a used-car lot. Everett enlisted in the Navy on 15 March 1937 and took his basic training at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station north of Chicago, Illinois. His interest and aptitude in mechanics may have something to do with his MOS of Machinists Mate. In July, he was stationed aboard the USS ARIZONA at the Puget Sound Navy Yard in Bremerton, Washington.

On 4 July 1938, Everett met Barbara Goodwin when he was asked to double-date with a shipmate. He and Barbara went on a few dates and he proposed marriage to her in January 1939. They were married in a small ceremony on Barbara’s 21st birthday on 25 July 1939 in Seattle, Washington. Their honeymoon consisted of Everett sailing on the ARIZONA down the Pacific coast and Barbara riding a Greyhound bus to Long Beach, California where they reunited. For the next two years the ship was stationed in Long Beach, then Puget Sound, back to Long Beach, then to Hawaii, back to Bremerton, and about January 1941 the ARIZONA returned to Pearl Harbor. Barbara decided to join Everett in Hawaii and sailed on the SS Mariposa in September and they found an apartment near Waikiki Beach. Several other Navy couples lived in the building and they would become a supportive network for the historic events that would soon take place.

Everett’s 24th birthday was 6 December and a party was planned for that Saturday night in Honolulu. Their friends from the neighborhood (Vlachs, Crothers, Watsons) joined them for drinks and dancing at some local night-spots. At the end of the evening Everett invited his shipmate Benny Schlund (Elmer Pershing Schlund) to stay the night in their apartment rather than having to return to the ship. He declined stating that he had a bunk on the ship. (When Everett visited the Arizona Memorial for the first time in December 2001, Benny’s name was the first one he looked for on the wall.)

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