Lt. Col. Leon J. Reed was the commanding officer of the 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion. Although a son of the South, the Citadel graduate treated the black troops under his command with respect. He was unique among southern white officers in his avoidance of racial slurs, which he detested. In the words of one of his men, Reed was “a hell of a fine fellow.” Reed was proud of his war service, and kept newspaper clippings of the accolades his battalion received during the war. He died in 1989 at age 81.