Leon John Reed

LEXINGTON, Kentucky

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.       

Leon J. Reed Photo: Courtesy of Charlotte Reed

Leon J. Reed
Photo: Courtesy of Charlotte Reed

Lt Col. Leon J. Reed was stationed at Camp Tyson, Tenn., when he married Paula Evelyn Lake in October 1942. They had two sons,  John and Michael. Photo: Courtesy of Charlotte Reed

Lt Col. Leon J. Reed was stationed at Camp Tyson, Tenn., when he married Paula Evelyn Lake in October 1942. They had two sons,  John and Michael.
Photo: Courtesy of Charlotte Reed

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