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1. Title:   Certificate of Birth, State of Tennessee
Note continued:   Source Medium: Official Document <p>
2. Title:   Vietnam War: U.S. Military Casualties, 1956-1998
Page:   Database online.
Publication:   Name: Ancestry.com Operations Inc; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2005;
Author:   National Archives and Records Administration
Name:   www.ancestry.com
Givenname:   www.ancestry.com
RepositoryId:   R1
Link:   http://www.ancestry.com
3. Title:   Certificate of Death, Department of the Army
Note continued:   Source Medium: Official Document <p>
4. Title:   Vietnam War: U.S. Military Casualties, 1956-1998
Page:   Database online.
Publication:   Name: Ancestry.com Operations Inc; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2005;
Author:   National Archives and Records Administration
Name:   www.ancestry.com
Givenname:   www.ancestry.com
RepositoryId:   R1
Link:   http://www.ancestry.com
5. Title:   Vietnam War: U.S. Military Casualties, 1956-1998
Page:   Database online.
Publication:   Name: Ancestry.com Operations Inc; Location: Provo, UT, USA; Date: 2005;
Author:   National Archives and Records Administration
Name:   www.ancestry.com
Givenname:   www.ancestry.com
RepositoryId:   R1
Link:   http://www.ancestry.com

Notes
a. Note:   James Eddie Reed was born on 4 December 1942 in Kingsport, Tennessee at the Holston Valley Community Hospital. At that time his father age thirty-two , Kenneth Reed, worked as a mechanic at the Tennessee Eastman Corporation. His mother, Minnie, was age thirty-one and was a housewife. Kenneth, Minnie, and brother Benny lived at 353 May Street, in Kingsport, Sullivan County. Eddie was delivered by Dr. D. B. Yauncey.
When a small booy, Eddie Reed and his family moved to a farm located in West Carter's Valley on the Holston River. Growing up he helped with the farm work, running the dairy business, taking cow of the cattle, tending tobacco, mowing hay, helping with the garden, and other farm chores alongside his brothers, Benny and Earl, and his parents. He attended Bell Elementary School and graduated from Lynn View High School. He participated in track and field events, excelling in the pole vault. He enjoyed hunting and fishing with his friends in the river and woods of Tennessee and Virginia near the family farm. In his senior year of high school he was in a serious automobile accident that nearly cost his life. He quickly recovered and got on with life.
He enrolled at East Tennessee State College (now University) at Johnson City, Tennessee. He majored in Mechanical Arts and excelled in mechanical drawing. He was active on the Track Team and participated in track meets throughout the region, again excelling in the pole vault. He participated in the Reserve Officers' Training Program for four years. Upon his graduation, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree and was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the United States Army.
In January 1956 Eddie, Brenda, and their young son, James ("Sonny") left Kingsport, Tennessee and made their home in Columbus, Georgia just outside the gates of Fort Benning, "Home of the Infantry." Eddie went through Infantry Officers Basic Course then earned the coveted Ranger Tab at the highly respected Ranger Training School. Afterward he earned his parachutist wings after attending Jump School. During his training, Brenda learned the ins and outs of being an Army wife and taking care of their baby boy.
In July 1965 Eddie loaded up his family and moved them to Fort Ord, California on the beautiful Monterey Peninsula. As a second lieutenant he was assigned as a platoon leader under then Captain Roderic E. Ordway, a West Point graduate and veteran of Vietnam, in an Advanced Infantry Training Unit. Upon Captain Ordway's reassignment to Vietnam, then 1st Lieutenant James E. Reed took over command of the training company at Captain Ordway's request. He spent his days and many nights training young soldiers, of whom nearly 100 per cent were assigned to duty in the war in Vietnam as infantry soldiers. In April 1967 Eddie made a decision to extend his service in the U. S. Army, with full knowledge that he would be sent to Vietnam at the first opportunity. He felt that he could not send young men to die and not go himself to do his part to bring them each and every one home alive, safe and sound, to their loved ones. Within weeks he received orders sending him to the 9th Infantry Division in the Republic of Vietnam to fight in a grueling war for his country, right or wrong.
Eddie drove Brenda and James back home to Kingsport, Tennessee and got them settled into a nice place to live near their families. On the first of July 1967 Captain James Eddie Reed got into his father's truck and waved good by to his wife and son, as his father fought back his tears. Eddie Reed did not like airport good byes. Within a few days of his departure, Brenda learned that she was pregnant with their second child.
Upon arriving in Vietnam Captain Reed was assigned as Company Commander of A Company of the 3rd of the 39th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division in the Mekong Delta about twenty miles south of Saigon. He commanded roughly one hundred twenty infantry soldiers and support personnel, conducting counter-insurgency measures in the Delta area of Vietnam. His primary concern was always the well-being of his troops. His goal was to bring every man possible home alive -- with as few casualties as possible. Helicopters dropped Captain Reed and his men in remote areas scattered throughout the Delta area. They plied their way through mine fields, rice paddies, mud, water, and dense vegetation. The flatness of the Delta meant that there were few places for the men to take cover. They were subjected to conditions of the most severe nature --- water damaged feet, leeches, malaria, and the hatred and strife of war.
In November 1967 Captain Reed's men were surrounded by Viet Cong forces, vastly outnumbered. Generals in helicopters circled over the battlefield issuing orders that could not possibly be carried out. The result was that one of Captain Reed's platoons was ambushed and took heavy casualties. Captain Reed himself took a bullet in his leg which took him off the battlefield for a few days. The U.S. Army awarded him a Bronze Star with V devise for valor, a Purple Heart, and an Army Commendation Medal with V for valor for his service through this period of time.
The Army granted Captain Reed R & R (rest and relaxation/recuperation) in Honolulu, Hawaii while he mended. Brenda, now five months pregnant, left James with his grandparents and joined Eddie for a few days in Hawaii. Eddie arrived battered and filthy direct from the rice paddies of Vietnam, still dressed in his jungle fatigues. Even so, he was the best sight that Brenda had seen in months.
On Eddie's twenty-fifth birthday, he boarded an airplane which took him directly back to the war and the rice paddies of Vietnam. Brenda waved good bye with a deep sense of foreboding that she was seeing her beloved, handsome husband for the last time.
During the weeks that followed freshly supplied troops of the North Vietnamese Army made their way down the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail in preparation of their famed Tat Offense on the American and South Vietnamese forces in 1968. A regiment of over one thousand of these men encamped in the dense swamp area adjacent to the Saigon River, directly across from the island fortress known as Don Rach Cat or French Fort twenty miles south of Saigon at the mouth of the Saigon River where it empties into the South China Sea. The enemy forces were preparing for their attack on the Delta and Saigon in particular. They came armed with artillery weapons and heavy mortar equipment, fresh soldiers -- rested and ready for battle.
Across the river at "Fort Courage", Captain Reed was encamped at the concrete fort built by the French in about 1910. His company consisted of one hundred ten men, some of whom were described by First Sergeant Hershel Johnson as the "lame, the lazy, the infirmed." Captain Reed viewed them each and every one as human beings, with families and lives to be lived. He often walked the lines at night and engaged in conversation with the young men who, like him, missed their loved ones and their homeland. He knew the names of every man in his unit and something personal about each one of them. He gave freely of his encouragement and his good nature to these young soldiers, and they returned his love in full measure with their respect and admiration.
On the morning of February 1, 1968 Captain Reed received a radio call from battalion headquarters at Rach Kien, across the river that he was needed for an intelligence meeting. A helicopter delivered him to headquarters where he received a report that meant death and destruction to his company. The news given to him was that his 110 man company was outnumbered ten to one. More than likely they would come under heavy artillery attack, to be followed by a land attack. The river was full of sampans, most likely laden with enemy forces, ready to lay siege to the men at Fort Courage. More than likely no American riverine support, naval support, or air support would be available to them. A helicopter evacuation or river evacuation would not be forthcoming. In other words: "Captain Reed, you and your men are on your own. Good luck and God bless you."
Immediately upon returning to Fort Courage, Captain Reed briefed his men. He ordered that the mortars be moved to another location which would allow them ground soldiers to defend and hold the fort. He had other soldiers entrenched outside the front area of the fort. At sunset heavy artillery fire began to descend on the men of Fort Courage. Knowing that in order to survive the night that these weapons must be taken out, Captain Reed and a few good men went to the top of the fort to spot the fire and obtain the appropriate coordinates for counter fire. In order to take this action Captain Reed fully exposed himself with two radios in his hands, one to his mortar platoon leader and the other to battalion headquarters. The enemy fire abated and Captain Reed issued orders for counter fire. Just as he got off his final orders, an artillery shell landed directly on the concrete at his feet. Captain Reed was killed instantly as over two hundred twenty pieces of shrapnel ripped through his head, neck, and chest. Three other officers died at his side: Lt. John Sevick, Lt. David Boardman, Lt. Donald Small. A third officer, Lt. Edward Saldivar, was gravely wounded. The enemy fire immediately subsided and the men of Company A learned the tragic news that they were left with one platoon leader and the artillery officer surviving. Helicopters arrived and carried their bodies away.
Captain Reed and Lt. Saldivar were choppered to an army field hospital, while the three dead lieutenants were taken to the morgue at Saigon. Captain Reed's remains were placed in a storage refrigeration unit; he was fully identified and tagged. The field hospital came under heavy artillery attack, destroying the refrigeration unit. When Captain Reed was removed to the morgue, he bore no identification. The morgue personnel logged him in as X-3 Unknown and placed him in a cooler where he remained for weeks as thousands of bodies were processed through the morgue, men who were readily identifiable.
On February 4, 1968 two Army officers from the ROTC unit at East Tennessee State University notified Brenda and Eddie's parents that Captain Reed was missing in action after a heavy artillery attack on his unit. After letters of inquiry were sent by the grieving Brenda to Eddie's commander, then LTC Anthony DeLuca send officers who knew Captain Reed to the morgue at Saigon to investigate the whereabouts and disposition of Captain Reed's remains. They located him in the morgue and identified him. Further corroboration was required from the U.S. Army from dental charts and fingerprints. In Washington, D.C. Brenda's uncle by marriage, Warrant Officer Harmon E. Johnson quietly did what he could to move the process along. On February 27, 1968 the Army notified the family that Captain Reed gave his life in the service of his country and his remains were being returned to his family.
Major Richard McDaniel, a fellow soldier from Fort Ord, met Captain Reed's remains at the Oakland Army Depot and escorted him home to Kingsport, Tennessee. The trip home proved to be a final tribute, allowing the brave soldier to be brought by the places and home he loved. A sudden snowstorm required the plane carrying him home to land at Knoxville, Tennessee. The hearse headed up Highway 11 East to Kingsport. Half-way home a semi-tractor trailer jackknifed across the highway. The driver diverted to the small country road, West Carters Valley Road, and drove Eddie Reed past the fields, rivers, and farm where he spent most of his life -- then past his elementary and high school, the home where Brenda and his son lived, by the cemetery where he would finally rest, past the Texas Steer Drive-In where the young couple had enjoyed time together, down Broad Street, to the funeral home. Two days later his family, friends, and fellow soldiers from throughout the country honored him at the Lynn Garden Methodist Church. He received full military honors and was laid to rest at the Oak Hill Cemetery in Kingsport. Six days later, his beautiful daughter, Jamie Elizabeth Reed was born prematurely at the Holston Valley Community Hospital where he too began his life.
On 22 May 1969 a Program of Dedication was held at East Tennessee University establishing the ROTC Memorial Library at the university honoring Captain James Eddie Reed, by his widow Brenda Reed Sutton. The program consisted of a Presentation of Colors, a Dedication Address by Dr. D. P. Culp, President, the Unveiling of Plaque, and the Retirement of Colors. The program took place at the East Tennessee State University Library Auditorium.
In 1987 Brenda Reed went to the Pentagon in Washington, D. C. and then to Vietnam with their son, James, in search of the truth which has been presented. Stories of her journey were published throughout the world in major newspapers and magazines, and carried on television and radio. The men of Company A and the 9th Division came forward, contacting Brenda and relating their stories of the Tet Offensive and the events of 1 Feb 1968. She learned that three days after the attack on Fort Courage, a platoon crossed the river to search the area for clues as to what had happened. What they already knew was that following the artillery attack which killed Captain Reed and his men, that the enemy fire had suddenly ceased and they were not fired on again by the enemy forces. The patrol found a large mass grave filled with NVA soldiers and the destroyed artillery weapons that they had carried down the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Captain Reed had succeeded in his mission and not received proper recognition for his efforts.
Brenda Reed launched her own frontal attack on the Department of the Army and the Pentagon. After a four year war, Captain James Eddie Reed was posthumously honored and presented with the Silver Star and Air Medal for his valiant actions and service. The presentation took place in the nation's Capital on Capital Hill in the House Armed Services Committee Hearing Room before a crowd of Congressmen, family, friends, media, fellow soldiers from the 9th Infantry Division, and representatives of every major veterans' organizations in the land. Congressman Ronald V. Dellums of Oakland, California and Congressman James H. Quillen, of Sullivan County, Tennessee hosted the momentous event. The most highly decorated general in the Army, General Patrick Brady, presented the award. Deputy Secretary of the Army William "Bill" Clark participated. The medals were presented directly to his parents, Kenneth and Minnie Reed. A second set were then presented to Brenda Reed, who was invited to give a short speech. He had previously been awarded a second Purple Heart for the action which took his life, along with the prior commendation medals. The ceremony represented a true healing from the wounds of war for the Reed family -- and meant that Eddie Reed had finally come home -- that his country truly appreciated the gift of his life to America.
Captain Reed's estate was filed on April 12th, 1968 in the County Court Clerk's Office in Kingsport, Tennessee. He left an estate valued at $66,295.42 to his wife, Brenda. His brother, Charles Benny Reed, served as executor of his estate. Attorney Gorman Waddell represented the estate. At the time of his death Captain Reed was receiving Basic Pay at the rate of $566.20 per month, plus hazardous duty pay. His burial costs were $916.67. His military Service Number was 05323832. Captain Reed is interred at the Oak Hill Cemetery in Kingsport, Tennessee.
Captain Reed's widow and children moved from Kingsport, Tennessee in May 1968 to Columbus, Georgia. Brenda Reed remarried, Army Captain Thomas Howey Sutton. After their separation and subsequent divorce, Brenda and the children established their residence in Oakland, California where Brenda purchased a home at 6276 Acacia Avenue and brought up her family.
Kingsport, February 7, 1968 Capt. James Eddie Reed, 25, 1531 Woodland St., has been declared missing in action in Vietnam, the War Department has informed his wife, Brenda Keck Reed. Mrs. Reed received word Feb 7 that her husband has been missing since Feb. 1 while fighting in the Mekong Delta. Capt. Reed is commander of a rifle company in the ninth infantry division. Capt. Reed has been ;in Vietnam for seven months. He received his ROTC commission at East Tennessee State university and has been in the service for three years. e completed Infantry Officers Basic Training School, Airborne School, adn Ranger School at Fort Benning, Ga. Before being sent to Vietnam, he was stationed with the second brigade at Fort Ord, Calif. Capt. and Mrs. Reed have a three-year old son, James Eddy, Jr. Capt. Reed's parents are Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth D. Reed of West Carters Valley.
Kingsport, February 15, 1968 Army Capt. James Eddie Reed, 25, has been killed in Viet Cong mortar fire in the Mekong Delta, South Vietnam, it was learned Saturday. Reed had been missing in action since Feb. 1, when he served as commander of Company "A", 39th Infantry Division, during fighting in the Delta. He had spent seven months in Vietnam, and had been the Army three years. He received his ROTC commission at East Tennessee State University. A former student at Lynn View High School, he had worked at Tennessee Eastman Company before entering the service. His widow, Mrs. Brenda Keck Reed, and son, James Eddie Reed Jr., 3, live at 1531 Woodland Street, Kingsport. Other survivors are his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth D. Reed, West Carters Valley; two brothers, Charles Benny Reed, Bristol and Earl Lee Reed, Kingsport; and maternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Kern, Clinchport, Va. The body is being returned to Hamlett-Dobson Funeral Home. Funeral arrangements are incomplete.
Name: JAMES EDDIE Reed Birth Date: 4 Dec 1942 Death Date: 1 Feb 1968 Home City: Kingsport Home State: Tennessee SSN/Service #: O5323832 Death Date: 1 Feb 1968 Casualty Country: Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) Tour Start Date: 21 Service Branch: Department of the Army Component: Reserve (USAR, USNR, USAFR, USMCR, USCGR) Rank: Captain Military Grade: Captain Pay Grade: Captain (U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps) or Lieutenant (U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard) Company: CO A Co Regiment: 39th Inf Battalion: 3rd Bn Province: 27 Decoration: Not Available CN: Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) Service Occupation: Infantry Unit Commander (ARMY) Data Source: Coffelt Database
Vietnam War: U.S. Military Casualties, 1956-1998 about James Eddie Reed Name: James Eddie Reed Birth Date: 4 Dec 1942 Death Date: 1 Feb 1968 Gender: Male Age: 25 Race: Caucasian Home City: Kingsport Home State: Tennessee Religion: Protestant- No Denominational Preference Marital Status: Married (Spouse Listed) SSN/Service #: O5323832 Citizen Status: U.S. Death Date: 1 Feb 1968 Processed Date: Feb 1968 Casualty Country: Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) Casualty Type: Hostile - Killed Casualty Reason: Artillery/Rocket Casualty Air: Ground Casualty Body Status: Body Recovered Service Branch: Department of the Army Component: Reserve (USAR, USNR, USAFR, USMCR, USCGR) Military Grade: Captain Pay Grade: Captain (U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps) or Lieutenant (U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard) Province: Military Region 3 - Long An Length of Service : 03 Service Occupation: Infantry Unit Commander (ARMY) Data Source: Combat Area Casualties Current File
U.S. Army Personnel and Dependent Casualties, 1961-1981 about James E Reed Name: James E Reed Birth Date: 1942 Gender: Male Race: Caucasian (White) Home State: South Dakota Casualty Country: Vietnam, Republic of Casualty Category: Battle Dead Casualty Status: Hostile Dead: Died While Missing In Action (previous) Casualty Date: 1 Feb 1968 Cause of Death: Not Booby Trap Connected: None Of The Above; Artillery/mortar Report Date: 1 Feb 1968 Officer Branch: Infantry Division: 9th Inf Div Personnel Category: Active Duty Army Military Class: Officers Rank: Captain



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