CRAIG O. REYNOLDS, LT, USN
Craig Reynolds '73
Date of birth: October 18, 1951
Date of death: March 22, 1978
From the 1973 Lucky Bag:
Craig was lost on March 22, 1978 when the SH-3H he was piloting crashed during a combat search & rescue exercise near Fallon, Nevada. All five crewmen aboard were lost. They were all members of HS-4 stationed at NAS North Island. (Information courtesy Brian Rich.)
From his roommate, CDR Brian Rich, USN (Ret.), via email on June 8, 2018:
Craig came to Navy from Oklahoma. We would sometimes kid him about coming to Annapolis without knowing what the ocean looked like. To wit, swimming was his toughest task at Navy. He would stroke, kick, breathe - and slowly sink to the bottom of the pool. We could never figure it out.
He was a very quiet guy, especially in the mornings. He hated early classes. We were roommates for all four years at USNA, and I bet he never said a dozen words before noon.
In any group of 30 guys, there will inevitably be groups that form. Craig transcended them all. He felt comfortable with everybody, and they all called him their friend.
Craig was literally so smart that he had never really studied in High School. It was easy for him. He came to USNA and the time constraints of Plebe Year and the academic challenges involved were hard on him at first because he lacked organized study skills. Over the summer after Plebe year, while at home, his brother Dwight, who was pre-med at the University Oklahoma, got Craig into a summer class on how to study. Craig returned for Youngster year, and got straight A’s until he graduated three years later. He was that bright.
He was a devoted husband to Rhonda, who he had dated since High School. He was a Christian, and he was the best roommate a Mid could have for 4 years. I am a better person for having known him.
Brian Rich, CDR USN (ret)
From The Daily Oklahoman on March 24, 1978:
Dwight Reynolds, an Alabama cardiologist, said his brother’s main topic of discussion during a rare visit a week and a half ago remained his love for flying.
“He really did love it,” Dwight said. “It’s all he talked about – how he wanted to stay with it. Basically he lived for flying.”
Born in Guam, he was educated and raised in Purcell. A year after graduating from the Naval Academy, he received a master’s degree from the Navy’s post-graduate program in Monterey, California.
A memorial service was held on March 29 at North Island Naval Air Station in California. His parents were Ken and Zylpha Reynolds of Purcell.
He is buried in Fort Rosecrans, San Diego.
Stephen Labarre '74 was also lost in this crash.