LENARD O. REICHEL, LT, USN

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Birthdate & Date of Loss

Date of birth: April 11, 1915
Date of death: January 5, 1943
Age: 27

Lucky Bag

1939 Reichel LB.jpg

From the 1939 Lucky Bag:

LENARD OYEN REICHEL

PAW PAW, MICHIGAN

Len

What do we desire in a friend? Common interests, sense of humor, cheerfulness, and thoughtfulness are some of the more important qualities —- and Deacon has them all. His wide circle of friends is accounted for by his wide diversity of interests. Whether it's battalion sports in all seasons, a Sep leave fishing trip in his home state, or a bicycle tour in Sweden, he loves the outdoors and real exercise. Possessing the mentality necessary to a star man, his mind is yet always busy on some practical design or startling invention. He by no means avoids the social field, as anyone will discover by swapping leave stories with him. His amiability ,unselfishness, and readiness to help make Deac not just another classmate but a true friend.

Company Rifle 3, 2, 1; Battalion Gym 2, 1; Battalion Football 3; Radio Club 4, 3, 2, 1; Language Club 2, 1; 2 Stripes.

Loss

Details are missing, but Lenard was a pilot with Cruiser Scouting Squadron Detachment (Tulagi), Guadalcanal, when he was declared missing on January 5, 1943.

His wife, Katherine, was listed as next of kin.

He appears to have served aboard USS Northampton (CA 26) — likely as a member of the scouting detachment — prior to that ship's loss at the Battle of Tassafaronga on December 1, 1942.

Silver Star

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Lieutenant Leonard O. Reichel, United States Navy, for gallantry in action as a Patrol Plane Pilot in the Solomon Islands from December to January 1943. Lieutenant Reichel participated in many hazardous operations despite extremely unfavorable weather. On twelve occasions he assisted PT-boat squadrons by illuminating evasive hostile targets in the face of heavy anti-aircraft fire. His gallant actions and dedicated devotion to duty, without regard for his own life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 320 (November 1943)
Action Date: August - January 1943
Service: Navy
Battalion: Patrol Squadron

(Note misspelling of first name. Middle initial and home of record (Los Angeles) are both consistent with Lenard, as is his service as a pilot in a patrol squadron.)


Class Navigation

Class of 1939
Lenard is one of 75 members of the Class of 1939 in Memorial Hall.
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