REGINALD M. RAYMOND, LCDR, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Reginald Raymond '33

Date of birth: May 20, 1912

Date of death: April 29, 1943

Age: 30

Lucky Bag

From the 1933 Lucky Bag:


Biography

From the 1953 edition of the book "Double Three Roundup," published by the class of 1933:

After receiving his commission in June 1933 Reggie reported to the CHESTER for duty where his chief claim to fame was his operation with "Ricky" Haskins of a large motor car with red upholstery. In June 1935 he was ordered to the Submarine School at New London. He rounded out his tour at submarine school by marrying Marjorie Woodcock of New London, Connecticut on 5 October 1935.

His first tour in submarines began in February 1936 on board the CANOPUS with Submarine Squadron 5. With hardly time to get his feet wet, Reggie was detached and ordered to the S-38 in March of the same year. He remained on board the S-38 until August 1938 when he was ordered to Groton, Connecticut for fitting out the SAURY under construction by the Electric Boat Company. The SAURY went into commission early in 1939 and Reggie stayed with her until October 1941. Reggie was picked to observe the British prosecution of their submarine war in the Mediterranean and via a roundabout route he reported to Cairo, Egypt as Naval Observer at the American Legation there. During this tour in Egypt he worked with several British submarines and made several patrols on them in the Mediterranean.

In June 1942 Reggie was ordered to the Navy Yard, Portsmouth, New Hampshire for duty in connection with the fitting-out of the SCORPION. After commissioning, the SCORPION proceeded to the Pacific and her first war patrol. While returning from her first and most successful patrol the SCORPION encountered a Japanese trawler and sank her in a surface attack. It was during this engagement that Reggie, who was Exec, was killed by Japanese machine gun fire on 30 April 1943.

Reggie was awarded the Silver Star, Purple Heart and Presidential Unit Citation. On 15 April 1944 a Destroyer Escort, the RAYMON (DE-341), was commissioned and named in honor of Reggie. After a scrappy and outstanding war record worthy of Reggie, the RAYMOND was decommissioned in San Diego in 1946 and at the outbreak of Korean hostilities was recommissioned and is now serving with the Atlantic Fleet.

Reggie was survived by his mother, Mrs. Helen Raymond of Shreveport, Louisiana, and his wife Marge, who married Commander Ralph DeLoach (class of '39) in 1948. They have adopted a French boy, son of an underground worker who lost his life in World War II. The boy was born the summer that Reggie was killed.

Loss

1933 Raymond 1.jpg

From Find A Grave:

A native of Tennessee, he moved with his family to Shreveport in 1924, and he graduated from Byrd High School there in 1928. He attended Centenary College in Louisiana before going to Annapolis, from which he graduated in 1933. In 1942, he was an observer with the British Navy in the Mediterranean, after which he was sent to the Pacific. There, he served as executive officer of the submarine USS Scorpion (SS 278). He was killed in the South Pacific while engaging the enemy from the deck of that boat in April 1943, and his body was lost at sea when the vessel had to submerge during a subsequent attack during his burial at sea. The epsiode is grippingly detailed in veteran submariner Paul R. Schratz's fine book "Submarine Commander." The book also paints a wonderful picture of Raymond as an officer whose personality and ability would doubtless have taken him to flag rank after the war had he lived.

His wife was listed as next of kin.

The Scorpion Diary contains more information about Reggie's career aboard the boat. He reported sometime before the ship commissioned in New Hampshire on October 1, 1942. He was promoted to LCDR that same day. Scorpion began her first war patrol on April 9, 1943 only three weeks before Reggie was lost.

On Friday, April 30, 1943, at reported position 37°N 155°E:

0924 - Lt. Cmdr. R. Raymond, U. S. Navy, was firing a BAR from the bridge railing andreceived an enemy bullet in the center of his forehead, which passed directly through his head. He was laid on the deck abaft of the deck gun and the firing continued. Realizing that the enemy was not sunk although his hull was riddled with 3" cannon with high explosive, the ship was spun bows on and backed up to 500 yards radar range.

0930 - Fired last torpedo at zero gyro and depth set at 2 feet. Torpedo struck and enemy disappeared in a terrific explosion. When struck, his flag was still at the gaff and he was still firing. No reason can be advanced why no one on deck was injured, except that the enemy must have been firing at our bridge; but if such was the case, I was not conscious of it at the time. The vessel, as well as aircraft were apparently on the watch for us as our radio position and the destruction of the inner patrol vessel on the previous day could give the enemy a good line on our course and speed.

0944 - Secured from battle stations and proceeded on base course at flank speed. The body of Lt.Cmdr. Raymond was being prepared for burial at sea.

0947 - SD radar plane contact at 2 1/2 miles. He was not seen by lookouts, and must have been coming low. Dived to 150 feet. Plane dropped two charges at a considerable distance. The body of Lt. Cmdr. Raymond was lost from the gun platform on this dive.

Silver Star

On Eternal Patrol indicates Reggie received the Silver Star; unable to find citation.


Class of 1933

Reginald is one of 38 members of the Class of 1933 in Memorial Hall.