From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Robert Reynolds '45

Date of birth: July 20, 1921

Date of death: April 8, 1950

Age: 28

Lucky Bag

From the 1945 Lucky Bag:


Bob was one of ten crewmen lost when their PB4Y-2 patrol bomber was shot down by Soviet fighters off the coast of Latvia on April 8, 1950.

From the Democrat and Chronicle on April 12, 1950:

The father added that it was ironical that his son just had received orders to report back to Annapolis Naval Academy on next Aug. 7, for a course in electronics engineering.

Robert Durwood Reynolds was born July 20, 1921, in Cuylerville, a son of Paul E. and the late Christine Durwood Reynolds. He was graduated at Geneseo High School in 1938 and was salutatorian of his class. He began a course in engineering at the University of Michigan and joined the Naval ROTC there and took entrance examinations for Annapolis. Hepassed No. 9 on a list of 20 taken from the NROTC units of various universities. He entered Annapolis June 25, 1941, and joined the Navy crew and was stroke on the winning Varsity crew in the intercollegiate races in 1944.

Reynolds was married to Jane Cornelia Edmonds of Detroit at the Naval Academy chapel at Annapolis June 7, 1944, the afternoon of graduation day. They have a daughter, Christina Durwood Reynolds, 3 1/2.

At the end of the war Reynolds applied for flight training and was given instruction at Corpus Christi, Tex., and at Pensacola, Fla. He was awarded his Navy wings in May, 1947. Following instruction in multi-engined planes, he was assigned to Heavy Patrol Squadron 6 and spent the Winter in Newfoundland. In June, 1948, he was assigned to the naval air base at Port Lyautey, French Morocco, where he was stationed at the time of his last flight.

Reynolds has a brother, Lt. Comdr. Paul A. Reynolds, now stationed in Jersey City. Reynolds’ wife is at Lyautey.

Distinguished Flying Cross

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant, Junior Grade Robert Durward Reynolds (NSN: 0-36853), United States Navy, for outstanding and heroic service in the performance of duty in an aerial flight as a member of the aircrew of a United States Navy Privateer airplane (PB4Y2) during a flight over the Baltic Sea, 8 April 1950. Taking off in an unarmed patrol plane from Wiesbaden, Germany, on 8 April, Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Reynolds participated in a flight over the Baltic Sea. Performing his assigned tasks with courage and skill on this peacetime mission from which his plane failed to return, he rendered outstanding service to the Navy and to his country. His performance of duty under hazardous flight conditions reflects great credit upon Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Reynolds and upholds the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: All Hands (June 1950)
Action Date: April 8, 1950
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Junior Grade

Every member of the crew was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross posthumously.

Related Articles

Jo Humes '45 was also in 19th Company.

Class of 1945

Robert is one of 59 members of the Class of 1945 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.