Robert T. Reid
Robert T. Reid was born in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1932. Like others of his generation, he lived through the shock and the hardships of both the Great Depression and World War II. Also like others of his generation, he was drafted into and honorably served in the Armed Forces of the United States to defend his country and the people of South Korea.
At 21 years old, Sgt. Reid experienced a culture quite unlike that he knew from his youth. He went from a city known for its historical contributions to American industrialization to a nation ravaged by violent civil war. One of the most prominent memories of his time in Korea was the sight of people living on rice paddies who were simply trying to live from day to day. He also remembered the bitter cold during the winter experienced by all those involved in the war.
Sgt. Reid’s service in Korea was short – only about a year (1953-1954) – yet in that time, he was a witness to history. With his platoon, he was present when the last mortar was fired before the cease-fire. Even though the war ended shortly after his arrival, he continued to serve in Korea for a time after the cease-fire and was among the last soldiers to leave the peninsula.
As a result of his service in Korea, he earned four military service awards: the Combat Infantryman Badge, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, and the United Nations Service Medal.
Upon returning to the United States, Robert returned to his beloved Massachusetts and re-joined the private sector. He began working at Teradyne as a Quality Control Inspector, remaining in that career for over 25 years.
In 1955, Robert married the love of his life (Lois A. Wilkins) and shared a home for 47 years until she passed away in 2002. From their loving home, they raised six children – 3 boys & 3 girls. Their family eventually grew to include 20 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren, many of whom chose to continue Sgt. Reid’s patriotic legacy through their own military service.
Special thanks to Robert’s daughters, Lois Reid Dubay and Julie Reid Brissette, for sharing recollections and information as well as helping with the interview process. Their contributions were invaluable to creating this profile.
Korean War - Key Events
December 6, 1950
The U.S. Marines at the Chosin Reservoir begin their “attack in a different direction” as they engage in a fighting retreat to the port of Hŭngnam. Two entire Chinese armies have been tasked with the destruction of the 1st Marine Division. They succeed in driving the American force from North Korean territory but pay an enormous price: as many as 80,000 Chinese troops are killed or wounded, and the CPVF Ninth Army Group is rendered combat-ineffective for months. “Frozen Chosin” becomes one of the most-storied episodes in U.S. Marine Corps history.
These events are taken from the Encyclopedia Britannica