Ash scattering ceremony honors Dec. 7 survivor

Members of the Stanford T. Reynolds family scatter his ashes during a ceremony, July 20.
Photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Stoltz

Don Robbins

Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs

An ash scattering ceremony was held July 20 for Pearl Harbor survivor Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Stanford T. Reynolds, at the USS Utah Memorial on Ford Island, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

Sailors, family members and friends of Reynolds, who passed away Oct. 22, 2016, attended the event in the shadow of the sunken Utah.

At the end of the ceremony, Reynolds received full military honors for his dedication and loyalty to service, including a rifle salute by the Joint Base Honors and Ceremonial Guard and the sounding of taps by a Navy bugler.

Jim Taylor, Pearl Harbor survivors’ liaison, who presided over the ceremony, gave an overview of Reynolds’ life and spoke about his experiences on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941.

Born on Nov. 5, 1920 in Antler, North Dakota, Reynolds joined the Navy in November 1937 and planned on making it his career.

Initially, Reynolds was chosen to travel with an admiral and be his chauffeur, which gave him the opportunity to see many foreign countries.

He was supposed to go to San Francisco on Dec. 7, 1941, which would be the first time Reynolds would be back in the United States in four years. However, that return was delayed even further by the Imperial Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

His ship, the USS Oglala, was sunk by a torpedo on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941.

Although it sunk slowly, no crewmembers were killed.

A few days after the attack, Reynolds was assigned to another ship heading for Australia. There he was involved in an air attack. A bomb hit a crane he was next to. It fell and hit Reynolds, seriously injuring him.

Although he was medically discharged, he didn’t let his injuries stop him from having a career at sea, and spent nearly 40 years working as a tug-boat captain.

“Realistically, although not in a Navy uniform, he went through the rest of his life as a Boatswain’s Mate,” Taylor said.

Although no longer in the Navy, Reynolds stayed with his shipmates by being a founding member of the Gardena Chapter of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association. He marched in parades until he couldn’t anymore because of medical reasons and proudly displayed a Pearl Harbor survivors’ license plate.

“Being at Pearl Harbor was a defining event for Stan. He loved the camaraderie of his shipmates. He never forgot the men and women who sacrificed everything for our country,” Taylor said.

“Stan loved the Navy, and his country,” Taylor said. “His wish was to make a final voyage back to Pearl Harbor and have his ashes spread here so he could be with his shipmates lost during the attack.”

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Category: News