ENS Eric Reed Young
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ENS Eric Reed Young
“Big, jolly and likeable” is how a Reno, Nevada, newspaper described Eric Reed Young days after he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941. He was an ensign on the U.S.S. Arizona with his battle station in turret 1
Mr. Reed grew up in Reno and graduated from Reno High School in 1934 before attending the University of Nevada for two years.
At college, he was described by another newspaper as “popular and active” — a member of the freshman football team and Sigma Nu fraternity.
He was then appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy, where the 1940 yearbook said: “An unfailing sense of humor coupled with an above-the-average mentality have enabled Eric to remain himself in spite of a rigorous academic training. At heart he is still a lad of the ‘Wild West.’ He can be recognized from afar (you’ll hear him before you see him) by his characteristic laugh, which more than once has sent whole theaters into hysterics. Never too busy to refuse help to anyone, Sandy has pulled many a plebe through the intricacies of steam and math. Though he has had a hand in lacrosse and football, crew is his sport. Who knows, you might have to row a battleship home some day, eh Eric?”
Mr. Young was born Sept. 6, 1916 in San Diego. His father, James, a psychology professor at the University of Nevada, survived him. His mother, Myrtle, a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, had died in October 1931 after a brief illness.
Ensign Young had two cousins who were also at Pearl Harbor. Lt. Eric Allen, also a Naval Academy graduate, was killed by friendly fire as he attempted to land his plane at Ford Field. Ensign Richard Allen survived, but was killed the next summer when his destroyer, the U.S.S. Jarvis, was sunk at the Battle of Savo Island in the Solomons. The entire crew of 233 died.
Sources: Reno Gazette-Journal, Nevada State Journal, 1940 Naval Academy yearbook, California birth record; Nevada death record. Naval Academy yearbook photograph. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.