During WWII, Reid Feather of Moon Township, Pennsylvania served as a Navy sonarman aboard PC-1265, a new anti-submarine patrol ship that worked the Eastern seaboard from the Caribbean to Canada. Upon entering the service, Reid trained in Great Lakes, Illinois and then shipped to Key West, Florida for sonar school—where good ears were important, Reid says. “I had some musical training,” he surmises, “that’s why I was chosen for sonar duty.”
Immediately after the war, PC-1265 cruised the Atlantic assisting the massive maritime troop and cargo transfer operation between Europe and North America. Just three years after the war, the 173 ft. patrol vessel was decommissioned as a United States Ship and delivered to the newly formed state of Israel.
“I did what I was asked to do during the war, but being in the Navy wasn’t something that I wanted as a career,” Reid admits. “I wanted to come home and get back to college.” Like so many other WWII veterans, Reid quickly and quietly returned to civilian life and put the war years behind him without much fanfare or recognition for his service. In fact, it wasn’t until 2013 that Sonarman 2nd Class Reid received due recognition for his service, when Congressman Tim Murphy presented Reid with three long-overdue campaign medals.
On January 19, 2015, we invited Reid Feather and four other local WWII veterans to share their stories with us at the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Our partnership with the Heinz History Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian, officially came about in 2014, but since 2012 we have conducted several audio and video interviews capturing the experiences of Western Pennsylvanians as part of our involvement with StoryCorp’s National Day of Listening, the Heinz Center’s Italian Heritage Day, and of course, our own veterans’ oral history initiative.
In My Own Words
Age 93, joined his wife in heaven on Wednesday, December 13, 2018. Reid, born and raised in Terra Alta, WV, was the son of Earl and Pearl Feather. He proudly served his country during WWII as a Navy sonar man aboard USS PC1265. After the war, he enrolled at West Virginia University and graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering. As a Chemical Engineer, he worked in Charleston, WV and Cincinnati, OH in the chemical manufacturing industry. While in Charleston, WV he met and married his wife of 62 years, Catherine Greenlee. He moved his family to Pittsburgh, PA, where he worked for Chester Engineers as an Environmental Engineer, retiring after 20 years. Reid enjoyed spending time with his family and was always active in his local church, participating in the choir and men’s groups. In recent years, he enjoyed attending the Veterans Breakfast Club functions. He is survived by his son, Brent Feather (Leslie Feather); two daughters, Beth Feather and Melinda Feather; two grandchildren, Jason Feather and Jaime (Feather) Stevens (Rob Stevens); and two great-grandchildren, Parker and Adelyn Stevens. Visitation on Tuesday, Dec. 18, from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at COPELAND’S, Moon Twp., 981 Brodhead Rd. A service will be held Wednesday, Dec. 19 at 10 a.m. in St. Stephen’s Church, 405 Fredrick Ave., Sewickley, PA. The family requests that donations be made to Veterans Breakfast Club or St. Stephen’s Church.