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World War II veteran Bill Reynolds buried at sea

Cmdr. Tracy Reynolds, left, pictured during the burial ceremony for Bill Reynolds. (TNS/Released)
June 10, 2019

Bill Reynolds, a former Kirksville, Mo. resident who died on Oct. 21, 2015, had his wish granted of a formal military burial at sea on Oct. 24, 2018, from the deck of the USS Carl Vinson.

Reynolds attended Kirksville High School. He entered the military and served in the U.S. Navy in World War II aboard the USS Saratoga. While the carrier was supplying air support during the Battle of Iwo Jima, Reynolds and several others were knocked overboard when a Japanese pilot slammed into the Saratoga.

He told the Hot Springs Village Voice newspaper in Arkansas that he was injured in the event and as the day progressed he helped several of his crewmates into rafts.

That evening, Reynolds said, sharks moved into the waters and he witnessed many people taken down to their death.

Upon his return, Reynolds graduated from Northeast Missouri State Teacher’s College (now Truman) in 1949. He later moved to Hot Springs Village, Ark.His son, Terry Reynolds, lives in Kirksville. Terry and his wife, Diana, both graduated from what is now Truman in 1969.

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His granddaughter, Cmdr. (select) Tracy Reynolds of the U.S. Navy Jag Corps, helped arrange for the burial at sea.

She graduated from Kirksville High School in 1995 and from Truman in 1999.

She was serving on the USS Carl Vinson when it became the first aircraft carrier to return to Vietnam after the Vietnam War.

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© 2019 Kirksville Daily Express, Mo.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.