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M/Sgt Marshall S Reed


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Marshall Sheldon “Marsh” Reed Jr was born on June 24th of 1914 in Detroit, Michigan. Marsh's father was a carpenter, and his mother worked as a stenographer. The family moved to Los Angeles, California after the birth of Marshall's sister in 1917. Marsh's parents consistently found work during the Depression, but the family needed a little more money to survive. Marsh’s mother taught him the arts of stenography and typing, but as a young man, he decided that retail could make a better career. He moved to Chicago and became a salesman at twenty-one years old. Renting multiple homes at once and driving high-end cars, Marsh lived a life of luxury. His lifestyle drastically changed when a draft notice arrived in the mail in early June of ‘41. President Roosevelt’s Selective Service Act drafted men for up to one year of service, suggesting to most draftees that the return to civilian life would not be too far away. Marsh recounted to his future stepson that he failed to mention his time in retail, focussing solely on stenography during Army entrance exams and qualifications. This allowed Private Reed to go to the armored force, immediately being assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 36th Armored Infantry Regiment, 3rd Armored Division. The countdown to civilian life stopped altogether after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Private Reed worked his way up the echelon of leadership quickly, and by 1942 Marsh was a Staff Sergeant. After extensive training at Camp Polk and the Desert Training Center, Marshall married the love of his life, May Karpen. In the army, he continued to train at various posts throughout the U.S. until his unit traveled to England in September 1943. Now Master Sergeant Reed’s time in England was uneventful, punctuated only by getting young soldiers out of trouble and teaching new Lieutenants the ropes. He wrote to his family often while overseas. Most of the time, he joked about having to convince ‘bobbies’ to release drunken American soldiers from their jails in the middle of the night. Marsh landed on Omaha Beach on June 24th, his 30th birthday. He served in combat as the Operations Sergeant of the entire 36th Armored Infantry Regiment. He assisted in the planning of assaults and operations during all five campaigns. The 36th had around 20 master sergeants in a regiment made up of nearly 5000 men. As the second-highest enlisted rank, Marsh held a high degree of responsibility and command in his unit. Master Sergeant Reed was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service during the almost year-long fight from Villiers-Fossard to Dessau. Postwar, Marshall Reed returned to LA, spending time with his wife and stepkids. Working a job as a Chemical plant inspector, he also found time to volunteer with children's hospitals. Marsh was heavily involved in the formation of the 3rd Armored Division Association. In 1970, Marsh won the election as the 23rd President of the WWII Association of the 3rd Armored Division. The 23rd national reunion was held in Dallas, Texas that year. Marsh Reed passed away on April 14th, 1984, at 69 years old. He is buried in Los Angeles County next to his wife, May. 


I hope in the future that more can be learned about Marsh from 3rd armored division association newsletters!











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Very nice biography and group.


He must have been the old man.

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