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Norma L. Reed

Norma Reed was born June 27, 1927 in the home her mother was born at 8 Hickock in Bethel, CT.
She was the daughter of Eugene B. Reed and Laura Kempe Reed.
She was my mother and would ultimately marry my father, Howard N. Moulton Jr.
They would have four children. Suzanne, George, Duane and Daniel and live in Sheffield, MA the rest of their lives.

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Bethel High School 1945

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Senior Scrapbook Signature Page

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Norma's Scrapbook Page Graduation 1945

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Norma's Shoes

As was done back in the 20's and 30's the shoes of their children were bronzed. Once you bronze one shoe, what good is the other one?

Most people would throw out the extra shoe, but, this was the depression era and you kept everything.

Oh where these feet would carry her. She would walk on the streets of Bethel to New York to the middle east and where Jesus walked.

Finally walking through the pearly gates!!!

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Eugene B. Reed Enlisting in the Navy 1916

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Eugene B. Reed Coblenz Germany 1919

Eugene B. Reed was born October 26, 1896 in Norwalk, CT.
He was the son of Benjamin S. Reed and Bertie Bell P Burtt.
He was my maternal Grandfather.
Gene would ultimately marry my maternal Grandmother, Laura Kempe.

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             WWI SERVICE

          EUGENE B. REED

Glimpse into WWI and Eugene B. Reed

                                     Service in WWI

Mr. Reed enlisted before the United States got into the war against Germany and Austria-Hungary.  It was Feb. 1 1916 when he entered basic training in Newport, R.I., for service in the Navy.  “You didn’t have a choice back then.  They told you what branch of the service you’d be in,” he said.   (Mr. Reed was placed in the branch he wanted anyway.)

Mr. Reed followed his basic training with service aboard the Nebraska. The ship took off for the sailor’s first mission to Vera Cruz, Mexico, where it was anchored outside of the breakwater to pick up evacuating American refugees.

After serving on the Nebraska, Mr. Reed was given the choice of becoming a yeoman or a hospital apprentice.  He chose the latter.  “Who wants to stay and scrub decks all the time,” he said.  He was sent to school in Newport for training, and later transferred to Quantico, Virginia.  “We were at war then,” he said. 

The newly-formed base fifth regiment, of which Mr. Reed was a part, was soon shipped to Philadelphia, aboard the U.S.S. Henderson, a transport ship.  Mr. Reed said no one knew their destination but there were rumors.  He said the first stop for the ship was New York Harbor.  “We knew where we were because we could see the Statue of Liberty,” he said.  “The next thing we knew we were part of a convoy crossing the ocean.”  During the voyage a submarine scare split the convoy, and a second did the same before the destination, France, was reached.

Mr. Reed said that at that time no one else was there from the States.  The regiment established itself and prepared for the arrival of more American troops.  Mr. Reed served as a medic in Army and Navel Hospitals during the first two years of the war, before coming back alone (without the regiment) to Boston.

After being assigned to serve aboard two more ships, Mr. Reed was sent to Boston as a recruiter.  The serviceman, in recalling his travels to and from Boston throughout his service career, refers to the town with an intentional mispronunciation.  “They considered sailors as a ‘bunch of bums’, he said.  “Signs would be put up “Dogs and Sailors Keep Off.”

Mr. Reed reached the rank of Chief Pharmacist Mate before his discharge from the service in January, 1920.

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As reported in the Home News Nov. 12, 1975 issue, World War I veteran Eugene Reed, of Simeon Road, was honored by the Bethel Historical Society as part of its commemorative Bicentennial history of Bethel.  Mr. Reed’s colorful history began when he joined the Navy some 70 years earlier, serving on the U.S.S. Nebraska in 1916 in the war with Mexico, where he was engaged in taking U.S. citizens out of the area. During this time, he received the Mexican Campaign Medal. 


On July 31 1917 he embarked on the U.S.S. Henderson at Philadelphia, and was assigned Pharmacists Mate 2nd Class to the first Battalion, 5th Regiment, U.S.M.C. in France, a group which served in the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps simultaneously and reportedly evacuated more casualties from the field than any other medical unit in the A.E.F.  For this, Pharmacist Mate Reed was given brigade citation, a 5th regiment U.M.C. citation from Marshal Petain of France, and the French Fourrager for having served under French orders in the Marine Corps.


He was also awarded the Distinguished Service Cross citation signed by General John Pershing for personal bravery at St.Etienne.  The French also awarded him the Croix de Guerre for his actions at L’Allimagne, as well as a star for his services at Belleau Wood, the citation signed by Commander Petain. Mr. Reed was also awarded the Victory Medal and citation, signed by then Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin Roosevelt, with clasps indicating various posts.


Upon his return from the service, Mr. Reed married Bethelite Laura Kempe.  He served as Past Master of Eureka Lodge A.F.A.M. District Deputy of the Grand Lodge of Connecticut, and Patron of the Order of Eastern Star, also so a trustee of, and former deacon at, the First Congregational Church.  Mr. Reed was employed as an electrician with local 525, serving as its business agent and president. Other affiliations include past chairman of the rationing board during World War II, member of the Bethel Board of Tax Review for 14 years, and member of the American Legion and Post 935 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.



(Dad wrote the following on a sheet of paper.  I wonder if it was from memory or a citation of a kind.  It was in France because Petain was the ‘head man’ of their Army. It also sounds like a memory.)



The 5th Regt. Of American Marines

  The Order of Lt. Col. Feland


Engaged unexpectedly in the offensive of July 18, 1918

 In the middle of the night on a terrain that was unknown and very difficult, displayed during two days without allowing themselves to stop by______and  the difficulties of obtaining food and water a remarkable bit  of ardor and tenacity and territory, driving back the enemy  23 kill capturing 2,700 prisoners 12 cannon and several hundred machine guns. 


                                                          Headquarters October 25 1918

                                                          The Commander in Chief

                                                                   Signed Petain


True copy

Lieutenant Col.

Chief of the Personal Bureau

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Letter about Chief Pharmacist Mate Eugene B. Reed and a glimpse of some of what he had seen in WWI.
So many brave soldiers that gave of self for there brothers in arms.
To talk about what went on afterwards is uncommon. But, to the trusted and loved, the wall would be let down.
The next couple of pages are a copy of the letter he wrote to his love, Laura, telling her about the medal he had received in France.

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Letter to Laura from Eugene about his medal

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Donald and Norma Reed

Don and Norma were the children of Eugene and Laura Reed. Born in Bethel, CT at 8 Hickock.
The first born to Eugene and Laura was Eugene's namesake. Unfortunately, he passed away shortly after his birth.

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Eugene B. Reed Jr is Born

What excitement when your first child is born and you start writing about his life in the book. It will be such a wonderful journey of growth and love.

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Eugene Reed Jr. Passed Away

Only six days later their first born passed away. Only six days.

To fill this book with only two entries had to been so painful.

What an emotional roller coaster.

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Eugene and Laura 50 Years Strong

After 50 years of marriage, these two adored each other.
I remember how pleased they were to celebrate that day with family and friends.

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Eugene and Grace May Reed 1901

This picture was taken at Moss Hill Villa in South Norwalk, CT

Eugene was 4 years old.

Grace appears less than excited. Then again, Eugene is less than impressed too.

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Eugene's Sister born December 24, 1893

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Eugene's Parents

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This could explain where the love of fishing that Eugene had and how he loved raw oysters and clams!!!

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