Proud Of East Texas: Bill Terry

Bill Terry of White Oak was aboard the destroyer, the U.S.S. Reid on December 7,1941 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. He saw it all from his battle station: the sinking of the Arizona within fifteen minutes of the attack, the sinking of three other battleships, the damage of four additional battleships, and the destruction of destroyers, cruisers and airplanes.

Terry and the Reid's crew had to break into lockers to get ammunition to man the ship's guns. They shot down five planes in the battle, but it was too late for the 2,402 American lives lost that day.

Although the Reid survived pearl Harbor, three years later Kamikazee's near the Philippine Islands sank The Reid, wounding Terry and blowing him from his battle station. Over half the crew either were killed by the explosion or went down with the ship. Terry says his survival was a true miracle.

Joan Hallmark, Reporting