Louis Blackwell Read obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Louis Blackwell Read

April 30, 1920 - March 31, 2011

Obituary


Louis Blackwell Read 90, passed away March 31, 2011. Born April 30, 1920 in Gorman, Texas, to Louis Phillip and Mary Edna Crawford Read, Louis attended the San Marcos Baptist Military Academy as a child. After both parents passed away, he moved to Dallas, Texas, and lived with relatives. Louis graduated from Pleasant Grove High School on May 26, 1939, of which he was the class president. Upon graduation, Louis enlisted in the 9th Infantry of the United States Army.Louis ultimately was sent to the Phillipines as a member of the 31st Infantry in WWII....

Louis Blackwell Read 90, passed away March 31, 2011. Born April 30, 1920 in Gorman, Texas, to Louis Phillip and Mary Edna Crawford Read, Louis attended the San Marcos Baptist Military Academy as a child. After both parents passed away, he moved to Dallas, Texas, and lived with relatives. Louis graduated from Pleasant Grove High School on May 26, 1939, of which he was the class president. Upon graduation, Louis enlisted in the 9th Infantry of the United States Army.Louis ultimately was sent to the Phillipines as a member of the 31st Infantry in WWII. Louis was captured by the Japanese in 1942 on the Bataan Peninsula. He survived the infamous Bataan Death March and was a Prisoner Of War of the Japanese for 3 1/2 years. After the War, Louis married Hazel Gilley Read on January 5, 1946.

Louis was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Norman Read; son, Louis Phillip Read; daughters, Virginia Ann Barnett, and Deborah Jean Bierschwale.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Hazel Read; brother, Glenn Read; daughter, Phyllis Wood; granddaughter, Kathryn Cochran and her husband Chris; grandsons, Louis Wood and his wife, Candace and Brice Wood; great grandsons, Zachary Cochran and Andrew Blackwell Cochran.

GRAND MARSHALL -- LOUIS B. READ -- BATAAN DEATH MARCH SURVIVOR ------

Louis B. Read was born April 30, 1920, in Gorman, Eastland County, Texas, to Louis Phillip Read and Edna Crawford Read.

He grew up mostly in New Braunfels, Texas. Louis moved to Dallas in 1937, and enrolled in Pleasant Grove High School, where he served as a rifleman in F Company, 144th Infantry, Texas National Guard while a senior in high school. After graduation, he enlisted in the regular army and served in the 9th Infantry, 2nd Division until February 1941, at which time, he was transferred to the 31st Infantry Regiment in the Philippine Islands. Louis arrived in Manila on April 22, 1941, and was assigned to the Antitank Company, where he performed routine duties, mostly guard assignments around the city and port area, until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The day after Pearl Harbor, he was lying on his back in a ditch behind his barracks, firing several clips with his M1 rifle at Japanese Zero fighters that were flying low in circles strafing the area.

When Manila was declared an open city, they were moved to the Bataan Peninsula where they established a defensive line. His regiment was actively involved in frontline combat for about three months. Louis was wounded in combat during the final battle on Bataan during the first week of April, 1942. All remaining troops were surrendered by the Commanding General, and they embarked on a forced march to the first prison camp. This became known as the Bataan Death March. Corregidor Island was not involved as they were still holding out at that time.

Louis spent 3-1/2 years in prisons in the Philippines, Formosa and Japan, which included two long voyages on prison ships.

After the war, Louis was discharged from the Army as a Sergeant. He attended and was graduated from the prestigious Southern Methodist University with a B.S. degree in mathematics (1952), and a M.S. degree in biology (1953). Louis worked as the Health Inspector of Dallas until he took a position with the American Optical Company. He retired on his 65th birthday in 1985, as a Regional Manager.

Louis is past Commander of the Dallas Metroplex Chapter of the American Ex-POWs, and past Commander of the Dallas Chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. He was active in volunteer work and with the Veterans Affairs. Louis is a Life Member of VFW Post 6796 and Life Member of American Legion Post 581. He was Grand Marshall of the 1999 Veterans Day Parade in Dallas, Texas.

He was a Veteran of Foreign Wars and Disabled American Veteran. He was Who's Who of American Scientists. Member of the National Geographic Society. Sixty-year member of the Masons of Texas.

Louis was passionate about history and wrote his memoirs in 2004, in an autobiography with "the hope that history will not be forgotten."