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Honoring Service: Fallen Veteran Curtis S. Read, WWI

Our reporting on local veterans is a collaboration with RyeVets.org to highlight those from Rye who have served our country across times of war and peace. There are over 2,100 veterans from the City of Rye. Learn more about how you can help research and write biographies of those that have served.

Honoring Service - 05 - 2023 - Curtis S. Read
Curtis S. Read

Curtis Seaman Read, born on August 21, 1895, in Rye, New York, was the son of William Read and Caroline Hicks Read (nee Seaman). He grew up among six brothers and two sisters.

Date of Birth: 21 Aug 1895
Died On: February 26, 1918
Branch of Service: U.S. Navy

Curtis pursued his education at various schools, including the Bovee School in New York City, the Choate School in Wallingford, Connecticut, and the Pomfret School in Pomfret, Connecticut. Later, he enrolled at Yale University, where he actively engaged in baseball and served as the football team manager in 1917, earning his letter. Additionally, he participated in the Freshman Glee Club and dedicated his efforts to the Yale Hope Mission.

Being part of the “Yale Unit,” which played a vital role in the Air Service, Curtis received the designation of Naval Aviator #83 in 1917.

On March 24, 1917, Curtis left college to join the Yale Aerial Coast Patrol Unit No. 1. Initially stationed in West Palm Beach, Florida, he was later relocated to Huntington, Long Island. In September 1917, he achieved the rank of Ensign and received a commission as a Naval Aviator. Curtis served as an instructor in the Naval Aviation Unit at Newport News, Virginia, until November, when he was assigned to foreign service. He spent some time stationed at the Bombing School in Montchic, France, before being transferred to Dunkirk on February 24, 1918. Tragically, just two days later, Curtis lost his life due to injuries sustained in a seaplane accident while on active duty. As the first American officer to be killed at Dunkirk, he received a burial with full military honors. A few months after his passing, Curtis was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Medal by the Aero Club of America. In June 1918, Yale University granted him the degree of B.A.


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