Richard O’Reilly was born on 8/20/1919 in Jersey City, New Jersey to Mary and Thomas O’Reilly from Ireland. He had three brothers and three sisters. Richard was orphaned at an early age and lived in Jersey City, Englewood Cliffs, Kearny, Teaneck and Florida. He finished his second year in High School and worked as a coffee man.
Richard served as a Seaman on the steam tanker L.J. Drake. He was killed when the ship was torpedoed by a German submarine on 6/5/42.
The body of this valiant Seaman was lost at sea.
- New Jersey, Births and Christenings Index, 1660-1931
- 1920 United States Federal Census
- 1930 United States Federal Census
- 1940 United States Federal Census
National World War II Memorial, Wash., D.C. website
usmm.org (U.S. Merchant Marine Website)
Find A Grave Website
- Richard Thomas O'Reilly - Merchant Marine
Ordinary Seaman RICHARD T. O'REILLY was on aboard the American merchant ship L.J. Drake as it left Aruba, Netherlands West Indies, early in the morning of June 4, 1942. The tanker was delivering a consignment of 73,000 barrels of gasoline to San Juan, Puerto Rico. Late in the evening of the 5th, L.J. Drake was hit with three torpedoes fired by German submarine U-68. The tanker exploded in flames, leaving only bits and pieces of wreckage.
There were 35 Merchant Mariners and 6 Naval Armed Guards aboard; none survived.