Brigadier General Royal Reynolds, Jr.
A giant of a man and a cornerstone of our Society was taken from us when Brigadier General Royal Reynolds, Jr. passed away in his sleep on November 24, 2003, five weeks after his 93rd birthday.
A graduate of the West Point Class of 1933, Roy Reynolds was the second generation of his family to have a distinguished military career. His late father and namesake was a Brigadier General in the U.S, Army Medical Corps and his uncles also were Medical Corps officers. All served in the Philippines. General Reynolds lived in the Philippines twice as a dependent, first beginning in 1911 and second in the early 1920s. Two of his sisters were born there.
During the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, General Reynolds commanded the First Battalion of the 57th Infantry Regiment (PS). He led his unit in the defense of Bataan and then, instead of surrendering, spent the remainder of the war as a guerrilla. General Reynolds was awarded the Bronze Star for his combat bravery. A niece remembers asking him if he ever feared a Filipino would betray him while he was a guerrilla. He emphatically replied, "Never!"
He also commanded an infantry regiment in the Korean War, where he was awarded the Silver Star, The Legion of Merit andthe Bronze Star with "V" for combat valor. Later he would command the U.S. Army's escape and evasion school.
General Reynolds received a second Legion of Merit in his last assignment as Assistant Commander of the Fort Benning Infantry School. He retired from the U.S. Army in 1963. General Royal Reynolds played a major role in organizing the Philippine Scouts Heritage Society and was its first President. He was elected President Emeritus by acclamation when he relinquished the presidency and remained a loyal supporter throughout the rest of his life.
In May 2003 General Reynolds gave us this final bit of advice: "The Philippine Scout Heritage Society was formed to preserve their distinguished history. Unless the sons, daughters, grandchildren, friends and associates take a positive and active role as members of the Philippine Scouts Heritage Society, the heroic legacy of these elite Filipinos will die. As an old soldier waiting for final roll call, I urge you to remember this."
His commanding presence and wise counsel will be greatly missed by the entire membership of the Philippine Scouts Heritage Society.
General Reynolds is survived by Gloria Planté, his companion of several decades, and by a daughter, Louise Banscom and a granddaughter. Condolence letters may be sent to Mrs. Gloria Planté at 1521 23rd Road South, Arlington, VA 22202.
A memorial service for Brigadier General Royal Reynolds was held at his grave site in Arlington National Cemetery on December 23, 2003.
Last modified: 07-Apr-2013