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The Sergeant John W. Gabersek Jr. Memorial Scholarship

Staff Sergeant William Reid “Skinny” Smith
706th Ordinance Light Maintenance Company

Staff Sergeant William Reid “Skinny” Smith

Husband to my Great Aunt Emma Gabersek, sister of Johnny and Frankie, Uncle Reid served with the Army in the Pacific with the 706th Ordinance Light Maintenance Company.  He entered the service on December 27th, 1944 serving until August of 1946.  He quickly gained the rank of Staff Sergeant organizing Motor Pool personnel to repair vehicles after battle.  Although Uncle Reid’s duties did not put him in harms way, he certainly saw first hand the results of war.    I have good memories of Uncle Reid, visiting my boyhood home in their oversized Airstream Trailer.  That silver bullet seemed as big as the Hindenberg to me as it sat in our driveway.  Taking his repair skills from the Army, he made his living as Diesel Engineer working for General Motors in Michigan.  Uncle Reid and family visited McKeesport as often as possible, but like most families, and as time by, those good old days pass into history.  I have since renewed my kinship with my long lost cousins while working on this tribute.  Sadly, Uncle Reid died in 2000 followed shortly by Aunt Emma.  He is survived by sons Darren and Duane, who have lost brother Regis in 2006.


Hometown – West Newton, PA
4-1/4 Months Infantry Training 521, Private 
7 Months Scout 761, Private First Class
6 Months Machinist 114, Tec 4
5 Months Foreman, Automotive Repair Shop 337, Tec 3

706 Ordinance Maintenance Company

Good Conduct Medal - American Campaign Medal

Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal

Japanese Occupation Medal

WWII Victory Medal

M1 Rifle Marksman Badge


Inducted 20 December, 1944
 Troop Ship 31 July, 1945 - Pearl - 23 August 1945 arrived Philippines
Occupation of Japan

Departed Japan 13 July 1946 - Arrived United States 25 July 1946

Fort Meade - Discharged 3 August 1946 - Pittsburgh - Home


Taken verbatim from Uncle Reid's discharge papers as it reads:  "Foreman, Automotive Repair Shop--Served with the 706th Ordinance Maintenance Company in the Pacific Theater of Operations.  Supervised 4 machinists and 24 mechanics and welders in duties concerned with making general repairs to all types of military vehicles up to 10 tons in size and construction equipment and the machining of parts and in repair and maintenance work.  Kept shop records, assigned men to duties, checked work of men.  Requisitioned supplies and equipment used by shop."

Emma, Regis, and Reid Smith

Emma, Regis, and Reid Smith Rest in Peace
Aunt Emma is the sister of Johnnie and Frankie Gabersek.

I have no idea what Uncle Reid is holding.
A penguin, monkey, a transmission?

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