Leigh M. Holt



Preferred Name:
Leigh

Nickname/Call Sign: McDuff96

Date of Birth: July 3, 1934

Highest Military Grade Held: Major, O4

Hometown: Girardville, PA

Biography

I grew up in Girardville, PA, a little coal mining town in eastern PA. I attended Lehigh University, graduated as a Metallurgical Engineer and was commissioned a 2Lt in the Air Force reserve upon graduation in February 1957. I then went to work for General Electric as an engineer, was called up and reported to Lackland AFB in August 1957.
My flight training was at Bainbridge AFB, GA in T-34 and T-28 aircraft. Upon completion, I was sent to Greenville AFB, MS for the transition to the T-33. I received my wings in October 1958 and was assigned to Luke AFB for F-100 training in F-100C, then to Nellis AFB, NV and the F-100D.
In October of 1959, I returned to Greenville to get married and then headed off to the 44th TFS on Okinawa. From 1959-1961 I served with the 44th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Kadena AB, Japan. From 1961-1966 I flew with the 356th Tactical Fighter Squadron out of Myrtle Beach AFB, SC. My Vietnam tour from 1966-1967 was with the 352nd Tactical Fighter Squadron/612th Tactical Fighter Squadron with their base in Phan Rang, where I received the Distinguished Flying Cross. 1967-1971 found me serving with 494th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Lakenheath RAFB, England, and in 1971 I returned from England to the States.
I attended Officers Training School in San Antonio, TX and in 1974 I was assigned to the ABCCC at Clark AB in the Philippines. In the ABCCC I was in the fighter control chair and was overhead for the Mayaguez Incident off Cambodia and overhead for the evacuation of Saigon. In 1975 I returned to Bergstrom AFB in Austin, TX and retired in February 1978.
After retiring from the USAF I went to work for the Texas Education Agency and retired in 1995.
My F-100 Flying Story
I was lead in a flight off the alert pad at Phan Rang. We were in the delta on a banana grove and had rockets and 500’s. After the rocket pass, we made a pass to drop the pods. My wingman hit the wrong button and dropped his wing tanks instead. After another pass to drop his pods, we dropped the bombs.
I made a few strafing passes and my Christmas tree lit up. I had taken some hits but was lucky, and we pulled out and headed home. My Wingman informed me that I was bleeding under the right side of the aircraft. I checked the gauges and discovered that the only hydraulic system I had operating was my #2 high-pressure flight controls.
I should have landed at Bien Hoa but decided to take it back to Phan Rang since I had taken off with no wallet, etc. I managed to get the gear down and landed safely. But because I had overflown Bien Hoa with a wounded airplane and my wingman had his own problems, we were both taken off test orders, flight lead orders and grounded for a week. Fortunately, our services were desperately needed so we were reinstated within a couple of days. Intelligence got word that ARVN moved in after our strike and found 40 kba so both my Wingman and I were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for the mission.

Units Assigned

  • 2/1957 Commissioned 2Lt
  • 8/1957 Flight training, Lackland AFB,
  • 1957-1958 Flight training, Bainbridge AFB, GA (T-34, T-28)
  • 1958 Flight training, Received Wings, Greenville AFB, MS (T-33)
  • 8/1958-1959 Pilot training, Luke AFB, AZ/Nellis AFB, NV (F-100 C/D)
  • 1959-1962 44th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Kadena AB, Japan (F-100)
  • 1962-1966 356th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Myrtle Beach AFB, SC
  • 1966-1967  352nd Tactical Fighter Squadron/612th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Phan Rang AB, Vietnam
  • 1967-1971 494th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Lakenheath RAFB, England
  • 1971  Officers Training School, Chief of Academics, San Antonio, TX
  • 1974 ABCCC, Clark AB in the Philippines.
    (I was in the fighter control chair and was overhead for the Mayaguez Incident off Cambodia and overhead for the evacuation of Saigon)
  • 1975-1978 Bergstrom AFB in Austin, TX
  • 2/1978 Retired USAF

Awards & Decorations

 Distinguished Flying Cross
 Air Medal (with 15 Oak Leaf Clusters)
 Air Force Commendation Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster)
 Meritorious Service Medal
 Combat Readiness Medal

Flight Info

T-34
T-28
T-33
F-100 C/D

Military Education

  • 1963 Instrument Pilot Instructor School, Randolph AFB, TX
  • 1973 Air Command & Staff (non-resident)

Civilian Education

  • 1957 MS/Metallurgical Engineering, Lehigh University
Biography

Biography

I grew up in Girardville, PA, a little coal mining town in eastern PA. I attended Lehigh University, graduated as a Metallurgical Engineer and was commissioned a 2Lt in the Air Force reserve upon graduation in February 1957. I then went to work for General Electric as an engineer, was called up and reported to Lackland AFB in August 1957.
My flight training was at Bainbridge AFB, GA in T-34 and T-28 aircraft. Upon completion, I was sent to Greenville AFB, MS for the transition to the T-33. I received my wings in October 1958 and was assigned to Luke AFB for F-100 training in F-100C, then to Nellis AFB, NV and the F-100D.
In October of 1959, I returned to Greenville to get married and then headed off to the 44th TFS on Okinawa. From 1959-1961 I served with the 44th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Kadena AB, Japan. From 1961-1966 I flew with the 356th Tactical Fighter Squadron out of Myrtle Beach AFB, SC. My Vietnam tour from 1966-1967 was with the 352nd Tactical Fighter Squadron/612th Tactical Fighter Squadron with their base in Phan Rang, where I received the Distinguished Flying Cross. 1967-1971 found me serving with 494th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Lakenheath RAFB, England, and in 1971 I returned from England to the States.
I attended Officers Training School in San Antonio, TX and in 1974 I was assigned to the ABCCC at Clark AB in the Philippines. In the ABCCC I was in the fighter control chair and was overhead for the Mayaguez Incident off Cambodia and overhead for the evacuation of Saigon. In 1975 I returned to Bergstrom AFB in Austin, TX and retired in February 1978.
After retiring from the USAF I went to work for the Texas Education Agency and retired in 1995.
My F-100 Flying Story
I was lead in a flight off the alert pad at Phan Rang. We were in the delta on a banana grove and had rockets and 500’s. After the rocket pass, we made a pass to drop the pods. My wingman hit the wrong button and dropped his wing tanks instead. After another pass to drop his pods, we dropped the bombs.
I made a few strafing passes and my Christmas tree lit up. I had taken some hits but was lucky, and we pulled out and headed home. My Wingman informed me that I was bleeding under the right side of the aircraft. I checked the gauges and discovered that the only hydraulic system I had operating was my #2 high-pressure flight controls.
I should have landed at Bien Hoa but decided to take it back to Phan Rang since I had taken off with no wallet, etc. I managed to get the gear down and landed safely. But because I had overflown Bien Hoa with a wounded airplane and my wingman had his own problems, we were both taken off test orders, flight lead orders and grounded for a week. Fortunately, our services were desperately needed so we were reinstated within a couple of days. Intelligence got word that ARVN moved in after our strike and found 40 kba so both my Wingman and I were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for the mission.

Units - Education - Awards - Flight Info

Units Assigned

  • 2/1957 Commissioned 2Lt
  • 8/1957 Flight training, Lackland AFB,
  • 1957-1958 Flight training, Bainbridge AFB, GA (T-34, T-28)
  • 1958 Flight training, Received Wings, Greenville AFB, MS (T-33)
  • 8/1958-1959 Pilot training, Luke AFB, AZ/Nellis AFB, NV (F-100 C/D)
  • 1959-1962 44th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Kadena AB, Japan (F-100)
  • 1962-1966 356th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Myrtle Beach AFB, SC
  • 1966-1967  352nd Tactical Fighter Squadron/612th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Phan Rang AB, Vietnam
  • 1967-1971 494th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Lakenheath RAFB, England
  • 1971  Officers Training School, Chief of Academics, San Antonio, TX
  • 1974 ABCCC, Clark AB in the Philippines.
    (I was in the fighter control chair and was overhead for the Mayaguez Incident off Cambodia and overhead for the evacuation of Saigon)
  • 1975-1978 Bergstrom AFB in Austin, TX
  • 2/1978 Retired USAF

Awards & Decorations

 Distinguished Flying Cross
 Air Medal (with 15 Oak Leaf Clusters)
 Air Force Commendation Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster)
 Meritorious Service Medal
 Combat Readiness Medal

Flight Info

T-34
T-28
T-33
F-100 C/D

Military Education

  • 1963 Instrument Pilot Instructor School, Randolph AFB, TX
  • 1973 Air Command & Staff (non-resident)

Civilian Education

  • 1957 MS/Metallurgical Engineering, Lehigh University
Photos
Scroll to Top