Leslie R. Leavoy


Preferred Name: Les
Nickname/Call Sign: Les
Date Of Birth: September 21, 1924 (January 29, 2015)
Highest Military Grade Held: Lt. Colonel (0-5)
Hometown: Roseville, MI

Biography

I was fortunate to fly my entire career. I could not seem to get promoted but was able to stay in the cockpit……no regrets. I had over 20 years in front line fighter outfits and 13 in CCTS. I loved both dearly. The 3 loves of my life are my dear wife Boots, (56 yrs + in marriage) the P-47, and the F-100. All 3 are grand ladies.
Some said I was” trapped” in the F-100 for 18 years, I say blessed. Had the great privilege of commanding F-100 squadrons. If you’re AFSC was not 1115B…. as the good general would say “you might as well be shoveling shit in Louisiana”.

Units Assigned

11/1942 Enlisted in US Army
1/1943 Basic Training at Miami Beach, Florida Basic Training at Miami Beach, FL
5/1943 Solo Flight Training at Davidson College Charlotte, NC (J-3 Cub)
10/1943 Primary Flight Training at Union City, TN (PT-23)
12/1943 Basic Flight Training at Newport AR (BT-13)
2/1944 Advanced Flight Training at Spence Field in Moultrie, GA (AT-6)
Received Pilots Wings on 14 April 1944
5/1944 Fighter Indoctrination Training at Richmond, VA (P-40, P-47)
10/1944-12/1945 368th Fighter Group 397th Fighter Squadron in Chievres, Belgium; Metz & Juvincourt, France; Frankfort & Straubing, Germany. Campaigns: Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe, Battle of the Bulge, 81 Combat Missions in the P-47
12/1945 Separated from service.
3/1946-2/1951 Michigan Air National Guard at Romulus, MI
8/1949 Became jet qualified (P-51, F-84B/C)
2/1951- 5/1952 3603rd CCTS (IP), Luke AFB, AZ (F-84 B/C/E/G)
5/1952-8/1952 Fighter Weapons School at Nellis AFB, NV (F-84G, F-86B)
8/1952-5/1954 3600th CCTG Weapons Officer at Luke AFB, AZ (F-84E, A-26, T-33)
5/1954- 12/1956: 3rd AF Headquarters duty station Nouasseur AB, Morocco. Commander of newly activated 3rd AF Gunnery Standardization Unit. Responsible for creating and equipping a weapons range suitable for 3rd AF rotational units to obtain and maintain nuclear weapons qualification. (F-84G, C-47, T-33)
1/1957-3/1959 4515th CCTS, Ops Officer, Luke AFB, AZ (F-84F)
3/1959-8/1960 4515th CCTS, Squadron Commander, Luke AFB, AZ  (F-100C)
8/1960- 6/1961 AF Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, AL (T-33-IP)
6/1961-6/1963 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Operations Officer  Misawa, Japan (F-100D/F)
6/1963-6/1964 39th Air Division, Chief Standardization/Evaluation  Misawa, Japan (F-100 D/F)
6/1964-10/1965 90th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Squadron Commander, England AFB, LA Rotational duty to Misawa, Clark, Da Nang (F-100D)
2/8/1965 Flew first F-100 combat mission over North Vietnam
11/1965-3/1966 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Squadron Commander, Tan Son Nhut, South Vietnam (F-100D/F)
3/1966- 10/1966 90th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Commander Bien Hoa AB, South Vietnam (F-100D/F)
11/1966 Returned Stateside. 247 combat missions in the F-100D/F.
2/1967 – 6/1969 4511th CCTS, Squadron Commander  (Redesignated 426th during this command) (F-100D/F)
6/1969-4/1971 58th TFTW, Chief of Training, Luke AFB, AZ (F-100D/F)
4/1971- 8/1976 149th TFG/182nd Tactical Fighter Squadron, Air Force Advisor (RAFSOB), Kelly AFB, TX (F-100D/F)
9/1/1976 Retired.
1977-1982: Chief Pilot of McKee Aviation San Antonio International Airport. Cessna Dealership, Flight School, Charter, Air Ambulance. Flew Gen Aviation Aircraft.
1982-1985 Chief Pilot of Fiesta Aviation San Antonio International Airport. Piper Dealership, Flight School, Charter. Flew general aviation aircraft.
1986-1988 Chief Pilot Randolph Aero Club Randolph AFB, TX. Flew general and a T-34.
1989 My eyes betrayed me, had to ground myself.

Awards & Decorations

 Legion of Merit
 Distinguished Flying Cross (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters)
 Air Medal (with 21 Oak Leaf Clusters)

Flight Info

J-3 Cub
PT-23
BT-13
AT-6
P-40
P-47
P-51
F-84 B/C/E/F/G
A-26
T-33
F-100 C/D/F
6,500 hours in fighters
83 combat missions in P-47
247 combat missions in F-100

Military Education

1948 SOS
1952 Fighter Weapons School
1960 Command and Staff

Civilian Education

1942 Eastland High School Roseville, MI

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Les Leavoy 90, passed away peacefully surrounded by family and friends he laughed with, lived for, and loved on January 29, 2015.
He was predeceased by his best friend and the love of his life Bootie Leavoy, after 60 years of marriage, and his son Lance C. Leavoy.
Les was born in Roseville, Michigan to Herbert and Elizabeth Leavoy.  He graduated from Eastland High School in 1942 and immediately enlisted in the United States Army.
He received his commission and wings through the Aviation Cadet Program on April 14, 1944.  He flew 83 combat missions in the P-47 Thunderbolt providing close air support for 3rd Army in Europe during World War II.  He participated in several major campaigns including the Battle of the Bulge.
Les returned home from the war and joined the Michigan Air National Guard as a P-51 pilot.  He returned to active duty during the Korean War serving his first of three tours at Luke AFB training fighter pilots.    Les led some of the earliest air combat missions during the Vietnam War on February 8, 1965 flying the F-100 Super Sabre.  He served three tours in Vietnam as the squadron commander of the 90th and 416th TAC Fighter Squadrons flying 250 combat missions.  Les ended his 34 year fighter pilot career as the USAF Advisor to the Texas Air National Guard in San Antonio.  He retired from the USAF in September 1976 with over 6,500 hours in fighter aircraft and some 57 decorations to include the Legion of Merit, three Distinguished Flying Crosses and 21 Air Medals.
Les went on to fly another 15 years in general aviation running flight schools at San Antonio International Airport and Randolph AFB where he trained hundreds of new aviators.
Les is survived by his 4 children, 12 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.
Les’ sons wish to express their sincere appreciation to our sister Melanie for her dedication and effort to provide Les with excellent care and a loving, warm home making his last years very happy and peaceful.

Biography

Biography

I was fortunate to fly my entire career. I could not seem to get promoted but was able to stay in the cockpit……no regrets. I had over 20 years in front line fighter outfits and 13 in CCTS. I loved both dearly. The 3 loves of my life are my dear wife Boots, (56 yrs + in marriage) the P-47, and the F-100. All 3 are grand ladies.
Some said I was” trapped” in the F-100 for 18 years, I say blessed. Had the great privilege of commanding F-100 squadrons. If you’re AFSC was not 1115B…. as the good general would say “you might as well be shoveling shit in Louisiana”.

Units - Education - Awards - Flight Info

Units Assigned

11/1942 Enlisted in US Army
1/1943 Basic Training at Miami Beach, Florida Basic Training at Miami Beach, FL
5/1943 Solo Flight Training at Davidson College Charlotte, NC (J-3 Cub)
10/1943 Primary Flight Training at Union City, TN (PT-23)
12/1943 Basic Flight Training at Newport AR (BT-13)
2/1944 Advanced Flight Training at Spence Field in Moultrie, GA (AT-6)
Received Pilots Wings on 14 April 1944
5/1944 Fighter Indoctrination Training at Richmond, VA (P-40, P-47)
10/1944-12/1945 368th Fighter Group 397th Fighter Squadron in Chievres, Belgium; Metz & Juvincourt, France; Frankfort & Straubing, Germany. Campaigns: Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe, Battle of the Bulge, 81 Combat Missions in the P-47
12/1945 Separated from service.
3/1946-2/1951 Michigan Air National Guard at Romulus, MI
8/1949 Became jet qualified (P-51, F-84B/C)
2/1951- 5/1952 3603rd CCTS (IP), Luke AFB, AZ (F-84 B/C/E/G)
5/1952-8/1952 Fighter Weapons School at Nellis AFB, NV (F-84G, F-86B)
8/1952-5/1954 3600th CCTG Weapons Officer at Luke AFB, AZ (F-84E, A-26, T-33)
5/1954- 12/1956: 3rd AF Headquarters duty station Nouasseur AB, Morocco. Commander of newly activated 3rd AF Gunnery Standardization Unit. Responsible for creating and equipping a weapons range suitable for 3rd AF rotational units to obtain and maintain nuclear weapons qualification. (F-84G, C-47, T-33)
1/1957-3/1959 4515th CCTS, Ops Officer, Luke AFB, AZ (F-84F)
3/1959-8/1960 4515th CCTS, Squadron Commander, Luke AFB, AZ  (F-100C)
8/1960- 6/1961 AF Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, AL (T-33-IP)
6/1961-6/1963 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Operations Officer  Misawa, Japan (F-100D/F)
6/1963-6/1964 39th Air Division, Chief Standardization/Evaluation  Misawa, Japan (F-100 D/F)
6/1964-10/1965 90th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Squadron Commander, England AFB, LA Rotational duty to Misawa, Clark, Da Nang (F-100D)
2/8/1965 Flew first F-100 combat mission over North Vietnam
11/1965-3/1966 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Squadron Commander, Tan Son Nhut, South Vietnam (F-100D/F)
3/1966- 10/1966 90th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Commander Bien Hoa AB, South Vietnam (F-100D/F)
11/1966 Returned Stateside. 247 combat missions in the F-100D/F.
2/1967 – 6/1969 4511th CCTS, Squadron Commander  (Redesignated 426th during this command) (F-100D/F)
6/1969-4/1971 58th TFTW, Chief of Training, Luke AFB, AZ (F-100D/F)
4/1971- 8/1976 149th TFG/182nd Tactical Fighter Squadron, Air Force Advisor (RAFSOB), Kelly AFB, TX (F-100D/F)
9/1/1976 Retired.
1977-1982: Chief Pilot of McKee Aviation San Antonio International Airport. Cessna Dealership, Flight School, Charter, Air Ambulance. Flew Gen Aviation Aircraft.
1982-1985 Chief Pilot of Fiesta Aviation San Antonio International Airport. Piper Dealership, Flight School, Charter. Flew general aviation aircraft.
1986-1988 Chief Pilot Randolph Aero Club Randolph AFB, TX. Flew general and a T-34.
1989 My eyes betrayed me, had to ground myself.

Awards & Decorations

 Legion of Merit
 Distinguished Flying Cross (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters)
 Air Medal (with 21 Oak Leaf Clusters)

Flight Info

J-3 Cub
PT-23
BT-13
AT-6
P-40
P-47
P-51
F-84 B/C/E/F/G
A-26
T-33
F-100 C/D/F
6,500 hours in fighters
83 combat missions in P-47
247 combat missions in F-100

Military Education

1948 SOS
1952 Fighter Weapons School
1960 Command and Staff

Civilian Education

1942 Eastland High School Roseville, MI

Images
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Headed West

Les Leavoy 90, passed away peacefully surrounded by family and friends he laughed with, lived for, and loved on January 29, 2015.
He was predeceased by his best friend and the love of his life Bootie Leavoy, after 60 years of marriage, and his son Lance C. Leavoy.
Les was born in Roseville, Michigan to Herbert and Elizabeth Leavoy.  He graduated from Eastland High School in 1942 and immediately enlisted in the United States Army.
He received his commission and wings through the Aviation Cadet Program on April 14, 1944.  He flew 83 combat missions in the P-47 Thunderbolt providing close air support for 3rd Army in Europe during World War II.  He participated in several major campaigns including the Battle of the Bulge.
Les returned home from the war and joined the Michigan Air National Guard as a P-51 pilot.  He returned to active duty during the Korean War serving his first of three tours at Luke AFB training fighter pilots.    Les led some of the earliest air combat missions during the Vietnam War on February 8, 1965 flying the F-100 Super Sabre.  He served three tours in Vietnam as the squadron commander of the 90th and 416th TAC Fighter Squadrons flying 250 combat missions.  Les ended his 34 year fighter pilot career as the USAF Advisor to the Texas Air National Guard in San Antonio.  He retired from the USAF in September 1976 with over 6,500 hours in fighter aircraft and some 57 decorations to include the Legion of Merit, three Distinguished Flying Crosses and 21 Air Medals.
Les went on to fly another 15 years in general aviation running flight schools at San Antonio International Airport and Randolph AFB where he trained hundreds of new aviators.
Les is survived by his 4 children, 12 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.
Les’ sons wish to express their sincere appreciation to our sister Melanie for her dedication and effort to provide Les with excellent care and a loving, warm home making his last years very happy and peaceful.

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