29 Jan Les Leavoy 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 son Leslie R. Leavoy, Jr. of DeRidder, Louisiana, Lindsey J. Leavoy of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Melanie Mowery of Garland, Texas, and Laird E. Leavoy of Euless, Texas. Les has 12 grandchildren and three 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.
A memorial service will be held honoring Les Leavoy on Friday February 13, 2015 at 10:00AM at the Charles W. Smith & Sons Funeral Home at 2925 Fifth St. Sachse, Texas 75048. A 15 minute graveside military burial will be held at the DFW National Cemetery at 1:15PM at 2000 Mountain Creek Parkway, Dallas, Texas 75211. The graveside service will be followed by fighter pilot wake for Les Leavoy at the Hilton Garden Inn at 800 North Main St. Duncanville, Texas from 1:45PM to 6:00PM.
The Leavoy Family asks that memorial contributions be made to the “Les Leavoy Cadet Flight Indoctrination Program” C/O the Daedalian Foundation, PO Box 249, Randolph AFB, Texas 78148.