Leslie Earl Harris, JrLieutenant Colonel
4TH ACS, 14TH ACW, 7TH AIR FORCE
United States Air Force
20 March 1924 - 05 May 1968
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The database page for Leslie Earl Harris, Jr
LTC Leslie Earl Harris was a WW II veteran with service in Burma and India. He served as an enlisted man in the Army Air Corps. After the war, he attended the USMA at West Point, New York, and was graduated in 1949. He took a commission in the United States Air Force. He became a B-50 pilot and was involved in a crash of that aircraft in the United Kingdom on June 8, 1951. He walked away. He served in Korea and also served in various air force bases across the country. He attended Air Force schools including the Air Force Command and General Staff College. He served four years in the Pentagon before being assigned to Vietnam. He had family in San Angelo, Texas, and had served at Goodfellow Air Force Base. While he was in Vietnam, his family remained in San Angelo. He was flying "Spooky", a C-47D on a mission in Pleiku when his aircraft was shot down and he perished.
After his death his family remained in San Angelo. Harris Hall at Goodfellow AFB is named in his honor. He is remembered by the Tom Green Memorial and the
Permian Basin Vietnam Veterans' Memorial.
From the U. S. Military Academy Yearbook, Class of 1949
LtCol Harris' decorations and awards included the Legion of Merit; Distinguished Flying Cross; Bronze Star Medal; Purple Heart; Air Medal; Air Force Commendation Medal; Army Good Conduct Medal; American Defense Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Southeast Pacific Service Medal; World War II Victory Medal; Korean Service Medal; Vietnam Service Medal; United Nations Service Medal; and Vietnam Campaign Medal.
A Note from The Virtual WallOn the night of 4/5 May 1968 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army forces started a widespread offensive which came be termed "Mini-Tet" by the Americans and which involved attacks on over a hundred towns and cities across South Vietnam.
Two 4th Air Commando Squadron AC-47 gunships launched from Phu Cat to engage VC/NVA rocket and mortar sites that were firing on the Pleiku Air Base. One, AC-47D tail number 43-16159, launched with a short crew (only one gunner aboard), while the other, AC-47D 43-76207, carried two extra men - a new navigator taking his first orientation flight and an Army Warrant Officer observer.
Once over target both aircraft were shot down within minutes of each other, killing nine of the 15 crewmen:
Available materials (Hobson's Vietnam Air Losses, for example) are inconclusive regarding who was in which aircraft. The assignments above were provided by Bernie Ducat, one of the surviving crewmembers from AC-47D 43-76207.
The point-of-contact for this memorial is|
a PBVVM representative,
Billy M. Brown
4015 Melody Lane, Odessa, Texas 79762
20 Jan 2005
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 01/20/2005