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Leland Earl Thomas
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Birth: Jan. 1, 1922
Gosper County
Nebraska, USA
Death: Jul. 11, 1944

The Arapahoe Public Mirror of 26 February 1948 reported that the body of Lieutenant Leland Thomas was to return home for burial. Holbrook- The body of Second Lieutenant Leland E. Thomas, son of Mr. and Mrs. Percy Thomas, was one of the thirty-four Nebraska War dead to arrive in the United Sates aboard the Cardinal O'Connell, reaching the port of San Francisco February 11. This was the second group of honored dead to be returned from the Pacific under the government's program which allows next of kin to determine final disposition. The bodies of the servicemen aboard the Cardinal O'Connell were from many cemeteries throughout the Pacific. Lieutenant Thomas was buried at Port Moresby, New Guinea and later moved to Ipswich, Australia. The body arrived in San Francisco and was taken to Kansas City were arrangements for transportation to his former home were being made. When brought to Arapahoe, the body would be accompanied by an individual Military escort of equal or higher rank. Lieutenant Thomas was killed in a plane crash July 11, 1944. The exact time of the arrival of the body had not yet been set and full arrangments for the funeral had not been announced but it was planned to hold a Military funeral service at Holbrook with burial in the family lot in the Arapahoe cemetery. The funeral service and burial would be in charge of the Holbrook American Legion. Reverend T.W. Shepard would conduct the religious service.
The Arapahoe Public Mirror of 25 March 1948 had a Card of Thanks- We wish to thank our many friends for the kindness shown us in our bereavement. Also for the help given us, the flowers and other gifts, and for the words and messages of comfort. Mr. and Mrs. Percy Thomas and family.
Leland was killed in an airplane accident during WW2, during 'dogfight' combat training. He was engaged to Lulu Mae Phillips but never married. His body was returned to Arapahoe in 1948 and buried with full military honors.
Memorial Services Held For Lt. Leland Thomas
Holbrook - Funeral services were held Thursday afternoon at the Methodist church at two o'clock for Second Lieutenant Leland Thoms, son of Mr. and Mrs. Percy Thomas, who lost his life in a plane crash on 11 July 1944 in Ne Guinea.
Lieutenant Thomas was one of 2,792 World War II dead from the Pacific reaching the port of San Franciso, 11 February. He was among the 34 Nebraskanas returned from foreign soil under the American Graves Registration Distribution Center program and arrived in Holbrook Tuesday morning accompanied by Lieutentant Lionel W. O'Quinn of Selma, Alabama, official military escort.
The charge of the sermon was Rev. T.W. Shepard, pastor of the Methodist Church, who preached the sermon to a church that was crowded to overflowing with those who came to pay their last respects to Lieutenant Thomas.
Music was furnished by Norma Schroeder and Norma Basinger, former pupils of the deceased who sang two songs, "Rock of Ages" and "In the Garden" accompanied at the piano by Mrs. Nellie Mollring. Pallbearers were Richard Proud, Richard Dickmeyer, Elmer Krumme, Ervin Peterman, Wayne Barnes and Richard Schmid, all in uniform and all but Richard Schmid were former classmates in the Arapahoe school.
Following the sermon here the body was taken to the Arapahoe cemetery for burial, where graveside military services were conducted by members of the Earl I. Roggensees post No. 234 of Holbrook. Francis Brinkman and Hugh Haussler carried the colors and Boyce McConnell and Felix Meyerie were the color guard. Elvin Muss was in charge of the firing squad composed of Donald Mayes, Jack Johannsen, Leslie McConnell and John Robeeson.
Robert Haine of the Arapahoe school was the bugle and in navy uniform. Members of the firing squad folded the flag and gave it to Lieutenant O'Quinn, who presented it to the Thomas family.
Relatives attending from a distance were Howard Thomas, Iowa City, Iowa; Ivan Thomas, Ames, Iowa; Mr. and Mrs. Ben Bryant, Whistler, Alabama; Mr. and Mrs. Edward L. Dunbar and son, Bushnell; Mr. and Mrs. Walter Major, Culbertson; H.E. Paine, Edison, Mr. and Mrs. Guy Bly,Beaver City; Mr. and Mrs. Glen Thulin and Mr. and Mrs. Carl Forney,Oxford, all in Nebraska. 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Percy Erastus Thomas (1893 - 1986)
  Ethel May Major Thomas (1892 - 1952)
 
 Siblings:
  Howard Major Thomas (1918 - 2005)*
  Walter Ivan Thomas (1919 - 1984)*
  Grace Ethel Thomas Dunbar (1920 - 1960)*
  Leland Earl Thomas (1922 - 1944)
  Merle James Thomas (1930 - 1996)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Inscription:
NEBRASKA
2D LT ARMY AIR FORCES
WORLD WAR II
 
Burial:
Arapahoe Cemetery
Arapahoe
Furnas County
Nebraska, USA
 
Created by: ptthomas
Record added: Mar 05, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 106215859
Leland Earl Thomas
Added by: Tim Cook
 
Leland Earl Thomas
Added by: Tim Cook
 
 
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Thank you for my Freedom!
- Loren Bender
 Added: Sep. 1, 2013
 
 
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