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 • Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial
 • Coton
 • South Cambridgeshire District
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Leon Robert Vance, Jr
Birth: Aug. 11, 1916
Enid
Garfield County
Oklahoma, USA
Death: Jul. 26, 1944, At Sea

World War II Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. Born in Enid, Oklahoma and served as a Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army Corps, 489th Bomber Group. On June 5, 1944, he led a Heavy Bombardment Group, in an attack against defended enemy coastal positions in the vicinity of Wimereaux, France. Approaching the target, his aircraft was hit repeatedly by antiaircraft fire which crippled the ship, killed the pilot, and himself wounded. In spite of his injury, he led his formation over the target, bombing it successfully. Gradually losing altitude, on return to the English coast he ordered the crew to bail out knowing they would all safely make land. He received a message over the interphone one of the crewmembers was unable to jump due to injuries, so he made the decision to ditch the ship in the channel to save his life. As his plane crashed in the water an explosion occurred which threw him clear of the wreckage. Inflating his life vest he began searching for the crewmember whom he believed to be aboard. Failing to find anyone he began swimming and was found later by an Air-Sea Rescue craft. Due to his flying skill and leadership he completed a successful bombing run and returned his crew to a point they could bail out to safety. A month later while being evacuated to the United States, the aircraft on which he was a passenger went down somewhere between Iceland and Newfoundland, no trace of it was ever found. His citation was issued on January 4, 1945. (bio by: John "J-Cat" Griffith) 
 
Burial:
Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial *
Coton
South Cambridgeshire District
Cambridgeshire, England
Plot: No Known Grave; name is listed on the Tablets of the Missing
Specifically: Remains never found
*Memorial Site [?]
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: John "J-Cat" Griffith
Record added: Nov 21, 2003
Find A Grave Memorial# 8111160
Leon Robert Vance, Jr
Added by: dfr
 
Leon Robert Vance, Jr
Added by: Iain MacFarlaine
 
Leon Robert Vance, Jr
Added by: Iain MacFarlaine
 
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- Lazer
 Added: Jan. 29, 2014

- bob tarte
 Added: Nov. 18, 2013
Thank you Mr. Vance
- Tommy P.
 Added: Aug. 11, 2013
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