Leo LaCasse's original crew.
Back row, left to right:
F. W. Baxter, tail gunner
W. M. Swaney, radio operator gunner
F. D. Greenlaw, flight engineer
R. H. Blansit, top turret gunner
B. L. Hunter, radio operator gunner
C. H. Hill, waist gunner
R .J. Roth, bombardier
L. A. LaCasse, pilot
H. A. Heuser, co-pilot
H. J. Zorn, navigator
Leo LaCasse received the French Legion of Honour in June 2016.
Leo LaCasse served as a pilot with the 385th Bomb Group.
His friend Charlie Penick remembers:
'Now retired, Gen Leo Lacasse tells about his days at the Manor house [probably Elveden Hall]. The Lady in charge loved to be driven around my Leo to see her gardens and flowers. He can't remember the name of town it was close to but I believe this is it.'
'He was with Gen LeMay and drove back and forth from his Air Field. But even though all info talks about Gen LeMay being there they have no pictures of him in the house or any of the other Airmen. Leo helped take an older lady on flower tours several times. Her name was the same as the House. But he has no photos of him and her. I saw two of the movies made in the house. The place is very impressive.'
'He rose in ranks from a enlistment at age 16 to fly 35 Missions, shot down 3 times and awarded recently the highest French Medal and retired a General. A Special Person.'
DSM/ SS/ DFC w/ 2 Oak Leaf Cluster/ AM w/ 7 Oak Leaf Cluster/ PH
Units served with
The 385th Bomb Group, who took the nickname "Van's Valiants" after their first Commanding Officer Col. Elliot Vandevanter, flew B-17s from Great Ashfield, Suffolk. The Group led the famous attack on the Focke-Wolfe aircraft factory at Marienburg on 9...
B-17 Flying Fortress
Delivered Cheyenne 3/5/43; Smoky Hill 14/5/43; Gt Falls 24/5/43; Kearney 30/5/43; Dow Fd 15/6/43; Peterson 18/6/43; Assigned 548BS/385BG [GX-F] Gt Ashfield 17/6/43; with Bob Smith force landed RAF Docking 30/10/43; with Lt Lacasse hit truck at...
Military site : airfield
The base was known as Great Saling when construction – by US Army engineers – began in 1942 but was renamed Andrews Field in honour of the memory of Gen. Frank M. Andrews, who was killed when the B-24 he was travelling in crash-landed in Iceland on 3...
Military site : non-airfield
Elveden Hall, Brandon, Suffolk was used during the Second World War as a headquarters for the USAAF Third Air Division. Some evidence to suggest that the staff quarters were struck and destroyed by a bomb.
||Manchester, New Hampshire
||4 July 1920
||Roanoke, VA, USA