Elden Earl Leach, Jr. never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on July 3, 1918 in West Virginia. His parents Elden and Ethel were born in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, respectively. His father worked as a rubber shop machinist and later as a tire works mechanic. Elden jr. had one younger sister. By 1940 Elden was still living at home and had completed three years at the University of Pennsylvania. He graduated the next year.
He enlisted in the US Marines on January 10, 1942 and trained to be a pilot. He became a first lieutenant flying TBM-3 Avenger torpedo bombers. He was sent to the South Pacific in June 1943 where he served with the VMTB 232 (known as the Red Devil Squadron), Marine Aircraft Group 11. It operated out of Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides Islands.
Lt. Leach was sent on a bombing mission in the Solomon Islands on November 23, 1943 and never returned. He remains missing in action.
His cenotaph grave is at Arlington National Cemetery.
Last year on this date I profiled Woodrow Wissler, who was killed in a tragic accident in Hawaii. You can read about Woodrow here.
On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!
I created this video to explain why I started this project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY.
Please consider joining the public Facebook group to increase the exposure of this project. Go to: WW2 Fallen 100