My granddad, Leo, was born in May, 1919 with a twin brother, Leroy. Leo and Leroy (Roy) had four older sisters: Bessie, Dorothy, Marjorie, and Vera (who died at age 5). Their youngest brother, Phillip, was born in 1921.

The children’s mother, Isabelle, raised them as a single mother. Their father, Leo Senior, was a cad and a scoundrel. He was frequently away on “business” and extremely unpleasant when he was home. Leo Senior and Isabelle’s stormy marriage ended in divorce in 1929. The children never saw Leo Senior again.

siblings in the service

Leroy, Dorothy, and Phillip home on leave, date unknown.

Isabelle’s three boys and her daughter, Dorothy, all served in the military during World War II.

My granddad, Leo, was an aircraft maintenance tech with the 16th Air Force in North Africa. His twin brother, Leroy, was a radio man in the Army Air Corps. Dorothy served in the Coast Guard as a pay officer and Phillip served in a troop carrier squadron in China.

This photo was taken around 1943 when three of Isabelle’s four soldiers were together for a home visit. The newspaper clipping below shows Isabelle’s pride in her kids.

Phillip killed in action

Phillip enlisted in the Army Air Corps on 29 December 1941–three weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He served in the 322nd Troop Carrier Squadron in China. On 19 October 1944, he was killed in action in Kunming, China.

Leo notes in his diary that on 7 November 1944 he was called to the orderly room at his base in Foggia, Italy and notified that Phillip died in action in the Pacific (China). Phillip was first buried at the American cemetery in Kunming, then moved to Hawaii. In 1948, Isabelle brought him home to Colorado.

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