Fallen Warrior: 1st Lt. Leroy Wolfe

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  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

For our Fallen Warrior commemoration this week, we remember 1st Lt. Leroy Wolfe, Army Air Forces gunner.

Wolfe was born on a farm in Richmond Township, Huron County, Ohio, on November 18, 1895. He graduated from Attica High School in 1913 and taught in the district for two years. He attended Ohio State University and joined the United States Army in 1917, where he was appointed as lieutenant in the Army Air Service in 1918. The government then sent him to Yale University where he graduated in 1925.

He is best remembered as a pioneer in radio communications. The first known demonstration of telephone contact from ground-to-plane was made by Wolfe at McCook Field, Ohio, proving his success by placing an order for flowers. The story of the demonstration made news throughout the country. He was also noted for work in developing radio beacons to keep a plane on its course by guiding it along a radio wave path set up by ground broadcasting stations.

While stationed in Arizona, Wolfe made one of the first official parachute jumps using the Parker type chute. Later in 1926, he won the national air races for large capacity airplanes, over 7,000 pounds, and was awarded the John Wanamaker Liberty Bell Trophy.

Wolfe was assigned to the Philippines on October 28, 1932, when he was killed in an airplane crash during gunnery practice. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia and is remembered as a beacon of hope. Wolfe Hall at Keesler is named in his honor.

Editor's note: The Fallen Warrior series highlights Fallen Warriors who exemplify our core values and paid the ultimate sacrifice. Take a moment to honor this week’s hero.