Leo Francis Jr.
Leo C Francis Jr. was born to Leo and Lorena Francis on September 3rd, 1922. Leo, his little sister Virginia and brother, Lynn grew up in Teaneck on 239 Hickory Street.
After graduating from the Teaneck High in June of 1940, Leo joined the service in any way he could. After a brief year in college, Leo served as pool boy for two summers at Fort Dix before officially enlisting on January 22nd, 1942. Then Leo went straight down south for preflight training in Alabama and primary as well as basic in Georgia.
Leo was married to Hilda T. Rosner of Maywood in January, 1943. Their twenty-three-month-old daughter, Leslie, lived with her mother at Mrs. Francis's parents' home.
Leo received his silver pilot wings at Moody Field Army Air Force base on December 16th 1942. Just having turned 20, Leo was the youngest member of his class by 2 ½ years. A year later, Leo was receiving his 1st lieutenant bar at the 8th Air Force base in England. However, that was not the only award he received. Leo was awarded the Air Medal including its first Oak Leaf cluster for 5 especially spectacular bomber missions over enemy occupied Continental Europe.
While he had been overseas since July, he had gotten married to Hilda T. Rosner in Florida while receiving extra training for piloting a B-17 Flying Fortress. Mrs. Francis lived in Maywood with their young daughter Leslie when Leo was reported missing in action on April 29th, 1944. Only later would it be learned that his plane was shot down near Boddin, Germany 18 days earlier. Leo flew approximately 30 successful missions with the 336 AAF Bomb Squadron, 95th Bomb Group, Air Force before his sudden death. His remains were recovered and interred in Long Island National Cemetery in East Farmingdale New York on July 19th, 1949. He was awarded the Air Medal and four Oak Leaf Clusters.
- February 27,1942
- December 16, 1942
- November 23, 1943
- December 13, 1943
- March 3, 1944
- April 29, 1944
- Sole Plane Survivor Reported Dead - The Sunday Sun, November 4, 1945, p. 2
High School Yearbook
- 1930 United States Federal Census
- 1940 United States Federal Census
- U. S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946
- U. S. Veterans Gravesites, ca. 1775-2006
National World War II Memorial, Wash., D.C.
fold3.com (Historical Military Records)
Find A Grave Website