Boelens, Leo Arthur, 2nd Lt

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Last Rank
Second Lieutenant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 4823-Aircraft Engineering Officer
Last AFSC Group
Air Crew (Officer)
Primary Unit
1942-1943, POW Japan
Service Years
1940 - 1944
USAAFOfficer Collar Insignia
Second Lieutenant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
South Dakota
South Dakota
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSgt Robert Bruce McClelland, Jr. to remember Boelens, Leo Arthur, 2nd Lt.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Basin, Wyoming
Last Address

Casualty Date
Jan 22, 1944
Hostile, Died
Gun, Small Arms Fire
World War II
Location of Interment
Manila American Cemetery - Taguig City, Philippines
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Plot F Row 2 Grave 97

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 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
World War II Fallen
  2014, World War II Fallen

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 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
POW Japan
  1942-1943, POW Japan
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1942 World War II/Asian-Pacific Theater/Philippine Islands Campaign (1941-42)
  1942-1944 World War II/Asian-Pacific Theater
 Colleges Attended 
University of Wyoming
  1937-1940, University of Wyoming
 My Aircraft/Missiles
P-35 Seversky  P-40 Warhawk/Kittyhawk  
  1941-1942, P-35 Seversky
  1941-1942, P-40 Warhawk/Kittyhawk
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Not Specified
Synopsis of his DSC citation:
Awarded for actions during World War II
(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: First Lieutenant (Air Corps) Leo A. Boelens (ASN: 0-426888), United States Army Air Forces, was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) for extraordinary heroism in action while serving with the Philippine Guerilla Forces during the period from 4 April 1943 through 22 January 1944, in the Philippine Islands. Captured by the Japanese and held as a Prisoner of War, First Lieutenant Boelens was one of ten men including two Naval Officers, three Air Corps Officers, and two Marine Corps Officers who escaped after nearly a year in captivity following the fall of Bataan and Corregidor. The ten men evaded their captors for days until making contact with Filipino Guerillas under Wendell Fertig. Lieutenant Boelens continued to serve with the guerrilla forces until his death on 22 January 1944. This escape was the only mass escape from a Japanese prison camp during the war. The personal courage and zealous devotion to duty displayed by First Lieutenant Boelens throughout this period have upheld the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the Prisoner of War, and the United States Army Air Forces.
General Orders: Headquarters, U.S. Army Forces in the Far East, General Orders No. 22 (1944)

Action Date: April 4, 1943 - January 22, 1944

Service: Army Air Forces

Rank: First Lieutenant

Company: 21st Pursuit Squadron

Regiment: 24th Pursuit Group

Division: Prisoner of War

Enlistment record
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