Leonor, Leonardo Capistran, Maj

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
1551C-Weapon Systems Officer
Last AFSC Group
Weapons and Munitions
Primary Unit
1971-1972, 432nd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing
Service Years
1965 - 1972
Foreign Language(s)

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home Country
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSgt John Paul Jones, Sr. (JJ) to remember Leonor, Leonardo Capistran, Maj.

If you knew or served with this Airman and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Astoria, NY
Last Address
Udorn RTAFB, Thailand

Casualty Date
Oct 10, 1972
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Vietnam, North (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
01W 081

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 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  2012, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

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Navigator Observer (basic)

 Unit Assignments
405th Fighter Wing523rd Tactical Fighter Squadron - Crusaders432nd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing
  1970-1971, 405th Fighter Wing
  1971-1972, 523rd Tactical Fighter Squadron - Crusaders
  1971-1972, 432nd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1965-1973 Vietnam War1
  1965-1973 Operation Tiger Hound
  1972-1972 Vietnam Cease-fire Campaign (1972-73)/Operation Linebacker I
  1994-1994 Operation Southern Watch (Iraq)
 My Aircraft/Missiles
F-4 Phantom  
  1971-1972, F-4 Phantom
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Captains Peter M Cleary and Leonardo "Lenny" C. Leonor, Weapon Systems Operator departed Udron Royal Thai Air Force Base in an F-4E Phantom, tail number67-0254 on a "Laredo Fast FAC" Mission to direct strikes against targets in Quang Binh Province, North Vietnam. Upon completion of their mission, Cleary and Leonor reported to the airborne Command Post (Hillsboro) that the mission was complete and they were "QSY" switching frequencies and "RTB" returning to base.

They were tracked crossing the North Vietnamese coast in the Quang Binh Province about 5 miles south of the city of Ron, but disappeared from Hillsboro's radar.  Capt. Cleary and Capt. Leonor were best friends !  Pete Cleary called Capt' Leonor "Lenny-Lenny". and ask him if he would be his WSO on his last mission. Lenny agreed but completed his last mission before Pete and had rotated back home to Clark AB before returning to Udron  on his own time to be Pete's back seater on this his last mission. Anything for his buddy!

The Air force searched for the crew for two days but found nothing.. The Secretary of the Air Force eventually approved Presumptive Finding of Death for the two men, Major Leonor on 20 July 78. In the early 90's the joint US/Vietnam task recovered airplane parts identified as 67-0254 and human remains..

 Major Leonor's  remains were repatriated on 7 Oct. 1994. Positive identification on 25 Feb. 2002.  Some of Lenny's remains were buried in the Philippines. The crash investigation determined that the aircraft had impacted the mountain at such a great speed the crew died immediately. 


                  Profile in Process...More to Come!

Lenny's Mass Card and Biography

This is Lenny's mass card provided by Lenny's family on the occasion of his burial at Arlinton National Cemetery on May 24, 2002...

Major Leonardo Capistrano Leonor was born in Manila, Phillppines and was raised on Long Island, New York. He graduated from ST. Agnes High School and New York University. His father is Jose A Leonor who served in the U.S. Army in Europe during WWll. His mother is Clotilde Capistrano Leonor was was a devot Catholic and mother.
His family and friends descride him as kind,compassionate, helpful, generous, patient, joyful, fun loving ans courageous. He was a man for others. He enjoyed bowling and drag racing, winning trophies in both sports. 
In the United States Air Force, Major Leonor distinguished himself through his professional competence, aerial skill and devotion to duty. On 27 June 1972 while participating in an aerial mission as an F-4D Weapons System Officer, he penetrated a heavily defended area in North Vietnam to locate several downed air crew members and directed rescue forces. He drew enemy fire to himself, and away from the rescue forces, resulting in the success of the mission. For this act of bravery, he received the Distingushed Flying Cross. He received two other DFC's for outstanding heroism and aerial skill on 4 October 1972 and 5 October 1972. 
He also received the Air Medal (First through thirteenth Oak Leaf Cluster) for the successful accomplishment of important missions under extremely hazardous conditions  10 Feb. 1972 to 10 Oct. 1972. He received a second Air Medal on 19 Apr. 1972 and a third (Fifteenth Oak Leaf Cluster) for contributing to and the  protection of all friendly aircraft and for success of his mission.
Posted by Tom Cleary, brother of Col. Pete Cleary.

A Wingman, Capt. Jerry Gipson, 523rd TFS wrote:

 Dear Lenny,

You were my assigned backseater in the 523rd at Udron. Even though we didn't fly many missions together, your skill and professionalism always had a calming effect. You were as well known for humerous events that you caused as for your skill and professionalism. One of the most humerous events occured after you went missing in trying to decide what to do with the stuff you had accumulated in your BOQ room. Such items as the AK-47's etc. but the biggest dilema was what to do with the wild ocelot you had tamed. It was finally decided to donate it to the Jungle Survival School at Clark. The Flight Surgeon sedated the cat, and a back-seater volunteered to carry the cat on his lap back to Clark, with one stipulation....If the cat woke up, first the canopy would go, then the cat!!  But all made it safely back to Clark. 
The day you went missing with Pete Cleary, you had agreed to be his back-seater on his last mission, we waited for you guys to return, We are still waiting......Godspeed

The following link is from JPAC, it contains photo's of Maj. Leonor' effects recovered at the crash site in 1994. Click on the Link:


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