Lt.Col. LeRoy L.


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Lt.Col. LeRoy L. Bryant

Feb 03 1921 - Oct 21 2004

LeRoy L. Bryant was born in Shreveport, LA on February 3, 1921. He moved to Dallas, attended Arcadia Park Grade School and graduated from Sunset High School. After Pearl Harbor, he dropped out of Baylor University to attend the Army Air Corp’s Officer Candidate School. On November 10, 1942, the day he received his wings, he married Marion Imogen Miller, his high school sweetheart. Now married and a lieutenant, the young pilot flew his C-46 to Africa and began three years of intense air missions against the Axis powers. In the invasion of Sicily, he was accidentally shot down by the US Navy. Though his plane was destroyed he was able to coax it back to Africa thus saving his own life and the lives of his crew. Outfitted with a new plane, he flew the invasions of Pantellaria and Italy before being assigned to England and the invasion of Europe. On D-Day he was high over Omaha Beach loaded with paratroopers for mission after mission. For the next two years he supplied Patton’s Red Ball Express with fuel as “Old Blood and Guts” raced across northern Europe toward Berlin. Landing only at night in fields hastily cleared by Patton’s rear guard, the young pilot delivered hundreds of 55 gallon barrels of fuel under the harshest of circumstances. The Battle of the Bulge further tested the skills and nerves of his crew as they delivered much needed supplies to the surrounded US troops on the ground. When the war was over he was sent to Dachau to evacuate the prisoners and thus began Lt. Col. Bryant’s peacetime activities with the Air Force. As a distinguished pilot, he was tapped for advancement and attended many Air Force Staff and Command Colleges while serving as an instructor for French aviators. The Korean War found Lt. Col. Bryant opening up Mariensat AFB in Arizona to expand America’s pilot ranks, but as the war progressed and the need for experienced pilots increased, he was assigned as an Operations Officer in that theater. Peacetime found Lt. Col. Bryant teaching Army Officers about guided missile systems at Ft. Bliss, Texas, and then assignments in the Space Systems Division in Los Angeles and Norton AFB. It was during this period that he came home one afternoon, collected his flight gear and secretly left his wife and daughter for a fateful thirteen days in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba—an episode that would later be called the Cuban Missile Crisis. He retired after 22 years of service as a holder of eight Air Medals, the French Brivet Militaire, four Presidential citations, and numerous certificates, military awards and ribbons. Lt. Col Bryant’s next career was with Hughes Aircraft guiding and developing management systems within that company until he retired a second time in 1988. He died peacefully in Los Angeles, on October 21, 2004. He is survived by his wife of sixty-two years, Marion Miller Bryant, his daughter, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Susan Bryant-Deason and his two grandchildren, Jonathan Deason and Stephen Deason. Funeral services will be held at Pecan Grove Memorial Park in McKinney, Texas, on Wednesday, October 27, 2004, at 11:00 a.m. Lt. Col. Bryant will be buried with Military Honors. The family will receive friends for visitation prior to the service from 9:30-10:30 a.m., Wednesday at Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow Funeral Home. Lt. Col. Bryant donated his brain to the National Human Neural Stem Cell Resource program as part of ongoing research into the cause and cure of the genetic disorder, Fragile X Syndrome. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to UC Regents/ MIND Institute and designate “In Honor of LeRoy L. Bryant for Fragile X Syndrome”, and send to Ms. Louise Gane, Development Officer, MIND Institute/Fragile X, UC Davis, 2825 50th Street, Sacramento, CA 95817.
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