“The flight was the climax of a lifelong dream.”
Pvt. Harold Lesane, 18, of Philadelphia, was one of 11 children. The son of Mrs. Mabel Lesane, also of Philadelphia, he quit school in March of 1962 in order to join the Army Paratroopers. He died in the North Atlantic just six months later, the night of Flying Tiger 923, September 23, 1962.
According to his brother, James, then 25, “the Flying Tiger flight was the climax of a lifelong dream of Hal’s”
“Hal always wanted to be a combat paratrooper and he always wanted to serve in the Germany,” James said. Pvt. Lesane was on his way that day.
In addition to the fulfillment of his dream, Lesane was looking forward to a reunion with another brother, Henry, 20. Henry was an Army infantryman, who was then stationed in Germany. It was a reunion that would never come to pass.
Lesane was one of at least three Pennsylvanians who died that night. Others reported killed were Pvt. John E Brown, 20, of Pittsburgh, and Army Major John Devlin, 42, and his wife, Naomi, 33, also of Philadelphia. Major Devlin and his wife were on their way to Spain for a vacation. Mrs. Devlin was reported only as missing at the time of the major’s reported death. However, she was soon listed as “presumed dead.”
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