"It was a privilege to have worked with Leon when he conducted my film interview at the American Veterans Center, in WA DC. He has a very sincere approach and goes about his work diligently. In my many years of military service I have been interviewed countless times. Leon’s interviews were special in that they focused on my personal experiences. This is what he does in all his airmen interview. For me it was what I saw and experienced in Vietnam as a combat fighter pilot. And then how I articulated and applied those lessons to potentially save lives many years later when I was the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Many of my fellow airmen have worked with Leon. We all endorse his mission to preserve the history and legacy of our great Air Force and its men and women. Those who have served our great nation deserve no less."
- General Richard Myers CJCS USAF [Ret.]
"Leon DeLisle`s project to preserve a microcosm of the details of the aerial struggles between the Allies and their enemies of WWII is worthy and admirable. His sincere patriotic devotion t o the manner of preservation and presentation to the public stems from a lifelong association with pilots and things military and issues important to the security of our nation. I have known Leon DeLisle for 25 years. I know his efforts reflect dedicated patriotism."
- Col. James B. Morehead USAF [Ret.]
"Throughout history epochs have been defined by the emergence and dominance of new technology and its application to the battlefield. The Twentieth Century saw the emergence and growth in aviation for both peaceful and military purposes, however, beginning with World War II airpower changed the nature of war in a dramatic and lasting manner. The defining element in national power since has been airpower in its many forms. The Airman's Story project is a long overdue and welcome initiative to tell the story on the men and women who made all of this possible."
- General Ron Fogleman, USAF, Retired
"Leon Delisle is doing the world a great service with this excellent web-site. Time takes its inevitable toll, and we will lose the great lessons that our veterans paid for with their blood and their lives. The educational value of this site is so great that it should be included as a standard feature in military museums around the country."
- Col. Walter J. Boyne USAF [Ret.]
Combat veteran, aviation historian for over fifty books.
Published over one thousand magazine stories.
Former Director for the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, WA DC.
"I have been honored and humbled to be a part of this enormous project as it has grabbed my heart in a way that I am unable to clearly express. The fact that we are losing approximately 2,500 World War II Veterans a day has created an intense and urgent passion in me to help spread the heart touching words of this story. I hope this unfinished project touches your heart as well and motivates you to join in the “Right Fight to Fight!!” Our American Veterans throughout history will be honored by Mr. Leon DeLisle’s completed work in progress as The Airman’s Story will be told like no other. God Bless America as well as the past, present and future Military Members of our great Nation. Freedom has and never will be free."
- Rob Marr, Lt Col, AFRES 1988 USAFA Graduate F-111F Middle East Conflict
"Leon Delisle has thrown his whole-hearted passion and professional experience into the making of "An Airman's Story", ensuring that the personal legacies of our heroic airmen will influence generations to come."
- Christina Olds
"The work of Leon Delisle in an "An Airman's Story" is a monumental, historical work of vast significance to those of us who were fortunate enough to serve our nation in Air Force Blue.
I have been privileged to get to know Leon and become familiar with his work. He is totally dedicated to capturing the essence of the experiences of those who served and recording them for future generations. He is an indefatigable and selfless individual who has tasked himself against vast odds to produce an exceptionally important body of work. I urge all to give him complete support. I consider it an honor to participate."
-Brig. Gen. Robert F. "Earthquake" Titus, USAF (Ret)
"I am privileged to have had the opportunity to participate in such a Historic and Monumental Epic and Historic piece of America's History, the "An Airman's Story" by a my friend, Leon Delisle. Leon's and his staff's expertise are unparalleled in presenting the words and feelings of those who served this GREAT COUNTRY of OURS in the Air over hostile territories. You will feel their pain and agony for Those That Have Yet To Come Home, crying with them as you watch this powerful and moving story in their own words. GOD BLESS AMERICA and MAY THE SOUNDS OF FREEDOM PREVAIL."
- Bill Schwertfeger Lt. Col. USAF (Ret)
8th TFW, 433rd TFS, Wolf Fac 1969-1972
Former POW-Hanoi 16 Feb 72-28 Mar 73
"The Airman's Story Project is not important because a bunch of old men tell interesting war stories. To believe that is to miss the point. When you look at these octogenarians and listen to their experiences in World War II, you should say to yourself, the lives of each of those men - and the thousands, yes, millions of their comrades - were changed forever. In their interviews, there was not one word of complaint because the dreams of their youth, or their ambitions, loves, education, were put on hold so they could fight for their country and for everything it stood for. Those kids - and they were all young - inherently knew there was something bigger than themselves, and they were willing to disrupt their lives to protect what they held dear without ever having doubts about the efficacy of their purpose . They served because it was right and they were needed. That is why their stories are important. It is important that current and future generations fully understand the sacrifices that were made by their predecessors since 1776 so that their sons and daughters could continue to live in freedom. Those unselfish men and women of World War II, both in and out of uniform, fully understood the sacrifices that had been made by their forefathers so that future generations could enjoy liberty. It is not a cliché to say that "freedom isn't free," and that "eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." Those are lessons worthy of this project."
-Bill Getz, Lt. Col. USAF (Ret)
" Preserving history should be one of the priorities for every American citizen. We are running out of time to record the personal recollections of our World War II veterans as we are losing several thousand of them each week. Leon Delisle is one of those rare individuals that is willing to spend his time and money to get as much of our military history recorded as possible. I wish there were more like him. Over time, much of our history will become distorted and inaccurate, but with Leon's and a handful of other's efforts, we will be able to learn from those that were there and lived it. We must all realize that in documenting our history, there is no substitute for accuracy!! Keep up the great work Leon!!"
-Warren E. Thompson, Military Aviation Historian
- Henry Sakaida Military Aviation Historian
"I have known Leon Delisle for over twenty-five years. We first met formally during the highly acclaimed series of the "Wings of Victory" Air Shows in which he was the founder at the historic Hamilton Air Force Base. His passion for historical preservation of vintage aircraft and the personal legacies of the men and women who flew them was evident in the outstanding air shows. This is now clearly depicted with his historical documentary series entitled: "An Airman's Story."
At the conclusion of the air show series, Leon was invited to the home of General James H. "Jimmy" Doolittle USAF [Ret] where the genesis began with his mission of filming and preserving the legacies of our American heroes. These stories span the eras from: WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and the Gulf wars. I can personally attest that the interviews he has captured on film are riveting, and accurately depict the raw emotions of the heroes. Many of the subjects that were filmed have since passed away. There is a sense of urgency, and it is more important than ever their stories are preserved for all generations to witness."
- Capt. Robert N. Douglass USAF [Ret.] ADC F-89 F-101 - President, Douglass Financial
"I first met Leon several years ago and he told me about his project “An Airman’s Story.” I am glad to see by this website his dream is becoming a reality.
Having had the privilege to have collected and flown many of these great airplanes from World War Two, I have also had the privilege to have met many of the veterans that flew then. I think its great Leon has taken the time and effort to record these great stories, and in a way that would make them proud.
It is obvious to me Leon is as passionate about this project as I am with mine. It’s great to find your passion . . . better when you get to live it . . . and better yet when you can use it to touch the lives of others in a profound way!"
-Kermit Weeks Creator / Founder - Fantasy of Flight
"Leon Delisle has undertaken a monumental yet worthy cause in collecting, archiving and making available to everyone, the real history and experiences of individual warriors in America's wars. Unfortunately, so often we ignore history and find our country playing catch-up after it's too late. Leon is a tireless force and has made countless contributions towards remembering and honoring America's veterans. This comprehensive project will serve not only as a testament to our veterans, but a valuable historical resource for families, friends, students and historians as well. Let us hope everyone takes a look at 'An Airman's Story' and learns something to make our country stronger and better prepared. Remember Pearl Harbor, Keep America Alert."
-Colonel Mark C. B. Klunk, United States Army, [Ret]
Pearl Harbor Survivor Dec. 7th 1941 - West Point Graduate, Class of 1940
" Leon DeLisle and I first met, when as a flying participant during the 1987-88 "Wings Of Victory" event at the old Hamilton A.A.B. At that time, his devotion to aviation and veterans was quite apparent. My response to his effort of "An Airman"s Story"would reflect the earliest commitments by our Army Air Corp cadets. a pledge to defend the original intent of the U.S.Constitution. Our military service wasn't a matter of "putting in time" but a vow to defend those values for which so much has been sacrificed.
Currently , it is accepted to be politically correct. It takes the dedication of an individual such as Leon DeLisle, to search through those who were there, for the reality of the past. Having flown B29s in the Pacific Theatre from the earliest missions to the "display of power" over the USS MISSOURI on VJ Day, you come away with an exposure to the reality of armed conflict. Leon DeLisle's contacts reflect this in full measure.
During a combat reunion it has been my privilege to share a luncheon with General Curtis Lemay and the attendant conversation. At another function, with General Jimmy Doolittle as a guest speaker, it was noted one of the high points in his life, was standing on the deck of the USS MISSOURI when the peace treaty was signed ending WWll. I was introduced to him, and as we shook hands, I mentioned flying a B29 overhead in a "Display of Power" and his grip emphatically tightened. After all these years, the reminisance of those two moments has me misty eyed."
-Captain H.L.Peterson Pilot "God's Will"
Aircraft Commander "Lucky Leven" lst Squadron, 9th Bomb Group,
313th Wing, 21st Bomber Command, 20th Air Force.
"An Airman's Story" is a heartfelt tribute and a labor of love for which future generations should be forever grateful. Leon's personal crusade to obtain first-hand recollections from those who flew in WW II, Korea, and Vietnam is the sort of project that the U.S. armed forces should support unreservedly, as institutional memory can vanish at "the speed of heat." Joe Foss always said that he supported museums and veterans' projects because if a nation loses its history, it loses its soul. He was right. But thanks to "An Airman's Story," at least some of that soul is being preserved.
-Barrett Tillman - Historian-Author
"As an radio operator on Dec. 6th & 7th, 1941, at the Diamond Head Coast Guard Shore Station NMO I had finished the 8:00 PM to 2:00 AM watch and was in the sack sleeping when I was awakened by the rattling of the windows and the bed shaking, it was about 7:55 AM. My partner who just came off watch came charging into our bedroom to tell me that the destroyer Ward had attacked a Japanese Submarine at the mouth of the Pearl Harbor entrance. Since I was now fully awake I got up, put on a pair of pants and remarked to my partner Lesko, I hope that Sub wasn't one of ours! Just then I heard airplane engine and propeller noise, so I jumped up and dashed through the kitchen back door to see the planes which I thought would be part of some kind of war games! Just as I got out of the door they were passing by at about 500 feet above me heading towards the down town area of Honolulu, there were three of them, flying in formation at a speed of about 110 MPH. they were low wing monoplanes and I could see big round red insignia's on the under side of their wings, the canopy was a long plastic cover and it look like they carried at least three men. I ran back into the house an shouted to the Radio Chief, who was up and about, "I just saw three Army planes go by, I know they aren't Navy planes cause they have a white star with a red dot on their wings". We must be having another war games Sunday. That was my introduction into World War TWO!!"
- George C. Larsen RM/3C-U.S.C,G.
"I have been fortunate to have been a participant with Leon`s film anthology: An Airman`s Story. He interviewed my wife Ellie, and myself about my WWII experiences. Leon is doing a great service to America by taking the initiative to preserve the stories of the Pilots and crews from America`s wars. I was a B-29 waist gunner, our plane was called "Hump In Honey" tail # 42-6299. We were rammed by a Jap suicide fighter. Myself and one other crew member were blown clear of the Bomber. I became a POW. I was severely injured, I was put in solitary confinement for over 4 months without medical treatment. We were brutally treated, we were starved. In the winter months the ground was frozen. The bodies of the POWs were stacked up like cord wood by the Japs in plain view of all prisoners. We were liberated by the Russians when the war ended.
Freedom is not Free!! - Ask a POW! To this day I still have feelings of guilt, nine other crewmen died and I survived. Leon is to be commended! I support his mission."
- Walt Huss, C.B.I. 58th BW, 462nd BG 770th Sqdn. - WWII Jap POW Manchuria.
"I have known Leon Jr since the mid 1980s. I was present at several of his World War II theme; "Wings of Victory" air shows which he orchestrated at the old former Hamilton Air Force Base [Hamilton Field] in Marin County, California. During the war, I enlisted at Hamilton Field in the USAAF. By chance, I was in the same Air Force Bomb Group as his father Leon Sr. I was on the way to the Mess Hall on day when I met his father returning from Mess Hall, and we talked for several moments, he was a classmate of mine from San Rafael High School 1943. Those were very memorable times back then. I do not know how many combat missions his father flew, but I did fly 26 over Nazi Germany.
Leon is to be congratulated for his dedicated efforts to preserve the history for future generations. His work will perpetuate the legacies of our service and sacrifices for many of the WWII veterans who served in aviation."
-Richard A. Bettencourt USAAF - Flight Officer / Navigator
8th Air Force 381st Bomb Group 532nd Bomb Squadron Ridgewell England WWII
"In Triumph We Fly"
"The price of Greatness is Responsibility"
-Winston S. Churchill