MVH Augusta Veteran of the Month – Leo Small
Leo Rhoades Small was born July 16, 1923, in Litchfield, Maine. He was the fifth child of Genevieve and Delmar Small. Delmar was a farmer and Genevieve kept busy chasing after her children, Chester, Grandville, Freda, Hilda and Leo.
At 19 years old, Leo went into the Army Air Corps, with the goal of flying planes. He was sent to Fort Dix, New Jersey, then from there he went to Atlantic City for basic training. Leo was stationed in the Philippines during WWII, waiting to be sent into battle and learning to fly twin engine planes. One of the times he was flying they radioed in for them to land the plane, and as they landed only one brake was working. Leo prepared himself, and tried to stay on the runway without going off the side. He used the whole runway to make the stop, and still went over.
In 1949, Leo married his lovely wife, Frances Eaton. They had three sons, Malcolm, Clifton, and Timothy. Leo built his family a house in West Gardiner in the 1970’s. Leo and Fran loved being together, motorcycling, boating and hunting. Leo and Fran were married for 63 beautiful years until Fran’s passing after a long battle of Parkinson’s disease. Leo is a resident at our Augusta Home.
Thank you, Leo, for your service to our nation!
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