Conner, Leon Stevens, LTJG

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Lieutenant Junior Grade
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1944-1944, 131X, USS Natoma Bay (CVE-62)
Service Years
1942 - 1944
Lieutenant Junior Grade
Lieutenant Junior Grade

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Michael D. Withers (Mike), OSCS to remember Conner, Leon Stevens, LTJG.

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Enterprise, AL
Last Address
1014 S Linden Ave
Highland Park, Illinois
(Wife~Mary Frances Conner)

Casualty Date
Oct 25, 1944
Hostile-Body Not Recovered
Air Loss, Crash - Sea
Pacific Ocean
World War II
Location of Interment
Manila American Cemetery - Taguig City, Philippines
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Wall of the Missing (Cenotaph)

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
WW II Memorial National RegistryThe National Gold Star Family RegistryWorld War II FallenUnited States Navy Memorial
  2013, WW II Memorial National Registry
  2013, The National Gold Star Family Registry
  2013, World War II Fallen [Verified]
  2013, United States Navy Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar
Naval Aviator Wings

 Duty Stations/ Advancement Schools
VB-81 Hell RazorsUS Navy
  1943-1944, 131X, VB-81 Hell Razors
  1944-1944, 131X, USS Natoma Bay (CVE-62)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1944-1944 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Bismarck Archipelago Operation
  1944-1944 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/New Guinea Campaign (1943-44)
  1944-1944 Mariana and Palau Islands Campaign (1944)/Battle of Saipan
  1944-1944 Leyte Campaign (1944)/Battle of Leyte Gulf
 Colleges Attended 
Auburn University
  1938-1942, Auburn University1
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Memorial Headstone in Tuskegee City Cemetery, Tuskegee, AL1
  Feb 16, 1942, Registered for the Draft 1
  Apr 16, 1942, Service Entry Date
  Mar 16, 1943, Commissioned Ensign and Officer Serial Number 0-251429
  Aug 07, 2013, General Photos
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Batte of Leyete Gulf 

About 9:45 AM Ltjg Conner made a bombing run on a battleship but did not drop as the ship turned too sharply. The flak from the Japanese force was heavy, Conner made a second run and hits a cruiser. Clear of the flak Ltjg Conner is contacted by Torpedo Avenger Pilot and ask Conner to go in ahead of him and strafe and Ltjg Conner agrees. The two young pilots turn back, Conner making his third run into flak. 
With his two machines gun pitted against the anti-aircraft batteries of the Jap, Conner lead the unknown young Torpedo Avenger pilot with his precious torpedo to the attack. The Torpedo went home into the belly of the Japanese Cruiser. The Avenger is hit and in flames as it hit the sea and disappears. 

About 1500 hours Lt conner was launched as part of 6th Strike. On this strike, he dropped his bombs on his first run and made a second run to discharge rockets and was not see again. 


Name of Award
Navy Cross
Year Awarded
Details behind Award:
Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant, Junior Grade Leon Stevens Conner (NSN: 0-251429), United States Naval Reserve, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Bomber in in Composite Squadron EIGHTY-ONE (VC-81), attached to the U.S.S. NATOMA BAY (CVE-62), while engaging a strong enemy Japanese Fleet in the Battle of Samar Island off the east coast of the Philippine Islands on 25 October 1944. In the face of withering anti-aircraft fire from the hostile warships, Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Conner pressed home his attack, scoring a direct bomb hit on a Japanese battleship, a near miss on a heavy cruiser, aided in a direct hit on another heavy cruiser and straddled a light cruiser with his bombs. His attack came at a time when enemy shell fire was inflicting heavy damage on our escort carriers. His personal heroism and devotion to duty contributed to the saving of our ships from further serious damage and his conduct throughout the attack was in keeping with the highest traditions of the Navy of the United States. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

General Orders: Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin No. 345 (December 1945)
Action Date: October 25, 1944
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Junior Grade
Air Squadron: Composite Squadron 81 (VC-81)
Ship: U.S.S. Natoma Bay (CVE-62)

Name of Award
Distinguished Flying Cross
Year Awarded
Details behind Award:
Awarded for actions during the World War II

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Lieutenant, Junior Grade Leon Stevens Conner (NSN: 0-251429), United States Navy, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight during World War II.

General Orders: American Battle Monuments Commission
Action Date: World War II
Service: Navy
Rank: Lieutenant Junior Grade
Air Squadron: Composite Squadron 81 (VC-81)
Ship: U.S.S. Natoma Bay (CVE-62)
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