In My Father's Footsteps
John Carlton "Jack" Leslie was a member of the "Greatest Generation," having enlisted in the US Navy the day following his eighteenth birthday on the Fourth of July 1942. He served in the USS Bennington for the closing months of the war against Japan as a pilot in Torpedo Squadron One (VT-1). Following the war he became a "Duster Pilot" in the central valley of California for most of the following forty years. Jack's son, John Junior, followed his father in the service of country when he began active duty in the US Navy on the Fourth of July 1967, twenty-five years to the day from Jack's enlistment. John served in the USS Enterprise in the war against North Vietnam as a pilot in Light Attack Squadron Nine Seven (VA-97). His twenty-one years as a naval officer were followed by eighteen years as an experimental test pilot with the Grumman and Northrop Grumman Corporations. This book is more than their individual stories of going to war and flying airplanes; it is a thread through the fabric of our nation's history from the arrival of the Puritans during The Great Migration of the early 1600s, through the westward expansion and early growth of the United States, to recent times. It is a story of a loving family formed by a chance meeting of two people during wartime. This is their story.