Lt. Thomas R. Lehe - Heavy Mortar Co., 1952-53 (Deceased 12/11/1983)
Thomas Ralph Lehe
Our father married our mother Nina Arana, a native of Puerto Rico in 1947, and they had six children, three boys and three girls, all of whom are alive. Our mother passed away in 2006.
He joined the Army at the request of a Colonel with the 65th in PR before moving from PR sometime in 1950. He was assigned to various stations in the states prior to his Korean War service. I believe he served with the 65th during the entire year of 1952. He once told me his final leave before Korea was during the 1951 Christmas season. I was born nine months later on September 28, 1952, and recall his story of learning of my birth five days later by a telegram. My family was then living in military quarters at the Edgewood Army Arsenal in Maryland, and I was born in the nearby Army hospital at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds. He must have returned from Korea in December 1952 or January 1953. While in Korea, he was assigned to a mortar company or was leader of a mortar platoon. I have 20-30 color slides that I can have reproduced and sent you.
After Korea, he served as a recruiting officer in New York. He was finally discharged from the Reserves as a captain around 1956-1957. He had a total of 12 years military service. Prior to the Army, he served in WWII as a Navy medic assigned to the USMC and was in heavy military combat in the Solomon Islands. He enlisted the day after Pearl Harbor, December 8, 1941, and was discharged about three years later. Afterwards, he moved to San Juan, where he married my mother. Prior to the Navy, he served in the USMC for three years before WWII.
He earned the Silver Star and Purple Heart in WWII. I requested military records to explain these citations, but was informed that all his records were burned in a warehouse fire.
He passed away in the Tampa, FL, VA Hospital on December 11, 1983. He was born in Mahanoy City, PA, on June 29, 1919 and raised there.
Our family appreciates the documentation that you are creating.
Jim Lehe (son of Thomas Ralph Lehe)
Homewood, AL 35209
Thomas R. Lehe was platoon leader of First Platoon, Heavy Mortar Company, 65th Inf. Regt. 1952-53