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Name: 1LT Theodore Richard Leighton
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 01/27/1970 while performing the duty of Pilot.
Age at death: 24.3
Date of Birth: 10/14/1945
Home City: East Lansing, MI
Service: FA branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 235 AVN, 164 CAG
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Flight class: 69-34
Service: FA branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 14W-072
Short Summary: Flew into the ground on a gun run at night with pilot WO1 Wesley W. Carroll III.
Aircraft: AH-1G tail number 68-17039
Call sign: VIPER
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 1981 = 19 Rotary Wing Aviator (Unit Commander)
Primary cause: A/C Accident
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: unknown
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: door gunner
Started Tour: 01/12/1970
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - other aircrew
Length of service: 01
Location: An Xugen Province IV Corps.

Additional information about this casualty:
Teddy "Skip" Leighton was one of my very best friends. For the record that 1-27-1970 night was his very first flight. Skip and I graduated college (Michigan State) in 1968. He had a military wedding that summer. I was in his "arch of steel". We had gone to basic together the summer before. I followed a month after him to Artillery School and then flight school. He graduated flight school just before me, but went on the "gun school". So we both arrived in Vietnam within weeks of each other. Skip was well liked and a "born officer" who once had a West Point opportunity until a minor finger injury kept him out. The irony was that he saw only one night of combat. I don't know how well his comrades from the 235th got to know him, but if they had any time to serve with him and get to know him, they would have found him a "stand up" guy! Posted 37 years later by "just" one of his "many" best friends, From: Captain Frederick W. Miller II, 335th AHC

Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Non-hostile - died of other causes
married male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Religion: Episcopal (Anglican)
The following information secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: non-battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: officer
This record was last updated on 06/11/2002

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Date posted on this site: 11/13/2023

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