On December 24, 2010, the 3rd Bomb Group lost another of its rapidly diminishing veterans - Leo J. McMann. Leo was the Crew Chief of 8 Ball Esq., a B-25 of the 13th BS which crashed on December 20, 1942. Below you will find a link from Peter Dunn's Oz at War site concerning the crash and journey of Sgt. Leo McMann and Lt. George Schwartz to Cooktown, Australia. Any additional information concerning Leo or Lt. Schwartz or Charles Valvade would be appreciated as we try to remember and recognize the veterans that served with the 3rd Bomb Group.

Eight Ball Esq.

Also on that flight was Cpl. Charles Valvade - radio operator/gunner & tent mate of Jack Heyn, who shared these photos and information. 

MCMANN, Leo Joseph "Mac"

Aug. 24, 1922 - Dec. 24, 2010

A true American hero, Chief Master Sergeant USAF Retired, Leo McMann survived three airplane crashes, being lost in the jungles of Australia during World War II and injuries and illnesses that would have taken down a lesser man. He was a quiet hero, who never considered himself anything more than a patriotic American who did his duty for the country he dearly loved. A long time Rancho Cordova resident and avid sports fan, he was a familiar face at all Cordova High School sporting events and being a native of Taunton, Mass. he was an ever faithful Red Sox fan.

Leo is survived by his cherished wife of 57 years, Grace, and his five sons and their wives, Michael and Lisa, David and Sherida, Mark and Sheri, Jeffrey, John and Pamela, grandsons: David, Steven, Justin and Jacob and a multitude of loving friends. A sixth son, Patrick, passed away in infancy.

He was a compassionate and caring friend, the very first to offer help, always able to bring a glimmer of hope to a dark situation and a joke to lighten the load. He never met a stranger nor forgot a face or name. He was an unassuming man of great strengths who was loved by many and who will be deeply missed.

A memorial service will be held at The Sun River Church of Rancho Cordova, 11223 Trinity River Drive, Rancho Cordova on Friday January 14 at 11:00 am. In lieu of flowers, donations will be accepted to place a park bench at the Cordova High School ball park in Leo's honor.

Published in The Sacramento Bee on January 9, 2011