HERR, LeRoy M. (1920-1945), Lieutenant, U.S. Army killed in a jet crash at Santa Catalina Island on September 25, 1945. Killed with him was Edwin O. Hoell. Herr was born on June 9, 1920, to Marmiem and Albert Herr near Butler, South Dakota. He attended Plainview Country School and later graduated from Marietta High School located in Marietta, Minnesota. After graduating in 1938, he attended Luther College, Decora, Iowa, and graduated from Northern Normal School. For one year after that, he taught school in Selby, South Dakota.
On June 10, 1942, LeRoy enlisted in the US Naval Air Force. He was trained at Wold-Chamberlain Airfield, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and in Corpus Christi, Texas. On December 31, 1944, he was wed to Virginia Byers. On December 12, 1945, after LeRoy’s death, Virginia gave birth to their daughter, Royalee.
After training, Lieutenant Herr served thirty-eight months as a pilot, eighteen of which were in the South Pacific, Fiji Islands. While flying over the Catalina Island on September 26, 1945, he was killed in an airplane crash. LeRoy had a mere twelve hours of flight time left to serve before being discharged from the Navy.
LeRoy Herr was the third son of Marmiem and Albert Herr to die within a two and a half year time span in service for their country. He is buried in Bethany Cemetery, Day County, South Dakota.
In the News~
September 27, 1955 [LBI (Remember When)]: “1945. Two Long beach Navy fliers were listed as missing in the Ventura bomber airplane crash over Catalina Island, Lt. (jg) LeRoy M. Herr and Edwin O. Hoell, AMM--2c.”