It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that the family of Richard Douglas LeDoux, Sr., Lt. Col., USAF (Retired) announces his passing on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at Eunice Manor at the age of 88. A Celebration of Life will be celebrated at 1:00 pm on Tuesday, May 01, 2018 at Ardoin's Funeral Home in Eunice.
Burial will follow in the LeDoux Cemetery with Deacon Gary Gaudin.
Born December 17, 1929, Chanute Field, Rantoul, Illinois, to Staff Sergeant Francis LeDoux and Pearl T. LeDoux. Because his father was a career military man Richard grew up moving to his father's duty stations at Nicols Field, Philippine Islands; Kelly Field, San Antoinio, Texas; Post Field, Fort Sill, Oklahoma and Mitchell Field, Hempstead, Long Island, New York.
On December 12, 1941, five days short of his twelfth birthday, he left New York by train for his parent's home town of Eunice, Louisiana, where he lived for the next eleven years. He graduated from Eunice High School in 1948 and Southwestern Louisiana Institute in 1952 with a BS Degree and as a Distinguished Military Graduate with a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force.
He married Bertha Lee "Teadie" Manuel on February 15, 1952 and together they went to his first duty station which was Air Force Pilot Training at Kinston Air Base, North Carolina. Their first daughter Jeanne Denise, was born at Marine Corps Camp LeJeune, North Carolina, on December 10, 1952. They next went to Greenville Air Force Base, Mississippi for his second six months of pilot training and then to Gary Air Force Base, San Marcos, Texas where he completed the Air Force Helicopter Pilot School. Then he went on to Korea as a rescue pilot. While he was in Korea their second daughter, Suzanne Angelique, was born on August 02, 1954. Upon his return from Korea, he attended the Aircraft Maintenance Officer's school at Chanute AFB, Rantoul, Illinois, and graduated with a Flight Test Maintenance Officer's specialty.
Next he and Bertha and by now their two daughters were stationed at Sewart AFB, Tennesse where he was first assigned to a Helicopter and then a C-130 squadron. While at Sewart AFB, Richard, Junior was born on April 20, 1959, shortly after his birth Richard, Sr. and his family were transferred to Japan for a three year tour. By the time Richard, Sr. had been in the Air Force for twenty years, he had served six and a half years overseas in the Far East and Southeast Asia in the countries of Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia and Viet Nam. The last five years of his time in the Air Force was spent in Southern California overseeing flight testing and development of the "Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Program" for the Air Force.
In addition to his BS degree from SLI and a year and half in pilot training and helicopter training, while in the service he also completed a year-long Aircraft Maintenance Officer School, Squadron Officer's School, The Industrial College of The Armed Forces and while preparing for his dissertation for his Master's degree in Political Science was sent to Thailand as a helicopter instructor rendering him a thesis short of a Master's Degree.
After retiring from the Air Force, Richard, Sr. became "Jack of all Trades" giving flight instructions to fledgling flight students, aerial application ("crop dusting"), teaching at LSUE, managing the grounds and stables of quarter horse race track, repairing small tools and electrical and pneumatic equipment and advising the city administrators on disaster preparedness. However his greatest passion was for organizing and overseeing a rural water system that encompassed a one hundred and forty square mile area.
He is survived by his three children, Jeanne Gray, Suzanne Mumphrey and husband, Scott and Dik LeDoux and wife Debi; six grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Bertha Lee "Teadie" Manuel LeDoux and his son-in-law, Daniel Gray.
At the request of the family, visitation will be held at Ardoin's Funeral Home in Eunice on Tuesday, May 01, 2018 from 10:00 am until time of services.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Veteran's Association, Wounded Warriors or any service organization that benefits veterans.
1952 (fall): Active duty at Stallings Air Base in Kinston, NC
1953 (Dec): Helicopter Pilot rraining, Gary AFB, San Marcos, TX
1954: Korea, then the Artic Circle flying a helicopter in support of survey crews who were doing the locating of sites for the construction of DEW (Distant Early Warning radar sites) line locations. Upon his return he supported the 82nd Airborne and re-supplying radio relay sites in the southeastern states.
Fort Churchill in Manitoba working on the Mid-Canadian Early Warning Radar line for three months.
Aircraft Maintenance Officer's school, Chanute AFB, Rantoul, IL (a year long course)
Sewart AFB, Smyrna, TN
Maintenance Officer for a C-130 squadron
1960: C-130 squadron, Japan
1963: Sewart AFB, Smyrna, TN
1965 (six months): Instruct young Thai Air Force officers in helicopters.
Point Mugu Naval Air Station near Oxnard, California. Flight testing on the drone program, aka Unmanned Aerial Vehicle program. (18 months)
Ryan Aircraft plant, San Diego, CA.
1971: Korea (1 yr)
1972: England, AFB, Alexandria. Special assistant to the base commander.
In his 20 years of service, Dick served 6.5 years in the Far East and Southeast Asia and was otherwise away from home and family two-thirds of the time.