Max Leslie


Max Leslie
Maxwell Franklin Leslie
LCDR Max Leslie USN April 1942.jpg
Maxwell F. Leslie in April 1942
Born October 24, 1902(1902-10-24)
Seattle, Washington
Died September 26, 1985(1985-09-26) (aged 82)
San Diego, California
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1926–1956
Rank Rear Admiral
Commands held VB-3
Carrier Air Wing 3
Battles/wars

World War II

Awards Navy Cross
Bronze Star
Presidential Unit Citation

Maxwell Franklin Leslie (1902 – 1985) was a naval aviator in the United States Navy during World War II. He is credited with playing a major part in the Battle of Midway.

Leslie attended the University of Washington before entering the U.S. Naval Academy in 1922. He was commissioned Ensign in 1926, received flight training at Naval Air Station Pensacola in 1929 and was designated Naval Aviator in 1930. When the U.S. entered World War II, he was executive officer of VB-3 aboard USS Saratoga. He later commanded Bombing 3, operating off USS Yorktown during Midway. He also flew with his squadron off USS Enterprise, while escorting USS Hornet on the Doolittle Raid.

Battle of Midway

Lt Cmdr Maxwell Leslie successfully ditching due to lack of fuel, 13:48, 4 Jun 1942

Following the Japanese destroyer Arashi that had been counterattacking USS Nautilus, Leslie and Lieutenant Commander Wade McClusky, from Enterprise, managed to arrive above the Japanese task force at the precise moment its combat air patrol had been drawn down to the deck to repel Yorktown's torpedo bombers, and at the moment of the First Air Fleet's maximum vulnerability. With Zeros too low to be effective, the Dauntlesses poured down through the miraculously open sky to unload their bombs on the Japanese carriers, their hangar decks cluttered with confused ranks of recovered and warming-up aircraft, snaking fuel hoses, and stacks of munitions from the various rearmament operations.

In just five minutes, Enterprise's Scouting Six and Bombing Six destroyed two Japanese fleet carriers. Kaga was abandoned at 1700 and sank at 1925. Akagi was abandoned just after Kaga went down, and was scuttled before dawn June 5. Attacking nearly simultaneously with McClusky's SBDs,Yorktown's Bombing Three, led by Leslie, inflicted heavy damage on Sōryū, and she also sank that evening. After successfully attacking Sōryū Leslie and his wingman Lt(jg) P.A. Holmberg ditched near USS Astoria due to fuel exhaustion, after their parent carrier Yorktown was under attack by Japanese planes when they returned. Leslie, Holmberg, and their gunners were rescued by one of the cruiser's whaleboats.

A single carrier, Hiryū, which was ten miles to the north of the other three carriers, escaped damage the morning of June 4, but was sunk on June 5. For heroism at the battle, Leslie was awarded the Navy Cross.

Later career

Leslie continued to serve overseas during World War II, and after the war spent the rest of his career in various ships and shore stations. He retired in 1956. In addition to the Navy Cross, he was presented the Bronze Star Medal with combat "V" and the Commendation Ribbon, the Presidential Unit Citation to Enterprise, American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal and the National Defense Service Medal. Leslie died 26 Sept 1985 in San Diego, California.

In popular culture

Leslie was depicted by Monte Markham in the 1976 film Midway.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Max Holden (One Life to Live) — Max Holden One Life to Live Portrayed by James DePaiva Nicholas Walker Duration 1987 2003, 2007 First appearance January 6, 1987 Last appearance August 20, 2007 Cause/reason Left Town Created  …   Wikipedia

  • Leslie Mahaffy — Leslie Erin Mahaffy (July 5, 1976 ndash; June 16, 1991) was a young female resident of Burlington, Ontario, Canada who was murdered by serial killers Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka. [cite news|author=Jenish, D Arcy title=Horror stories date=1995 …   Wikipedia

  • Max Allan Collins — in 2002, at Comic Con International. Born March 3, 1948 (1948 03 03) (age 63) Pen name …   Wikipedia

  • Leslie Easterbrook — 2006 Leslie Easterbrook (* 29. Juli 1949 in Los Angeles, Kalifornien, USA) ist eine amerikanische Schauspielerin. Leben Sie wurde von einer Familie im ländlichen Nebraska adoptiert und wuchs dort auf. Ihr Vater war Professor für Gesang und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Max Decugis — playing at the Margitsziget court in Budapest, Hungary in 1908 Full name Maxime Omer Decugis Country …   Wikipedia

  • Max la menace (film) —  Pour la série télévisée des années 60, voir Max la Menace. Max la Menace Titre original Get Smart Réalisation Peter Segal Acteurs principaux Steve Carell …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Max Woosnam — Personal information Full name Maxwell Woosnam Dat …   Wikipedia

  • Max Schmitt in a Single Scull — Artist Thomas Eakins Year 1871 Type Oil on canvas Dimensions 82.6 cm × 117.5 cm (32½ in × 46¼ in) …   Wikipedia

  • Max Wickert — (born May 26, 1938, Augsburg, Germany) is an American teacher, poet, translator and publisher. He is presently Professor of English Emeritus on the English Department of University at Buffalo[1] Contents 1 Personal life 2 Professional life 3 …   Wikipedia

  • Max M. Teitelbaum — Max Mortimer Teitelbaum Deputy Judge of the Federal Court of Canada Incumbent Assumed office January 29, 2007 Personal details Born January 27, 1932 (1932 01 27) …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.