Historic Hood River
Leroy Winston Childs
Today we honor Leroy Winston Childs. Notes indicate he served as an Ensign in the US Navy in World War II. He was killed in action in the Solomon Islands on May 6, 1943. Please add any information you have about Ensign Childs, or anyone else you would like to remember this Memorial Day.
Category: Downtown Hood River
Tags: Childs, Memorial Day, World War II
Tags: Childs, Memorial Day, World War II
“During a strike on Munda ENS Childâ€™s aircraft dropped behind the formation, its engine smoking badly. The F4F splashed down North of Rendova Hook, and although VF-11 pilot Bob Maxwell talked to natives who saw a parachute that day, only Childâ€™s seat cushion was found.”
I will mention that for Klickitat County, the American Legion Louis Leidl Post #116 is named for Louis Leidl who grew up on a ranch where the Glenwood-Goldendale road crosses the Klickitat River.
He was killed in action October 1918 in France, where he is buried. His parents were informed he had been killed, then they were informed he was alive, then they were informed he was not alive.
He was the first WWI casualty of Klickitat County.
Memorial Day always makes me think of 3 veterans I became aware of who were killed in wars. The first was Ross Thelen. His Grandmother, Mrs. Orr, told me about him in the later 1940's. His loss was a great sadness to her. He had been a Marine and was killed in World War II.
The other 2 were Keith Perkins and Baynes McSwain Jr. They both lost their lives in the Viet Nam War. Keith was one of my next-door neighbors. I knew of Baynes because I was acquainted with his father who I knew from the many times I saw him at the Rialto Theater.
I knew Baynes Mcswain from grade school and the Rialto Theater.
Thank You for your service and your sacrifice
Not only Leroy Childs but many others served or gave their lives in the name of freedom. For that I am humbly grateful to all who served or even gave the ultimate sacrifice in order to maintain our country. Otherwise we might all be speaking German or Japanese. WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and other sights – the solders did not ask but served. And some of the casualties continued when they returned home and the family dealt with the scars of wars for the rest of their lives.
Although there will be no public ceremony this year, I will take an hour to read and meditate and take flowers to mark several graves whose spouses have passed. They paid the price as well.
For those who are still alive, thank you for your service. We are still free and a beacon to the rest of the world for that.
I googled “Baines McSwain” and it led back to a variety of stories about his dad having the theatre and the drive-in. The organ from that downtown theatre is at the history museum.
Baines Jr. died along with 7 other marines trying to rescue a fallen soldier. And he was a good photographer, having a box of his photos rescued by a dutiful Texan who returned them. He was known by high school friends as a “nice person”.
Please also remember Rudy Baldon ; same class as Baines and friend of mine.
Thank You for your service and sacrifice.
I went to HRHS with both Baines and Rudy. Baines was indeed a nice guy, very quiet. Last time I talked to him, he was about to go to Vietnam, and he wasn't happy about it. Rudy was in my art class; I remember the teacher, who was an older woman, looking over his shoulder and sighing, and saying, “Oh Rudy, I see you're drawing another car.”
03 August 2021
I spent my teenage years (the 1960s) in San Marcos, Texas (between Austin and San Antonio).
I met Baines McSwain one time in San Marcos but I cannot remember what the circumstances were. When I later heard that he had been killed in Vietnam it made a significant impression (I remembered that Baines seemed like a nice guy.)
You know how you can find something on the InterNet one time but then later you can't ? That's my situation with trying to find something about Baines. Several years ago I found an on-line article from a lady who knew Baines when he was in Texas … I believe he took some photographs for her (I believe that she was working on an arts degree in college or something like that). Well now I'm not finding that when I search for it.
Might Baines have been attending (then) Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos ? I'm wondering if he might have been student teaching or something like that (to explain how we met) ?
In the early 1990s I was working as a Systems Engineer in the telecommunications industry and a customer was based in Richmond, Virginia. Over several years I'd be in Richmond 3 or 4 times a year and if I was there over-a-weekend I'd go up to Washington (DC) for the weekend to see the museums (I spent most of my time in the Air & Space Museum). On one trip I went to the Vietnam Memorial and found Baines' name.
– Paul N. Nix