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Capt. LeRoy W. J. Keith  
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In his memory:

Capt. LeRoy W.J. Keith
VC-62 circa 1964-66

Updated: June 11, 2023

[Webmaster's Note: This page is under construction and will be updated as tributes from family, friends, and former Navy members are received. Contact Webmaster on the link below.]

    Memories and Tributes

  • Navy History

    Captain Keith was a Navy Hellcat Fighter Ace. His awards included the Navy Cross (second only to the Medal of Honor), two Distinguished Flying Crosses and the Air Medal. On February 16, 1945 he led 72 Hellcats into a dog fight with Japanese fighter planes over Tokyo. His squadron shot down 71 enemy planes and Keith managed to shoot down five of the enemy fliers. His total record included six kills, seven probables, two damaged and numerous destroyed on the ground, three ships sunk and he participated in sinking nineteen ships. He had more than 883 carrier landings and was the first known pilot to down an airborne enemy with rocket fire.

  • Commander (then) LeRoy W. J. Keith assumed command of VC-62 on July 19, 1950

    Under his command, VC-62 sent a combat detachment to the Korean War on September 4, 1950. They obtained badly needed photos of strategic targets in Korea, then followed up the Air Group's attacks for damage assessment photographs. One pilot, Ensign William Wagner, and two aircraft were lost in action before the detachment returned in February 1, 1951.

    By October 1950, the squadron had grown enough to require more room than was available at Norfolk, so Cmdr. Keith moved his squadron to NAS Jacksonville for five months. In March 1951, orders came to move again, this time to NAS Cecil Field, where for a time, VC-62 was the only squadron on the station. After 18 months at Cecil, the squadron returned to NAS Jacksonville in October 1952.

    During his command the first photo-jets came to the Atlantic Fleet in 1951. VC-62 made a transition to the F2H-2P Banshee.

    Webmaster: For more information, go to "VC/VFP-62 Skippers" and click on his "Biography" link.

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    Updated 3/9/18



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