From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Leroy Bates '66

Date of birth: January 14, 1945

Date of death: September 24, 1968

Age: 23

Lucky Bag

From the 1966 Lucky Bag:


LeRoy was lost when A-7 Corsair II crashed while taking off from Marine Corps Air Station Yuma on September 24, 1968.

From the December 1968 issue of Shipmate:

Lt(jg) Leroy Bates, Jr., USN, died 24 Sept. at Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, Ariz., as the result of an aircraft crash on takeoff while on a routine training flight. Services were held in Ft. Myer Chapel, with interment in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.

Lt. Bates was born in Arlington, Tex., and graduated from the Naval Academy in 1966. He completed basic flight training at Pensacola, Fla., and received his wings at Kingsville, Tex., in March 1968. He had advanced pilot training and was attached to Attack Squadron 122 at Lemoore Naval Air Station Calif. He was to be transferred to Vietnam in February.

A friend of President Johnson's family, Lt. Bates had been an usher at the wedding of Luci Johnson and Patrick Nugent two years ago; she had been a bridesmaid at his wedding. Following services at Arlington, which were attended by President and Mrs. Johnson and their daughters, Mrs. Luci Nugent and Mrs. Lynda Robb, the President invited mourners to be with members of the Bates family at the White House.

Surviving are his widow, Melinda, who is with her parents, Col. Charles P. Venable, USA, and Mrs. Venable at Quarters 4N, Ft. Mason, San Francisco, Ca. 94123; his parents, Mr. and Mrs, Douglas W . Boutwell of 1326 Valleta St., Houston, Tx. 77008; three sisters, Trudy Marleen, Mary Rebecca and Pamela Gail Boutwell; a grandmother, Mrs. Minnie Bates, and a grandfather, Mr. P. M.Hewitt of Texas.


From Tucson Daily Citizen on October 1, 1968:

LBJ Attends Funeral Of Yuma Navy Pilot
ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) -President Johnson and his family attended the funeral at Arlington National Cemetery for Navy Lt. j. g. Leroy Bates, 22, killed in a plane crash near Yuma, Ariz.

Bates, a close friend of Luci Johnson Nugent, married Melinda Venable of Nogales, Ariz., in a ceremony in which Luci was a bridesmaid at Washington in June 1966. The young naval officer was an usher at the wedding of Luci and Patrick Nugent two years ago.

The President and the First Lady kissed the 22-year-old widow, who is expecting a baby. She also received the American flag from her husband's [garbled OCR] after the military ceremony.

Lt Bates, a Naval Academy graduate, was killed last Tuesday night when his A7 jet crashed on takeoff on a training flight from the Yuma Marine Air Station. He was attached to a squadron at Leemore Naval Air station in California and was to be transferred to Vietnam after completing flight training. Bates' father was' killed in a similar plane crash when his son was only three years old.

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Nicholas Brooks '66 was also in 4th Company.

Thomas Boyle, Jr. '66 and Arthur Staecker '66 were also members of Attack Squadron (VA) 122 in 1968. All three men were killed in a six month period.

Class of 1966

Leroy is one of 36 members of the Class of 1966 on Virtual Memorial Hall.