More Photographs of R.M.Leland,
This page will be growing as I
find more "lost" items.
His military career began in 1917, when he ran off, lied about
his age and ended up in France as Eddie Rickenbackers' mechanic.
He was also an interpeter, speaking and writing French. Because of
his service he was appointed to the United States Military Academy, at
West Point, N.Y.; however since he had lied about his age he almost lost
out. He was assigned to the Class of 1925, however circumstances
prevented him from graduating with his class, and he had various commisions,
the last being from F.D.R. as Gov. of N.Y. in the 69th "Fighting Irish"
Div. of the N.Y. National Guard.
I believe this to be 2nd Lt. Leland, probably at Camp Smith,
in NY State.
From here we have a huge jump, to the picture he had taken prior
to going overseas in 1944, I believe he was Lt.Col. at this point but he
may have been a Major. It. is only fitting that a fine protestant from
Alabama should begin his military career as an officer with the "Irish
Catholic" 69th and end it with the "Damn Yankee" Division.
This picture was taken at Billy Rose's Diamond Horseshoe, in NYC
probably between 1945 and 1947, at the table from left to right, Maybelle
W. Leland, my mother and Dick's (2nd) wife, Richard M. (Dick) Leland,
Margaret Louise Leland, Dick's daughter by his first marriage, and Frank
Leland, Dick's half brother. From appearances I would guess this is right
before we moved back to Tuscaloosa.