Cover photo for Richard E. Colonel Leal's Obituary
Richard E. Colonel Leal Profile Photo
1932 Richard 2009

Richard E. Colonel Leal

August 5, 1932 — May 8, 2009

Colonel Richard E. Leal, 76, passed away in Redlands where he wasw a long time resident. He was born in Hanford, CA. prior to his long and distinguished military career, Richard graduated from Hanford High School in 1950 and held a BA degree from Fresno State University. Richard began his military career in 1955 and retired with 30 years of service as a full Air Force Colonel in 1985. While stationed in Ankara, Turkey, Richard met his beloved wife Ruth where their courtship ultimately led to marriage in 1963. They had their only child Tracy in 1966. Richard was a highly experienced Air Force command pilot having flown over 9,200 hours in various aircraft including the T-34, T-28, T-33, C-54, C-124, C-141, C-5, O-2, and OV-10. Richard's strong flying experiencwe led to numerous assignments around the world, most notably during the Vietnam War starting in 1972 where he was stationed in DaNang as Commander and later in 1973 in Udorn, Thailand as as Deputy Director of Current Operations with the 7th and 13th Air Forces. Richard was a highly decorated officer having received many military awards and decorations. Richard is survived by his wife, Ruth Leal of Redlands, and daughter Tracy (Leal) Collier, son-in-law Neal Collier, and granddaughter Olivia Collier of Glendale, CA. A memorial service will be held Monday May 18, 2009 at 12:00 at Emmerson Bartlett Memorial Chapel, 703 Brookside Ave.,Redlands, followed by a military ceremony at Riverside National Cemetery at 2:00pm in Riverside, CA.

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