Monday, June 18, 2007

United States Post Office in Boca Raton, Florida Honors WWII Airman Leonard Herman

Leonard Herman's B-17 limps home from the Trondheim mission in 1943, on fire and alone. Leonard flew with the 95th Bomb Group and survived his 25 missions. He then returned to Europe and flew a second tour in A-26 and B-26 Medium bombers.
An A-26 medium bomber, above, similar to the one flown by Leonard Herman with the US 9th Air Force on his second tour of duty over Europe.

On May 22, 2007, Leonard W. Herman, who flew two combat tours over Europe in World War Two, was honored by having a US Post Office in Florida named after him.

This all started three or four years ago when he was nominated for a Medal of Honor under a Congressional Provision aimed at redressing the fact that Hispanic, Black and Jewish veterans were underrepresented in the awarding of medals during wars up to and including Vietnam. Though Leonard did not win the Medal of Honor, his service merited the post office naming, thanks to the tireless work of Congressman Wexler of Florida and Leonard's brother E. Edward Herman.

Leonard Herman lives in Columbus, Georgia, and is 90 years young. Congratulations, Leonard!!

Leonard's war experiences are now available in his memoir, Combat Bombardier: Memoirs of Two Tours of Duty in the Skies Over Europe in World War Two, and sold by Xlibris. The link for this book is

The story of Leonard's role in changing US Occupation policy in post-war Germany towards concentration camp survivors is told in full in the book Untold Valor: Forgotten Stories of American Bomber Crewmen Over Europe in World War Two, published in 2006 by Potomac Books.

Following is the article about the post office, directly from Congressman Wexler's Website.



(Washington, DC) Today, the House of Representatives passed legislation authored by Congressman Wexler honoring the service of the distinguished and decorated Jewish War Veteran Leonard Herman. The bill renames the Post Office located at 601 Banyan Trail in Boca Raton, Florida in honor of Mr. Herman for his incredible service as a bombardier in the United States Army during WWII. Mr. Herman flew in numerous combat missions over Germany during the Second World War in which his aircraft came under heavy enemy fire. Leonard Herman’s heroic actions during these engagements are credited with saving the lives of his fellow crewmen. His heroism earned him the high honors of a Purple Heart, an Air Medal, three Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Distinguished Flying Cross. Following the end of the war and during his second tour of duty, Mr. Herman joined a small group of young soldiers, including his brother Edward Herman, to save the lives of thousands of Holocaust survivors who continued to perish outside of German concentration camps due to a lack of adequate food, clothing, and medical supplies. Mr. Herman’s historic efforts to inform US government leaders of the plight of survivors were instrumental in influencing President Harry Truman’s decision to increase assistance to Holocaust survivors. “It is an honor to sponsor this legislation that will recognize Mr. Leonard Herman for his bravery and selfless service to this country,” Congressman Wexler said on Tuesday. “Although nothing we do or say can adequately repay Mr. Herman – or the countless other brave veterans of WWII for their heroism, the passage of this legislation certainly is a fitting and long overdue tribute.” Congressman Wexler is Chairman of the Europe Subcommittee and a senior member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the House Judiciary Committee; and he also sits on the Financial Services Committee.

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