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  • United States. A Legion of Merit, Legionnaire Grade Group, to Lieutenant Colonel LeClair, Jr., Artillery, United States Army
  • United States. A Legion of Merit, Legionnaire Grade Group, to Lieutenant Colonel LeClair, Jr., Artillery, United States Army
  • United States. A Legion of Merit, Legionnaire Grade Group, to Lieutenant Colonel LeClair, Jr., Artillery, United States Army
  • United States. A Legion of Merit, Legionnaire Grade Group, to Lieutenant Colonel LeClair, Jr., Artillery, United States Army
  • United States. A Legion of Merit, Legionnaire Grade Group, to Lieutenant Colonel LeClair, Jr., Artillery, United States Army
  • United States. A Legion of Merit, Legionnaire Grade Group, to Lieutenant Colonel LeClair, Jr., Artillery, United States Army
  • United States. A Legion of Merit, Legionnaire Grade Group, to Lieutenant Colonel LeClair, Jr., Artillery, United States Army
  • United States. A Legion of Merit, Legionnaire Grade Group, to Lieutenant Colonel LeClair, Jr., Artillery, United States Army
  • United States. A Legion of Merit, Legionnaire Grade Group, to Lieutenant Colonel LeClair, Jr., Artillery, United States Army
  • United States. A Legion of Merit, Legionnaire Grade Group, to Lieutenant Colonel LeClair, Jr., Artillery, United States Army
  • United States. A Legion of Merit, Legionnaire Grade Group, to Lieutenant Colonel LeClair, Jr., Artillery, United States Army
  • United States. A Legion of Merit, Legionnaire Grade Group, to Lieutenant Colonel LeClair, Jr., Artillery, United States Army
  • United States. A Legion of Merit, Legionnaire Grade Group, to Lieutenant Colonel LeClair, Jr., Artillery, United States Army

Item: AZ053

United States. A Legion of Merit, Legionnaire Grade Group, to Lieutenant Colonel LeClair, Jr., Artillery, United States Army

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United States. A Legion of Merit, Legionnaire Grade Group, to Lieutenant Colonel LeClair, Jr., Artillery, United States Army

Legion of Merit, Legionnaire Grade in bronze gilt with red, white, blue and green enamels, engraved "JOSEPH A. LECLAIR JR." on the reverse, measuring 48 mm (w) x 46 mm (h), intact enamels, original ribbon with brooch pinback, along with its 35.5 mm (w) x 10 mm (h) ribbon bar with pinback, extremely fine. Accompanied by his Four-Level Ribbon Bar (level one: Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster; level two: Bronze Star Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal and Army Commendation Medal; level three: American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with Silver Service Star and World War II Victory Medal; level four: Army of Occupation Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Armed Forces Reserve Medal; measuring 107 mm (w) x 40.5 mm (h), manufacturer marked "LOMA LINDA INDUSTRIES" with two push pin points on the reverse); his Uniform Name Plate (in white cotton with "LECLAIR" stencil in black ink, measuring 98 mm (w) x 20 mm (h)); an Army Colonel's Collar Insignia (in sterling silver, maker marked "N.S. MEYER INC. NEW YORK" with the company's insignia and marked "STERLING" on the reverse, measuring 39.5 mm (w) x 19.2 mm (h), dual push pin points); an Army Air Defense Artillery Collar Device Pair (in bronze gilt, maker marked "N.S. MEYER INC. NEW YORK" on their reverses, 35 mm (w) x 28.5 mm (h) each, with dual push pin points); a "U.S." Collar Insignia Pair (in bronze, one is maker marked "N.S. MEYER INC. NEW YORK" on the reverse, the other is unmarked, measuring 21.7 mm (w) x 11.5 mm (h) and 21.3 mm (w) x 11.5 mm (h), respectively, each with dual push pin points); an Honorable Service Lapel Button (in bronze gilt, measuring 17 mm (w) x 12 mm (h), button hole attachment); and an Army Air Defense Command Pin (in bronze with red enamels, marked "JAPAN" on the reverse, measuring 9.2 mm (w) x 15 mm (h), single push pin point); a Letter of Recommendation from the Department of the Navy (from E.P. Gartman, Adjutant General, dated June 30, 1968, recommending Colonel LeClair for the award of the Legion of Merit, masthead printed in blue ink, text in black ink, on a white paper stock, the address patch cut out, measuring 200 mm (w) x 265 mm (h)), along with assorted research papers.
 
Footnote: Joseph Albert LeClair, Jr. was born on January 2, 1917 and enlisted as a Private (079888) with the United States Army on July 8, 1942 at Skowhegan, Maine, at the age of 25. He was promoted to Corporal on October 2, 1942 and initially served with the 12th Battalion, Anti-Aircraft Artillery, before being transferred on December 23rd as a Battery Officer with Headquarters, 386th Coast Artillery Battalion at Camp Edwards, Massachusetts. By June 2, 1943 and with the Second World War well underway, LeClair was posted to Headquarters, 386th Anti Aircraft Artillery Aircraft Warning Battalion at Camp Edwards, before leaving for service in the European theater. It was here with the United States Army Europe (USAREUR) that he assumed the position of Battery Commander on November 21, 1943 at Headquarters, 386th Anti Aircraft Artillery Aircraft Warning Battalion. After twenty months with the 386th, he was briefly posted to Headquarters, 893rd Anti Aircraft Artillery Aircraft Warning Battalion on July 23, 1945 for four months, before being transferred on November 22, 1945 to Headquarters, 357th Anti Aircraft Artillery Aircraft Warning Battalion, continuing to assume the position of Battery Commander with both units. LeClair returned to the United States on February 12, 1946 and assumed the role of Battery Commander with the Anti Aircraft Replacement Training Center at Fort Bliss, Texas. As part of the Army of Occupation in Japan with the Army Forces Far East (AFFE), he assumed the position of Battery Commander with three units over the next two years: the 209th, 76th and 138th Anti Aircraft Artillery, from January 1947 to December 1949. After two years in Japan, he returned to the United States and became Battery Commander with the 450th Anti Aircraft Artillery Aircraft Warning Battalion at Fort Ord, California on December 22, 1949. This was followed by a posting to Fort Lewis, Washington from September 13, 1950 to August 1, 1951, where he was posted to Headquarters of both the 450th and 250th Anti Aircraft Artillery Aircraft Warning Battalion. He was transferred to Fort Bliss, Texas on July 29, 1952, for a period of eighteen months, before being transferred to Camp Stoneman, California on January 18, 1954. From July 1954 to June 1955, he was posted to Headquarters, 92nd Anti Aircraft Artillery Battalion, United States Army Europe (USAREUR), then posted to the 32nd Anti Aircraft Artillery Brigade, until his return to the United States in July 1957, where he was posted to the Armed Forces Staff Collage at Norfolk, Virginia as a Student. In a letter from Major R.D. Beer, Headquarters, 6th Region, United States Army Air Defense Command at Fort Baker, California, he gave the citation for Lieutenant Colonel LeClair's Army Commendation Medal: "Lieutenant Colonel Joseph A. LeClair, Jr., 079 888, Artillery, United States Army, distinguished himself by meritorious service during the period 20 February 1958 to 20 June 1960 as Battalion Commander of the 10th Anti-aircraft Artillery Missile Battalion (re-designated 1st Missile Battalion (Nike-Hercules), 43rd Artillery on 1 September 1958). His leadership, professional competence and selfless devotion to duty were directly responsible for the maintenance of a record for operational readiness that has been equaled by but one other unit in the Continental United States. During his tenure as Commanding Officer, his unit achieved ratings of Operational in all Operational Readiness Inspections conducted in 1958, 1959 and 1960 and of Superior in the Command Maintenance Inspections of 1958, 1959 and 1960. In addition to this outstanding performance of duty he maintained harmonious relationships with local civic organizations and activities which resulted in the enhancement of community relations within the local area. These accomplishments reflect great credit upon Lieutenant Colonel LeClair, his unit and the United States Army." Beginning in June 1961, he was posted to the Headquarters, Armament Research & Development Command (ARADCOM) at Colorado Springs, Colorado. In May 1963, he was recommended for the First Oak Leaf Cluster to the Army Commendation Medal: "Lieutenant Colonel Joseph A. LeClair, Jr., 079888, Artillery, United States Army, distinguished himself by exceptionally meritorious performance of duty in a key position of great responsibility within the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G3, Headquarters United States Army Air Defense Command, from 24 July 1961 to 30 April 1963. Displaying rare professional knowledge, convincing diplomacy, and tireless perseverance, Colonel LeClair introduced into an air defense study for the Secretary of Defense the Army concept for the utilization of Army Air Defense weapons. His salesmanship in presenting the Army philosophy in air defense greatly enhanced the Army posture in the Joint Strategic Operations Plan and the North American Air Defense Objectives Plan. During the recent Cuban crisis, Colonel LeClair demonstrated aggressiveness, tempered by sound and considered judgment, in establishing emergency air defense capability in Florida, including the introduction of HAWK into the North American Air Defense inventory. His constant demonstration of reliability, characterized by close attention to detail and constructive accomplishments, has been exemplary. Lieutenant Colonel Le Clair's loyalty, integrity, and devotion to duty reflect distinct credit upon himself and the United States Army." In an announcement from Headquarters, 6th Region, United States Army Air Defense Command at Fort Baker, California, Colonel LeClair was an Executive Officer with Headquarters, 47th Artillery Brigade (Air Defense) at Fort MacArthur, California, when he was awarded the First Oak Leaf Cluster to the Army Commendation Medal, his citation stating: "Colonel Joseph A. Le Clair, Jr., 079888, distinguished himself by exceptionally meritorious service while serving as Executive Officer, 47th Artillery Brigade {Air Defense}, from 3 August 1964 to 25 June 1966. Colonel LeClair's dynamic leadership, professional competence, and outstanding technical and tactical knowledge, insured the success of major command objections and the highest standards of operational efficiency during a period characterized by distinct changes in personnel and organizational structures. With rare foresight, well-calculated planning, and a positive approach to varying operational requirements and problems, he ably directed the activities of Staff Sections. Fire Distribution Center and subordinate battalions which resulted in outstanding achievements in annual service practices, unit operational reliability, defense tactical effectiveness evaluations and successful Technical Proficiency Inspections. By his perseverance, professional acumen, and devotion to duty, combined with his tactical and administrative excellence and ability to inspire maximum effort among his associates, he contributed in great measure to the successful accomplishment of the Air Defense Mission of the greater Los Angeles area. Colonel LeClair's distinguished performance of duty and outstanding achievements during this period are in the highest traditions of the United States Army and reflect the utmost credit upon himself and the Military Service. Colonel Le Clair entered Military Service from the State of Maine." Colonel Le Clair was posted overseas from May 1963 to June 1964 with the United Nations Command/United States Forces (UNC/USF) Korea and the United States Army, Pacific (USARPAC) Korea, then returned to the United States, where he was posted to Headquarters, 47th Artillery Brigade (Air Defense) at Fort MacArthur, California. Lieutenant Colonel LeClair was awarded the Legion of Merit, Legionnaire Grade by the Department of the Army, General Orders No. 37 (August 9, 1963), as stated: "The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, 20 July 1942, takes pleasure in presenting the Legion of Merit to Lieutenant Colonel (Field Artillery) Joseph A. LeClair, Jr., United States Army, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States from July 1961 to April 1963.", his citation for the Legion of Merit stating: "Lieutenant Colonel Joseph A. LeClair, Jr., Artillery, distinguished himself by exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services while serving as Chief, Plans and Deployment Branch, Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, G3, Headquarters, United States Army Air Defense Command, Ent Air Force Base, Colorado Springs, Colorado, during the period July 1961 to April 1963. In this responsible position Colonel LeClair demonstrated decisive leadership, professional competence, sound judgment, and unique planning ability. Through his ingenuity and broad and diverse background in air defense and capabilities of Surface-to-Air Missile Systems, he made invaluable contributions to the immediate needs and the long range plans of the Army portion of the air defense of the Continental United States. His professional acumen and resourcefulness were reflected in significant innovations in concepts for air defense planning and the expeditions deployment of air defense units to Florida during the Cuban Crisis. By his exceptional ability to provide timely solutions to complex problems, and dedicated devotion to duty, he contributed in great measure to the field of operational planning for the employment of Army Air Defense systems, readiness posture of the Army, and the defense effort of the Nation. Colonel LeClair's distinguished performance of duty throughout this period represents outstanding achievement in the most cherished traditions of the United States Army and reflects the utmost credit upon himself and the military service." Beginning in June 1966, he was posted to the Office of Personnel Operations at Washington, D.C., where he would remain until his retirement from the United States Army on August 31, 1968, officially retiring in the rank of Colonel at Fort Meyer, Virginia and credited with having served almost twenty-six years in the Army. His awards include: the Legion of Merit: Legionnaire Grade, the Bronze Star Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with Silver Service Star, the World War II Victory Medal, the Army of Occupation Medal with Japan Clasp, the Army Commendation Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Expert Marksman Qualification Badge with Carbine Bar and the Marksman Badge with Rifle Bar. Joseph Albert LeClair, Jr. died on August 15, 1988, at the age of 71 and is buried in Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Augusta, Kennebec County, Maine, Plot: Section I, Row 2, Site 29.
 
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