RIP Jan 30, 2014

Name: Leland Louis Hildebrand
Rank/Branch: United States Air Force/O4
Date of Birth: 03 June 1938 Butternut WI
Home City of Record: Fifield WI
Date of Loss: 18 December 1971
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 211000 North  1061700 East
Status (in 1973): Returnee
Other Personnel in Incident: Kenneth Wells, Returnee

Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw
data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA
families, published sources, interviews. UPDATE - 02/97 by the P.O.W.
NETWORK, Skidmore, MO with material provided by Colonel Leland Hildebrand,
USAF RET. 2020



SOURCE: WE CAME HOME  copyright 1977
Captain and Mrs. Frederic A Wyatt (USNR Ret), Barbara Powers Wyatt, Editor
P.O.W. Publications, 10250 Moorpark St., Toluca Lake, CA 91602
Text is reproduced as found in the original publication (including date and
spelling errors).

Major - United States Air Force
Shot Down: December 18, 1971
Released: March 28, 1973

I was born 3 June 1938 at Butternut, Wisconsin and graduated from  high
school in Chicago, Illinois May 1956. I entered the USAF as an Aviation
Cadet 25 July 1958 completed Navigation Training and was commissioned 6 July

Hildebrand trained and served with: 363rd TRW at Shaw AFB South Carolina
until August 1962 (W/RB-66). 7167th ATS and 1455th ATS at Rheinmain AFB
until August 1965 (C-54 C-118). 1371st Mapping and Charting Squadron and 1st
Aerial Cartographic and Geodetic Squadron at Turner AFB and Forbes AFB until
March 1971 (RB-50 C-54 C-118 RC-135). 4455 CCTS at Davis-Monthan AFB through
September 1971 and 13th TFS Udorn Royal Thai AFB until disaster 18 December
1971 (F-4D). Completed my Bachelor Degree requirements at the University of
Nebraska at Omaha Bootstrap TDY January  1970.

Air Force assignments took him to more than a dozen locations around the
world flying bomber, transport, reconnaissance, MedEvac, and fighter
aircraft, and later in Staff Officer assignments. Official travel took him
to many exotic places in Europe, Africa, South America, Asia, and the South
Pacific. Places like London, Paris, Lisbon, Rome, Beirut, Moscow, Bucharest,
Copenhagen, Berlin, Vienna, Athens, Madrid, Ankara, Tripoli, Naples, Nice,
Tehran, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, Asmara Ethiopia, Santiago Chile, Caracas
Venezuela, Bogota Columbia, Monrovia Liberia, American Samoa, and of course,
Hanoi. U.S. assignments were in Texas, California, South Carolina, Georgia,
Kansas, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah. Of his more than 27 years active
service, over nine years were spent outside the U. S.

After attending F-4 Combat Crew Training at Davis-Monthan AFB AZ in 1971, he
was assigned to the 13th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Udorn AB, Thailand. On
18 December 1971, during his 20th mission, his F-4 was downed while flying
MIGCAP for a rescue mission. Then a Major, he spent more than 15 months as a
Prisoner of War in North Vietnam. He was released in March 1973. Subsequent
assignments included Graduate School at the University of Arizona; the Air
Force Accounting and Finance Center in Denver; Director of Cost and
Management Analysis, HQ USAFE, Ramstein AB, Germany; Comptroller, Ogden Air
Logistics Center, and Director, Logistics Management Systems, Ogden Air
Logistics Center, Hill AFB, Utah. Col Hildebrand retired from the Air Force
in December 1985.

After his Air Force retirement, Col Hildebrand took a position with
Electronic Data Systems in EDS' Federal Government Group. During his last
four years with EDS he worked directly with the Office of the Assistant
Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) guiding the development of information
systems to support the delivery of health care to the Armed Forces. He
retired from EDS on 31 January 1996.

Colonel Hildebrand is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha and
holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Arizona.
He is also a graduate of the Air Force's Air Command and Staff College, and
the Air War College.

He is a master navigator with nearly 5,000 flying hours. Among his military
awards and decorations are the: Legion of Merit; Distinguished Flying Cross;
Bronze Star with V device; Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf
clusters; Air Medal with oak leaf cluster; Prisoner of War Medal; Air Force
Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster; Purple Heart; and Vietnam Service
Medal with six bronze stars.

Colonel Hildebrand married the former Evelyn McClam of Lake City, South
Carolina, on 8 October 1960. They have two sons, Leland and James, and two
grandchildren. He and his wife live in Vienna, Virginia but they are
planning a move to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina in mid-1996.


Dave Bakke: POW bracelet still meaningful
The State Journal-Register
By DAVE BAKKE Donna Bowers was a teenager in the early 1970s, when she received her POW bracelet. The name on the bracelet was Col. Leland Hildebrand.

Jan 3, 2014

Lee Hildebrand passed away this morning at the VA hospital in Denver.  Jim died of
progressive esphasia, an incurable disease.  Here is the information passed by the family to
all NAM-POWs:

COL Leland L. Hildebrand, USAF (Retired) passed away on 30 January 2014 in Denver,
Colorado at the age of 75 years.  Leland was born in Butternut, WI on 3 June 1938.  His
family of 11 children lived on a farm.  He entered the USAF on 25 July 1958 as an Aviation
Cadet.  He was a veteran of over 27 years and served in the Vietnam War based in Thailand. 
He was captured in North Vietnam on 19 December 1971 and held in POW camps until 28
March 1973.  His Air Force career took him to numerous countries around the world and he
flew in six different airplanes from the vintage RB-50 and C-54 to the then modern F-4.  His
flying career ended in 1971 and after graduate school he worked in the USAF
Comptroller/Information Systems career fields.  Leland retired from the Air Force on 1
December 1985 and then was employed with Electronic Data Systems in the Washington
D.C. area for 12 years.  He travelled to all 50 states in the U.S.

Leland received his High School diploma from the American School, Chicago, IL, a
Bachelor of Science  (BS) at the University of Omaha, NE, and he earned a Master's Degree
of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ. 

COL Hildebrand earned the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, two Bronze
Stars, two Meritorious Service Medals, two Air Medals, two Commendation Medals, Purple
Heart, Prisoner of War Medal, and eight additional medals and ribbons.

Leland is survived by his beloved spouse, Evelyn, two sons, two daughters-in-law, and
eight grandchildren.  He is also survived by four sisters and three brothers.  His Father and
Mother predeceased him as well as two brothers and one sister.  He is also survived by
hundreds of relatives and many friends. 

Funeral arrangements are as follows: Denver Veterans Affairs Hospital Chapel at 1055
Clermont St, Denver, CO, Funeral Mass on Monday, 3 February at 1100.  Interment will be at
Arlington National Cemetery.  Memorial prayers will be at the gravesite at a date to be


Funeral is Friday, 20 June 2014 at Arlington National Cemetery.  Location and time:
Post Chapel @ 1245 hours.


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