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Lt Len Heller, 310thBG Pilot, B-25's of the 381stBS /MTO
1944 | Italy
Lt Len Heller was George Underwood's Pilot, Len flew Combat Mission over Italy, in a B-25 Mitchell Medium Bomber (mostly the Pin-Up Girl") in the 310th Bomb Group, 381st Bomb Squadron out of Corsica. 1944 Mediterranean Theatre. George Underwood has 2 main Pilots, Lt Al Vosburg and Lt Len "Nat" Heller... George was their Top Turret Gunner and Eng. They mostly flew Missions out of Corsic, France... an Island in the Metiderranean Sea. Corsica was littered with AAC Airfields and is refered to as the USS Corsica. Please see the Book written by our Corsican Historian and Author Dominique Taddei.... "USS Corsica"
We are searching for the reason (or meaning) for his nickname of "NAT"..... please email me below if anyone remembers.
Lt Heller received a Distinguished Flying Cross for Aerial Heroism under the most critical circumstances, he made a successful Bombing drop on the primary Target in Italy and then returned a full crew safely to his home-field on Corsica in a crippled B-25.
WWII Mediterranean Theatre of Operations. Photo's and stories will be coming from Len's proud son Tom Heller, 4 Sept. 2011. . . . . . (also from his Daughters Diane, Christine and Jeanne ). I have now spoken with 3 of the "kids" ;~) Most are Sr. Citizens or Baby-Boomers and I am delighted to be woking with such a fine family. Diane still has "Nat's" voice on the recorder and I was thrilled to have heard his voice, in fact I hung up and called again to hear his voice, before I left a message. Truly, I wish I had found the family sooner, I would loved to have spoken with Len himself!!!
Barbi Ennis Connolly, 57th Bomb Wing Researcher 319 and 321st BG Historian
Leonard C Heller
30 May, 2011 | Dover, NJ
Lt Len "NAT" Heller, B-25 Pilot in the 12th AF, 57th BW, 310thBG and 381st BS.... Corsica/Italy WWII ; 32057444 Essex County, NJ. Enlisted from Newark, NJ. Born in Holland and completed High School. He was a Toolmaker, Dye Sinker and Setter and single at Enlistment.
Leonard C. Heller NIckname "NAT" . . . . .
Mr. Leonard C. Heller, 92, of Randolph passed away Monday, May 30, 2011 at his home.
Mr. Heller was born in Blerik, Holland, and was a resident of Randolph since 1955.
He served in the Army Air Corp during World War II. 1st Lt. Heller piloted a B25 Mitchell in the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for bringing a severely crippled aircraft with no controls and full crew back to safety after a successful bombing mission.
Leonard was co-founder and owner of Republic Tool and Manufacturing Co. He was a tool and machine designer, and inventor. He was past president of NJ Tooling and Manufacturing Association.
He is survived by his four children, Thomas and wife Patricia of Mine Hill, Christine Rossmiller and husband John of Donegal, PA, Jeanne George of Cheverly, MD, and Diane Heller of Randolph, and by his sixteen grandchildren, and twelve great grandchildren.
He is Predeceased by his wife Jeanne in 1988.
The Funeral Mass will be held at Resurrection Parish at 10:30 AM on Friday, June 3, 2011.
Visitation will be held at Tuttle Funeral Home, 272 State Route 10 West, Randolph, on Thursday, June 2, 2011, from 3 – 5 PM and 7 - 9 PM. (www.tuttlefh.com)
Interment at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, East Hanover.NJ.