Born in New Orleans, Louisiana to Lavinia and Robert Schultz in November, 1919. He enlisted in the United States Army in 1939, and by 1940 he was stationed at Fort Barrancas, Escambia County, Florida, as a part of the 13th Coast Artillery where he received artillery training. He was among the first US Army soldiers to arrive at St. John's Newfoundland in January, 1941 as a part of the 8th US Army, later to be renamed the 9th US Army.*
After three (3) years in Newfoundland, he left his new bride, Bridget Gibbons Schultz and young daughter (with one on the way) to fulfill his orders to train for combat in heavy artillery at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. He became a part of Battery A of the 516th Field Artillery Batallion (activated on November 25, 1943) before heading to the European Theater of Operations. On September 15, 1944, he sailed out of New York harbor, with his batallion from Camp Shelby to England on the Aquitania, arriving in the small town of Broadstone, England.
His batallion went into combat on December 9, 1944 in LeHavre, France. Leonard saw combat as an operator of the 155 mm howitzer and long tom "big guns" from LeHavre, France to Stuttgart, Germany over the course of the remaining days of the war. His stories were myriad and often described terrible hardship, but they were always related in a fond, nostalgic way.
One of his most prized war souvenirs was a hand-sewn Third Reich flag, which he removed from the topmost window of a seized castle where German forces had set up a command in Germany - a souvenir his family cherishes to this day.
Sometime in 1946, he finally arrived home to his young family in New Orleans, which had grown by one since he left the shores of Newfoundland - he now had a wife and two (2) baby daughters. He went on to have a son - his family was complete.
His ribbon bar indicates that he received the Army Good Conduct medal, the American Defense medal, and the European-African Campaign medal. He was an infantry man, private first class from beginning to end - and that is the way he wanted it.
He was a proud United States soldier, loved country and the military and was extraordinarly proud of his service - he never quite stopped being a soldier, even until his death in February, 1980. He was most comfortable among his fellow soldiers and, due to illnesses attributable to his time in service to his country, he spent the latter part of his life in the Veterans Administration Hospital in Hattiesburg, MS receiving treatment and wiling away the hours remembering with fondness the best times of his life with other proud soldiers of his era. He was military till the end.
He is buried alongside his wife and brother, Raymond, in Metairie, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana in Garden of Memories - his grave is adorned with a bronze headstone memorializing his service to the United States during World War II.
*The Ninth US Army, a field army of the US Army was one of the main combat commands during the campaign in Northwest Europe in 1944 and 1945, commanded from its inception by Lt. General William Simpson. The original designation as the Eighth US Army was renamed upon arrival in England to the Ninth US Army to avoid confusion with the British formation of the same designation.