JOSEPH GALES GREENLEAF
Lieutenant Joseph Gales Greenleaf, USN, was killed on April 14,1972, in South Vietnam
when the aircraft he was piloting was shot down about eight miles south of the DMZ near
Cam Lo during a bombing mission. Joe and his co-pilot, who was also killed, were serving
with Fighter Squadron 114 stationed aboard the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk.
Joe was born October 6,1944, in Boston, a son of Dr. Henry and Elizabeth Greenleaf.
He attended the Kingswood School in West Hartford, Connecticut, where he was active
in sports and student government. Joe gained admission to the U. S. Naval Academy, but
some minor surgery held him up; he elected to enter Princeton, where he enrolled in the
NROTC program. After his freshman year, he qualified for a place at Annapolis but chose
to remain at Princeton. While at Princeton, Joe excelled in his NROTC unit. He majored
in aerospace and mechanical engineering and was a member of Tower Club.
Upon graduation and commissioning, he was assigned duty on the destroyer U.S.S.
Edson and completed a tour in Vietnam. He then went to flight school at Pensacola,
Florida, followed by duty at Andrews AFB, near Washington, D.C., and special flight
training at San Diego.
Joe will be remembered for his personal warmth, genuine and likable nature and
positive approach to life. He set high standards for himself and lived by them From an
early age he aimed at a career as a naval officer. His commanding officer wrote of him:
“Joe was a truly outstanding individual in all respects and. . . was happiest when he was
flying. . . I was tremendously impressed by his outstanding performance as a Naval
officer and his exceptional ability as a pilot.” Memorial services were held on board the
U.S.S. Kitty Hawk and in Connecticut.
To Joe’s wife, Marcia, his parents and brother
Hank and sister Betsy, we send our sympathy. (PAW, June 27, 1972)