Leslie Edwards
1924 - 2019
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Edwards, Jr.Leslie, loving father of Diana Henry (Joseph), Imogene Bowers (Leroy, Jr.) Luqman Abdu Rahman (Khadijah) and Jacqueline Parrott. Notably, he was the oldest living Tuskegee Airman in the Greater Cincinnati area. Passed Monday, September 23, 2019 Age 95 years. Funeral Service on Friday, October 4, 2019 at 11:00 AM at First Unitarian Church, 536 Linton St. visitation from 9:30am until 11am at First Unitarian Church . Wake Thursday, October 3, 2019 from 4:00 PM until 8:00 PM at J.C. Battle & Sons Funeral Home. Burial at Vine Street Hill Cemetery, Cincinnati, Oh.with Full Military Honors. Special online condolences for family and friends may be expressed at http://www.jcbattleandsonsfuneralhome.com BIOGRAPHY _____________________________________________________ A DOCUMENTED ORIGINAL TUSKEGEE AIRMAN Staff Sgt / Flight Chief - Leslie Edwards, Jr. Leslie Edwards, Jr. was born 9 August 1924 in Memphis, TN. He was the youngest of three children. His father worked as a bellhop and his mother looked after the children. The family moved from Memphis to Cincinnati, OH in 1925. Before dropping out of high school in 1938, he attended Harriet Beecher Stowe School in Cincinnati. He worked at several jobs before settling at Khan's Packinghouse in 1941. He married Anne Mae Green in 1943. He was drafted into the Army Air Corp in 1943. His basic training was at Shepperd Field, TX. After basic, Leslie was trained as an aircraft engine mechanic for medium bombers. Following training, he was assigned to Selfridge Field outside Detroit, MI. There he worked on bombers belonging to the 477th Bombardment Group Medium. There were four (4) Tuskegee Airmen Bomber Squadrons during World War II (WWII). They were the 616th, 617th, 618th and 619th organized under the 477th Bomb Group. They were slated for combat in the Pacific Theater; but, WWII ended prior to their deployment. In 1944, Leslie Edwards, Jr. was reassigned to Godman Field, outside Louisville, KY. There, he was promoted to Flight Chief of Flight A of the 617th Bomb Squadron responsible for maintaining the five (5) B-25 Bombers assigned to the Squadron. In 1945, he was reassigned to Freeman Field in Seymour, IN. Also, in 1945, the 477th was ordered back to Godman Field. The returning Tuskegee Airmen Fighter Squadrons and Group were combined with the bomber squadrons and group to become the 477th Composite Group. Its headquarters was now located at Godman Field, KY. SSgt Leslie Edwards, Jr. was discharged in 1945. The 477th Composite Group never deployed overseas for combat duties partly, because it was activated late in the war; partly, because a bombardment group took longer to train than a fighter group; and partly, because it was transferred from base to base because of racial trouble. While the bombers units did not participate in combat overseas, members of the unit were part of an event known as, the \"Freeman Field Mutiny.\" When in April of 1945, black officers attempted to enter a segregated officers' club. A total of 120 black officers of the 477th Bombardment Group were arrested at one time or another during the \"Freeman Field Mutiny.\" Segregated facilities were contrary to existing Army Air Corp Regulations. It has been said, that this act of civil disobedience was instrumental in President Truman issuing Executive Order 9981 in July of 1948, which directed the desegregation of the United States (U. S.) Military. Leslie Edwards, Jr. received the \"Citizen Awareness of Law\" Award and the \"Better Housing League\" Award. On 29 March 2007, he attended a ceremony in the U .S. Capitol Rotunda; where, he and the other Tuskegee Airmen collectively (not individually) were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of their service during WWII. After WWII, both Leslie and his wife-Anna Mae completed high school. In 1961, he received a Bachelor's Degree in Commerce from Solomon P. Chase College in Cincinnati, OH. Leslie was initially denied the opportunity to return to his previous position at Khan's Packinghouse. However, the union supported him and his position was restored. In 1964, he advanced to become a Federal Meat Inspector in Cincinnati, OH. Leslie served as the Supervisor of Meat Inspectors for the Southwest Area of OH from 1970 to 1986. During the years 1987 to 1997, he was a Register Sanitarian for the State of Oho, responsible for assuring that meat packing facilities were following state codes. Leslie and his wife had four (4) children and nineteen (19) grandchildren. Following his retirement in 1997, he became the full-time caregiver for his wife. Sadly, she passed away in November of 2016. They were married for 72 'blissful' years.

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Published in Tributes.com on Sep. 23, 2019.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
OCT
3
OCT
4
Visitation
09:30 - 11:00 AM
OCT
4
Funeral service
11:00 AM
Memories & Condolences
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97 entries
November 7, 2019
Mr. Edwards has always been someone I looked up to. I was very proud of him, especially when I learned of his military background. In later years I was equally proud oh him when I ran into him working out at the YMCA. May he rest in peace and his legacy live on. Proud Lincoln Heights Resident & Admirer.
Esther Brown Toran
Acquaintance
October 9, 2019
Mr. Edwards evidently had to be a very extraordinary gentleman. He had a lot to pass on to others and did. He probably had many interesting stories. I offer the family my condolences. May God comfort you at this time.
Steele
October 9, 2019
Mr Edwards at the Alabama Connection Christmas Fundraiser party.
Praying God's comfort on Mr Edwards family. A great man who gave so much to his country. He served his country well for freedom despite those freedoms being denied to his as a Black man during segregation. I will always remember his kind words, his smooth dance moves and his passion for life! God Bless!
Deborah C. Jordan, Cincinnati, Ohio
Alabama Connection
Deborah Jordan
Friend
October 4, 2019
Alishia
October 4, 2019
Gloria Steagall
October 4, 2019
You were so important in this life, a true hero. Thank you for your service.
Karen Moreno
October 3, 2019
I know God walked that last mile with you, just like I know he was with you all of your life. I didn't get to see you much when we lived in the Valley Homes, because you were always working. But I was always glad that we became neighbors, and that Imogene and I became friends. It will remain a special memory that you and I reconnected after so many years. You were a wonderful man.
Evelyn Perkins
October 3, 2019
THANK YOU...my brave airman one will forever be in our history books..BLESSINGS
Valenda Newell
October 3, 2019
What a joy Mr. Leslie was! So young at heart! Pleasure to have known such a great gentleman, who gave so much to the world! What a tremendous legacy he has left for all to remember. So extremely proud of him!!

Dr. Sandra Dees
Cincinnati State
Sandra F Dees Dees
October 3, 2019
Mr. Edwards had an amazing gift of somehow knowing when I was discouraged and pulling me aside for a talk. He always seemed to know what I needed hear, sharing stories from his rich life. He seemed to really understand the challenges of raising boys to be men of value without a father to help guide them, and my concerns about the world we are leaving our children. His kind insights made a real difference in my life. To his family, thank you for sharing him with me and the many others in the community who he has helped.
Debbie Allen
October 3, 2019
I had the honor of meeting Mr. Edwards several times at various Veteran's Day events. He was a delight to talk with and will be greatly missed. He served his country well during his time in the military and all the years after bringing awareness of the Tuskegee Airmen. He truly lived a life of service and honor
Dee Daniels
Friend
October 2, 2019
Soldier Salute Standing Spray
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Antonio Russell
October 2, 2019
To the family of my friend 'Les"; we shared many good conversations about the Tuskegee Airmen; as my uncle was an original airman, and one of the airmen who had built the airfield. Our Underground Underground Railroad talks and trips will always be memorable. Thank you for ALL that we learned together and shared! I will miss the calls and the work we did. Peace and blessings. God bless the family.
Joyce Coleman
October 2, 2019
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Robert Tomlinson
October 1, 2019
Thank you Sir for your service to our country and for standing tall when others could not.You will always be remembered.
Lora Brown
September 30, 2019
RIP Mr. Edwards. Your smile will never be forgotten. You fought many battles. You will always be a HERO in my heart.
Taffy Jackson
Friend
September 30, 2019
RIP mr Edwards, and thank you for your service
ed butler
September 30, 2019
Thank you for your service. Because of you and many more like you, we live in the greatest country on earth.
Joe & Millie FISHER
September 30, 2019
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Barbara Haack
September 30, 2019
I had the privilege of meeting all of the Tuskegee Airmen when I volunteered at a preschool career day. May the Edwards Family be supported with love and comfort forever from the God of Tender Mercies above as you cope with the dear loss in your lives.
BRY
September 30, 2019
Thank you Sir so much for your services. Rest well.
Carl Hunt
September 30, 2019
Thank you Hero! Rest easy. You've certainly earned it.
Chris Creech
September 30, 2019
Thank you for your service.
Linda Fay
September 30, 2019
May you RIP sir. Thank you.
Ben Coleman
September 30, 2019
Our deepest condolences to the family. We pray that God continues to strengthen and comfort you all during this difficult period.
September 30, 2019
Thank your your service to our country.
Sympathy & prayer's to the family.

One of the greatest generation that kept us FREE.

Gods speed in heaven.

M. Kosh
Ft. Myers, Fl.
m Kosh
September 29, 2019
Jan Walls
September 29, 2019
With a thankful heart for his service. Prayers for his family
Wanda Kelly Wallace
September 29, 2019
PHIL PURTEE
September 29, 2019
Mr.Leslie Edwards
Thank you for your services to Our country that helped America be where it is today, FREE! We applaud you and every service member at a time when it wasn't easy but came together to fight against evils that almost took the freedom of every American !
You stood with a special group of men and women that fought for freedom, liberty for all of us!
We appreciate your sacrifice and honor you during this sad time of your loss but thank you and may we meet in Gods time after resurrection... Our condolences to your family
Stacy
September 29, 2019
Mr.Edwards, you got your Wings now,Fly and be Free.
Thelma Bell
September 28, 2019
27 SEPTEMBER 2019

RIP SSGT EDWARDS. THANKS YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE. I AM SO GLAD I GOT TO MEET YOU. MANY BLESSINGS TO YOUR FAMILY. FROM ANOTHER VET.
JUDY KETTNER
September 28, 2019
May you body be at ease and your soul be at rest, beyond the river, God bless

Artis Ac Hudson Sr.
September 28, 2019
Bless u Sir and for yours Service .RIP .
Sue Willard
Gr.Mich.
September 28, 2019
Rest in Peace
Scott Chamberland
September 28, 2019
God Bless you Sir and God's Speed. Thank you for your tremendous service to our country. May the "RED TAILS" fly on! Sincerely, Maj Williams
Maj Williams
September 28, 2019
Please accept my heartfelt condolences for your loss. May your treasured memories of Leslie always fill your heart with love and peace.
DC
September 28, 2019
God bless you sir thank you for your service. May you be blessed and rest in peace.
September 28, 2019
A true hero and example of perseverance, on of the last of the greatest generation. Thank you for your service and God bless you.
Wanda Conrad
September 28, 2019
Rest in Peace sir...
Millicent Craig
September 28, 2019
I did not know Mr. Edwards Personally, However, I did know of his and his Companies feats, It was men Like him that kept this country free.
Sir: I stand and Salute you for your sacrifices to and for this country. May you Rest in Peace. and may all that served with you, be honored for eternity.
Douglas Brazell
September 28, 2019
Well done Sir. RIP
Annette
September 27, 2019
Thank you for your service to our Sir
John Wood
September 27, 2019
Thank you sir for your service. An example for all of a life well lived. Grace and mercy to your family, friends and others who will miss you.
Robin Busby
September 27, 2019
Thank you sir for your brave service to our nation. Take your rest . You have greatly earned it.
Hope
September 27, 2019
Condolences to the Edwards Family. Today the Flags in the hearts of every United States Airman fly at Half Staff. Rest In Peace Sir.
Michael J. Brown
September 27, 2019
Extending sincere condolences to Mr. Edwards family and friends. His experience, along with the other Tuskegee Airmen is truly encouraging to many. They faced and endured much opposition, we appreciate their efforts and are proud of their accomplishments. May the treasured memories be a source of comfort for his family.
September 27, 2019
God bless you, sir...Thank you for your service ~ Rest in peace.
Jane Dowling
September 27, 2019
My heart goes out to the family during this time of grief very SORRY for your great loss.
September 27, 2019
The men in the famed Tuskegee Airmen were a special cut of men...I salute you and your fellow airmen for your brave service to our country !!! Condolences to your family and may you rest in peace with God by your side !
Leon Overcash
September 27, 2019
I met and have seen Mr. Edwards a few times in passing and how I wish I took the time to get to know him more. I have known her daughter, Imogene Bowyers for over a year and consider myself blessed in hearing bits and pieces of stories about him. I am happy to hear how Mr. Edwards celebration for life went really well and brought the family together to celebrate his accomplishments and relived the memories that were dear to him. God is great. My deepest sympathy to the family. I am sure he will be missed.

P.S. Mr. Edwards inspired a group of us to visit Ben's Chili in Washington D.C. this past Spring. All eight of us had a blast and I thank Mr. Edwards for that ;-)
Bronwyn Detalla
Family Friend
September 27, 2019
I offer my sincere condolences to your family. What a beautiful legacy Mr Edwards has left for his family and a beautiful example of courage for those of us who have only heard about him. May those memories give you comfort.
Chris
September 27, 2019
It's impossible to fully thank these brave men for serving their great country. They just don't make 'em like that any more.
September 27, 2019
Thank you for your service Sir. May you rest in eternal peace.
Sharon Wolkiewicz
September 27, 2019
Sir, Officer Edwards I do not know how to thank you for your military service. Gen. MacArthur said "Old soldiers never die . they just fade away" Office Edward May the soft rain drops make easier in your last walking trail. May God rest your soul in peace.
Jose Alvarez (Korean War Veteran)
September 27, 2019
Rest in peace.
Shelley Taylor
September 27, 2019
Joan Walton
September 27, 2019
My sincere condolences to the Edwards Family. May the God of all comfort provide you all the strength to cope with your loss
September 27, 2019
Thank you for service to our country. God bless you sir, you are a great American.
September 27, 2019
mr Edwards you are truly an American hero thank you for your service to our country rip
ben nerney
September 27, 2019
As a Vietnam pilot, I know what those Tuskegee airman thought about those who gave them safe aircraft to fly.
May our LORD shower his love and grace on his family.
September 27, 2019
rip mr Edwards you are truly an American hero
ben nerney
September 27, 2019
Thank you for your service sir, May you rip a life well lived
Charles Williams
September 27, 2019
Condolences to Mr Edwards family. What a brave man who served our country well! Rest in peace for a job well done.
Yvonne
September 27, 2019
Thank you for your service. It is truly an honor to serve this country of ours following in the foot steps of great airmen that have paved the way for us. Thank you for your patriotism.
Brian Dusablon
September 27, 2019
Condolences to the family of Mr. Edwards. A legacy of courage. Sorry to hear of your loss.
September 27, 2019
My sincere condolences to the family. May memories comfort you and prayers strengthen you during this time.
September 27, 2019
Thank you Mr. Edwards for your service to our Country. You made America safe for your fellow Americans. Your love of our country is greatly appreciated. May God bless your family.
connie colvin
September 27, 2019
My condolences to the Edwards family, the contribution made will never be forgotten, truly a loss for so many.
September 27, 2019
Thank you for your service to our country. Bill Moore (X-USMC)
Bill Moore
Friend
September 27, 2019
Thank you for your Service, "May You Rest in Peace, AMEN" !
Donald Iafrate
September 27, 2019
Les...our world is full of imitation heroes, people who garner attention, look for accolades, and expect privileges. You were part of the Greatest Generation, where humility, adherence to family values, loyal service to your country and valor defined greatness. It saddens my heart every time a true hero like yourself joins our Father in Heaven and leaves a gaping hole which the rest of us cannot fill. Rest In Peace Leslie Edwards. You are one more example of why the Tuskegee Airmen can stand tall and proud. May your family find peace and comfort in this difficult time.
Bill McKenna
Friend
September 27, 2019
R.I.P.

FTMY, FL.
September 27, 2019
Men like Mr. Edwards were a special breed of men. Our country owes them our very freedom. Thank you sir and God bless.
September 26, 2019
pauline jackson
September 26, 2019
R.I.H. Job well done thou good and faithful servant.... thanks for your years of service to our country..you are indeed a hero to our nation...may your family find peace and comfort in lasting memories
Gloria Laulusa
September 26, 2019
We are saddened for the loss of your dearly beloved Father. May the God of tender mercies be with you all. Please know that our loving Heavenly Father feels your pain and is eager to give you all an abundance of love, peace and comfort always.

JM, Jackson Mississippi

September 26, 2019
Mr. Edwards,

The accounts of heroism from the Tuskegee Airman will be told and appreciated in perpetuity. Thank you for your service, and other noble contributions, to our country.

Rest In Peace, Sir.
September 26, 2019
Thank you for your service and may God bless you
September 26, 2019
Cynthia Herd
September 26, 2019
Rest Leslie, until you hear at dawn,
the low, clear reveille of God.

Thank you for your service to this nation.
Harry Simpson
September 26, 2019
Thank you sir, for your utmost of service to this country.
September 26, 2019
Much respect to Mr. Edwards for the history making work he s done our culture and for the world. May the God of all comfort be with his family.
September 26, 2019
I am sadden by the passing of my friend Mr. Edwards but I am also honored that I was able to share both the university that I formerly worked at and my hometown of Fort Wayne, Indiana with his wealth of experience when we drove their several years ago. His life enriched my community and his spirit will always be remembered! God truly received an honorable and humble servant!
Kevin Corey
Friend
September 26, 2019
Mr. Edwards, we honor you for your service. My deepest sympathies to your family and friends.
Bambi McKibbon-Turner
September 26, 2019
R.I.P. Mr. Edwards, You served our country well. God Bless You and your family.
Beverly Perko
September 26, 2019
May God and your treasured memories give you comfort during this most sad and difficult time.
September 26, 2019
Thank you for your service Sir.
Ron Howard
September 26, 2019
May you rest in peace!

Thank you for Service.
Corine Taylor
September 26, 2019
Thank you Sir for your service to our country and to us, her citizens. May you rest in eternal peace.
Cabot & Libby Barden
September 26, 2019
Mr. Edwards - your service was so valuable to the war effort. Thank you for your service and may you rest in peace.
Pat Wilson
September 26, 2019
Ann Stokman
September 26, 2019
Mr Edward's spoke at my father's home going 2014 Tuskegee Airmen Nicholas Neblett..impressive spokesman!!
Nicholas Neblett jr
Acquaintance
September 25, 2019
Heartfelt Condolences Arrangement- BASKET INCLUDED
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Debra Pendleton
September 25, 2019
You have touched so many hearts and been an inspiration in people lives. The times me and your great grandchildren Billy and Bri'Ana spent with you will always be with us Mr. Leslie you are truly and deeply missed ❤
Angie Darby
Family
September 25, 2019
Les Edwards was a warrior, a champion for civil rights and a teacher of love and wisdom. I am honored to have known Les. He made this world a better place for all of us.
Richard Thornton
Friend
September 25, 2019
Mr. Edwards was a dear man and fellow member of The Gathering at Northern Hills. His smile, humor and wisdom will be deeply missed. My husband Bob and I extend sincere condolences to the Edwards family.
LINDA GUTOWSKI
Friend
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