Clement “Clem” F Leone obituary 1924~2022


Clement “Clem” F Leone, 98, of Gettysburg & Hanover, PA died on Wednesday, September 28, 2022.

Clement "Clem" F Leone
Clement “Clem” F Leone

He was born July 5, 1924 in Baltimore, MD.

He was the husband of the late Sylvia Leone, (nee Iafolla).

He was the son of the late Estella I. Austin, & stepson of the late John C. Austin.

He is survived by his three daughters, Nancy and Steve Warren (DE), Carol and Robert Cornish (VA), and Janet Skipper (PA and also his 24/7 caregiver since March 2016). He also had several grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

Clem enlisted in the Army Air Corp in November 1944. He was assigned as a radio operator, gunner on a B-24 Liberator Bomber, (according to Clem, the best aircraft in WWII). His plane was shot down on his sixth bombing mission, where he and four other crew members parachuted to safety. He was helped by the Dutch underground, but was eventually captured and sent to a German prison camp in Poland (Stalag-Luft IV) which was evacuated when it was about to be overrun by the Russians on February 5, 1945. He survived a forced march from this camp across Germany, scrounging for both food and shelter, which covered approximately 600 miles in three months. He was finally liberated by the British just outside of Brussels Belgium, on May 5, 1945.

Upon his return to the states, he married his high school sweetheart Sylvia Iafolla, who after 57 years of marriage, passed away in May 2003.

Clem eventually retired from the military with the rank of Major. During his military career he was awarded: The Army Aerial Gunner Wings w/ blue background to denote combat, Air Medal, Purple Heart Medal, EX-POW Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal, ETO Medal w/ battlestar, American Theatre Medal, WWII Victory Medal, Armed Forces/National Guard & Reserve Medal with clusters, Cold War Medal (certificate only – no medal authorized), Maryland National Guard Service Medal (certificate only), French Croix DeGuerre Medal with palm, French Legion of Honor Medal, and the Presidential Unit Citation.

He was a life member of the following veteran organizations: The American Legion, The Veterans of Foreign Wars, The AMVETS, The Reserve Officers Association, The Order of the French Croix de Guerre, The American EX-POW Association, and the Air Force Gunners Association.

He was the founder and member of the Gettysburg Fly Boys, a member of the WWII Roundtable of Hagerstown, MD, a two time qualified member of the Caterpillar Club, and the Escape and Evasion Society.

He also worked at various Pontiac dealerships in Baltimore, MD before attending college at night to receive his teaching certification. He taught auto mechanics at Woodlawn Senior High School in Baltimore County until his retirement in 1984. He started teaching on the first day that Woodlawn Senior high was opened, and upon his retirement the auto shop was closed and the students were then taught auto mechanics at a vocational technical school.

There will be a viewing at Monahan Funeral Home in Gettysburg, PA on Wednesday, October 5, 2022 from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. The funeral service will take place at 10 a.m. the following day, Thursday, October 6, 2022, at the funeral home.

Interment will also take place Thursday, October 6, 2022 at Loudon Park Cemetery, 3620 Wilkens Ave., Baltimore, MD at 2 p.m.

Clem did not believe in sending flowers because he always said the deceased can’t see them, so in lieu of flowers he requested that donations be made in his name to his favorite charity, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 to give a child a chance to live.

Online tributes and condolences can be made at the funeral home’s website.