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Leroy Manor

Lieutenant General (Ret.) Leroy J. Manor flew over Normandy during D-Day and was commander of the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Force. In 1970, Manor was called upon to command the contingency task force for Operation Ivory Coast, the Son Tay raid. He was tasked with spearheading a plan to raid a camp in North Vietnam. They had two objectives: “One was to rescue, if possible, some prisoners of war (POW), but most importantly we wanted to get a message across,” Manor said. “A message to all the others that we had not forgotten them.” Operation Ivory Coast was conducted on November 20, 1970. The raid was successful; however, the POWs had been moved. “The results were good. The POWs were all moved to the main camps,” said Manor. “North Vietnam realized we might do it again. They wouldn’t know where. They wouldn’t know when. That’s the beauty of Special Ops.” Manor was recognized by President Richard Nixon and awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for commanding the operation. During his Air Force career, Manor earned a command pilot rating with more than 6,500 flying hours, including 347 combat missions in two wars. Since retiring, Manor has acted as an advisor to the military, been president of the Retired Officers Association, lectured at staff schools and remains active in the special operations community.