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served his country and his community

Capt. Warren Evans was one of them. So was Cpl. Charles F. Leighton. fake cheap Michael kors handbags They had a mission vital to saving the lives of thousands of troops who would follow hours later as part of Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa.

In the landing craft there was no sound except for the thrum of engines and the ocean rolling off the hull as the vessel approached the beach at Arzew. Each man was alone with his thoughts.

were quiet and inside ourselves, Evans said. knew what we had to do. Leighton experience as one of the Army first commandos the course of his life, said his daughter Cheryl Kosits.

Mr. Leighton died Feb. 2 of heart disease. He was 86.

His daughter said the the war years not only defined his character but formed the foundation for years of volunteer work.

After retirement, Mr. Leighton volunteered at the Veterans Administration Hospital as a chaplain. He was a VFW post commander and a trustee of the Mount Soledad Memorial Association. And he was a former reserve deputy for the county Sheriff Department.

Mr. He was called to active duty soon after.

Then the call went out for soldiers to volunteer for a newly formed commando group under Col. William O. Darby. Mr. Leighton jumped at the chance.

Of the 2,000 volunteers testing, Mr. Leighton was one of 425 to make the cut.

He, Evans and the other members of Darby Rangers would eventually be heralded as some of the most fearless soldiers of the war, but that night heading for the beach they were young and untested in combat.

Still, were determined to do our job, Evans said. were confident in ourselves and in each other. Leighton and the other rangers had come ashore three hours ahead of the main body of assault troops. Their mission was to use replica michael kors stealth and the cover of darkness to take out the coastal guns that could annihilate the approaching GIs.

The big guns were dug into a cliff above discount michael kors the beach and surrounded by machine gun nests and barbed wire.

slipped up into the mountains, Mr. Leighton said in a 1992 interview in The San Diego Union Tribune. were crawling toward the wire when the machine guns spit fire over our heads. the hellish scene, Mr. Leighton and his outfit prevailed, leaving the main landing force to come ashore without casualties. The battle for North Africa was on, ultimately ending with Hitler forces being driven out.

Evans recalled Mr. Leighton as a man who shared the same steely courage that defined the others.

did his job. He was good at what he did, as we all were, Evans said. A shrapnel wound during a later mission ended Mr. replica cheap Michael Kors Leighton time at the front, and for the rest of the war he worked stateside as cheap Michael Kors a military police officer.

For cheap michael kors his service, Mr. Leighton received a Bronze Star for heroism in North Africa. He also was presented with a Purple Heart, the American Defense Medal, American Campaign Medal, cheap michael kors European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal and Combat Infantry Badge.

Mr. Leighton returned to South Dakota after the war, but he soon set off michael kors cheap for San Diego. He worked for Western Metal Supply Co. and University Mechanical. He also owned his own plumbing Michael Kors handbag outlet and home repair business.

He wanted to become a police officer, Kosits said, but his war wounds prevented it. So when he heard about a need for volunteers to bolster the ranks of the Sheriff Department reserve deputy program, he joined up.

He made it to the rank of reserve sergeant and became a member of the department search and rescue unit.

In August 1981 his unit was called to Palomar Mountain to look for a troop of Brownie Scouts who had gotten cheap michael kors purses lost.

The girls were found safe and airlifted out of the canyon, where they spent a chilly night around a campfire. When the helicopter landed, Mr. Leighton was there to carry them to waiting parents.

A photo of him cradling a 9 year old scout anchored the front page of the next day San Diego Tribune.

That image says it all about Mr. Leighton and his willingness to serve, granddaughter Larissa Kosits said.

was who he was, she said. went where he was needed and when he was needed without any thought to himself. Leighton is survived by his daughter, son Wesley Leighton, four grandchildren and one great grandchild. Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250, or to a favorite charity.Articles Connexes: