From a contemporary press report:
Leonce E. Gaiter, 72, a retired Army colonel who had served in the Southwest Pacific during World War II and in Vietnam in the late 1960s, died of cancer March 6 at Collingwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Rockville, Maryland. He lived in Silver Spring.
Colonel Gaiter served in the Navy's Seabees during World War II. After graduating from Southern University in his native Louisiana in 1950 with a political science degree, he was commissioned in the Army.
He served on active duty until retiring in 1978.
In addition to his service in Vietnam, where he commanded a transportation battalion, he also had held posts in Europe and in this country. He was in the Military Traffic Management Service and participated in strategic mobility studies for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He also was a staff officer in the office of the Army's deputy chief of staff for logistics.
Also during his Army years, Colonel Gaiter received a master's degree in international studies from George Washington University and graduated from the National War College.
During and after his Army years, he was a mentor to other African American Army officers and was included in the 1974 book “Black Defenders of America.” After retiring from active duty, he worked for a time as a consultant.
His military decorations included two awards of the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal and four awards of the Army Commendation Medal.
Colonel Gaiter had been a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and ROCKS, an organization that works to mentor young Army officers.
His wife, Lulene Jones Gaiter, died in 1971.
Survivors include three children, Jatrice Martel Gaiter of Alexandria, Colette Gaiter of St. Paul, Minn., and Leonce II, of Paradise, Calif.; two brothers, Isaac, of Vancouver, B.C., and Douglas, of Los Angeles; three sisters, Irma Doyle of Pittsburgh, Freddie Green of Washington and Laomi Christy of Plaquemine, La.; and a grandson.
GAITER, LEONCE E., COL, USA (Ret.)
On Friday, March 6, 1998, COL. LEONCE E. GAITER, of Silver Spring, MD, beloved husband of the late Lulene M. Gaiter; father of Jatrice Martel Gaiter, Colette Gaiter and Leonce E. Gaiter, II; brother of Isaac and Douglas Gaiter, Irma Doyle, Freddie Green and Laomi Christy; grandfather of Alexander Gaiter Smith. Funeral service at Memorial Chapel, Ft. Myer, VA on Monday, March 16, 1998at 9 a.m. Interment Arlington National Cemetery. Memorial tax deductible contributions may be made to the Colonel Leonce E. Gaiter Southern University Scholarship Fund, Chevy Chase Bank, 11241 Georgia Avenue, Wheaton, MD 20902.
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
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