From a contemporary press report:
Leroy Fletcher Prouty Jr., 84, a retired Air Force Colonel who also worked for Washington area corporations, died of multiple organ failure June 5, 2001, at Inova Alexandria Hospital. He lived in Alexandria, Virginia.
Colnel Prouty was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. As a young man, he sang with professional big bands in New England. He was a graduate of the University of Massachusetts.
He served with the Army Air Forces during World War II as a transport pilot in North Africa and Saudi Arabia.
After the war, he was assigned to Yale University, where he established an ROTC program, and to the Air Defense Command in Colorado Springs in 1950.
He was a squadron commander stationed in Japan during the Korean War. Prior to his retirement in 1963, he worked at the Pentagon. His honors included the Legion of Merit.
After he left the military, Colonel Prouty was vice president for general operations of General Aircraft Corp., vice president and Pentagon branch manager of First National Bank of Arlington and vice president of marketing at Madison National Bank.
Prior to his second retirement in the 1970s, he helped establish the government marketing division at Amtrak and was a speechwriter for the corporation's president.
Colonel Prouty held a patent for a disposable razor with a continuous, rotating blade and wrote two books, “The Secret Team” and “JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy.”
He was a consultant to Oliver Stone on the movie “JFK.”
His other interests included painting.
Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Elizabeth Prouty of Alexandria; three children, David Prouty of Laurel, Jane Prouty of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Lauren Prouty of Lynchburg, Viginia. His brother, Air Force Colonel Robert Vincent Prouty, died in January 2000 and is also buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty (USAF)
Born: Springfield, Mass., January 24, 1917. Attended public schools. President, High School Student Government. Member, undefeated Golf Team. Vocalist with Big Bands, sang in most large dance halls, hotels and colleges in Northeast. Graduate: Massachusetts State College 1941, A.B. degree and Second Lieutenant Commission, U.S. Cavalry.
Began military career with 4th Armored Division, Pine Camp, New York. At Communications Officer School, Ft. Knox, Kentucky, on December 7, 1941 (Pearl Harbor). Transferred to Air Force 1942. Earned Pilot's wings November, 1942. Arrived British West Africa (Ghana), February 1943 as pilot with Air Transport Command.
Assigned to V.I.P. flying, summer 1943. Personal pilot for General Omar Bradley, General J. C. H. Lee and General C. R. Smith (Founder and President – American Airlines), among others. Landed U.S. Geological Survey Team in Saudi Arabia, Oct 1943, to confirm oil discoveries for Cairo Conference.
Assigned special duties at Cairo and Teheran Conferences, November-December 1943. Flew Chiang Kai Shek's Chinese delegation (T.V. Soong's delegates) to Teheran.
Chief Pilot (1,200 pilots), Cairo for Air Transport Command. Led special air mission into Soviet Union, and others into Turkey, 1944. Evacuated “Guns of Navaronne” British commandos from Turkey to Palestine. Assisted in capture of the leader of German Gold smuggling ring (The actor, Bruce Cabot) in Turkey and Cairo. Led large flight of transport aircraft to Turkish-Syrian border to evacuate 750 American POW's and OSS-selected Ex-Nazi Intelligence experts from the Balkans, September 1944. The first “overt” Cold War mission.
Transferred to Southwest Pacific, flew in New Guinea, Leyte and was on Okinawa at end of war. Landed near Tokyo at surrender with first three planes carrying General MacArthur's bodyguard troops. Flew out with American POWs. Photographed Hiroshima, that date.
Assigned by Army to Yale University to begin first USAF ROTC program. Taught “Aeronautics”and “Evolution of Warfare”. Transferred to U.S. Air Force ROTC headquarters to write college text books. Wrote the college textbook on “Aeronautics” and another on “Rockets and Missiles”.
Transferred to Colorado Springs to establish Air Defense Command. There, Director, Personnel Planning for Command (77,000 men) and first to put personnel records on Computer. Attended Nuclear Weapons school, Sandia, New Mexico. Selected for Air Force Command and Staff College, Montgomery, Alabama.
Assigned to Korean War duties in Japan. Military Manager, Tokyo International Airport (Haneda) during Occupation. Commander, Military Air Transport Service, Heavy Transport Squadron responsible for military and diplomatic flights from Toyko to Saudi Arabia and back, in addition to daily flights to Korea, Honolulu and Pacific Islands. Founder, Toyko Toastmasters Club. Attended, JCS operated Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, 1955.
Assigned to Headquarters, U.S. Air Force and directed to create an Air Force world-wide system for “Military Support of the Clandestine Operations of the CIA”, as required by a new National Security Council Directive, 5412 of March, 1954. Wrote this policy in conjunction with Air Force General Counsel and CIA's General Counsel. Set up a TOP SECRET world wide support force and communications system. Was sent around the world by the Director, Central Intelligence, Allen W. Dulles, to meet the CIA Station Chiefs, 1956. Directed Air Force participation in countless CIA operations during this period. As a result of a CIA Commendation for this work, awarded the Legion of Merit by the Air Force, promoted to Colonel and assigned to the Office of the Secretary of Defense to carry out this same type of work for all military services. Assigned to the Office of Special Operations.
With the creation of the Defense Intelligence Agency by Secretary McNamara and the abolishment of the OSO, was transferred to the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to create a similar, world-wide office and was the Chief of Special Operations, with the Joint Staff all during 1962-1963.
Received orders to travel as the Military Escort officer for a group of VIPs who were being flown to the South Pole, November 10-November 28, 1963, to activate a Nuclear Power plant for heat, light and sea water desalination at the U.S. Navy Base at McMurdo Sound, Antarctica.
Retired as Colonel, U.S. Air Force, 1964 and was awarded one of the first three Joint Chiefs of Staff Commendation Medals by General Maxwell Taylor, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Vice Presdient, International Operations, General Aircraft Corporation… a company created by MIT and Harvard specialists that designed and built aircraft that were used by the CIA and Army Special Forces.
Vice President, Manager, Pentagon Branch, First National Bank, Arlington, Virginia, later Vice President, Marketing, 1965-1968. Vice President, Marketing, Madison National Bank, Washington, D.C.
Graduate, Graduate School of Banking, University of Wisconsin, 1966 – 1968.
Charter Member, American Bankers Association committee for Automation, Planning and Technology to develop plans to convert all U.S. banks to automation, including the Federal Reserve System.
President, Financial Marketing Council of Greater Washington, D.C.
Member, Advertising Club of Washington, D.C.
1971 AMTRAK, as Manager, created nationwide Government and Military Marketing organization. Senior Director, Public Affairs, corporate speechwriter for Presidents and members of the Board.
Author, Public Speaker, radio and TV, 1950 to present. Book “The Secret Team”, Prentice-Hall, 1973, and paperback by Ballantine, 1974.
Worked with all major USA TV networks, and with BBC-TV, CBC-TV, Japanese, Australian Broadcast Commission and others.
For McGraw-Hill Scientific Encyclopedia wrote “Railroad Engineering” section, and for its “Scientific Yearbook-1982” yearbook, wrote “Foreign Railroad Technology”.
For Traffic Quarterly and Congressional Record, wrote “Transportation at the Crossroads”, July 1981. Numerous magazine articles from New Republic to Air Force, Gallery, Genesis, and Freedom magazines.
Consultant: Rail Transportation for Northrop Services Inc., Northrup Corp. and for Ohio Rail Transportation Authority. Assisted Chairman, Joint Economics Committee of the Congress to set up International Hearings and to write “Rail Passenger Services Act of 1981”.
At request of Oliver Stone, worked as Creative Advisor (1990-1991) on production of his film “JFK” and was the original for “Man X” character played by Donald Sutherland.
New Book, “JFK, the CIA, Vietnam and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy” published by Birch Lane Press, 1992.
Director, National Railroad Foundation and Museum
National Press Club, and Foundation
Rotary Club of Washington, formerly a Director
Member, Society of Historians for American Foreign Relations
a) By direction of the Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, a Founder, of the International Air Traffic Controllers Association.
b) Founder, Tokyo Toastmasters Club
c) A Charter member, American Bankers Assn, Committee of Automation Planning and Technology.
d) A graduate of the American Bankers Assn, Graduate School of Banking, University of Wisconsin.
e) Guest Lecturer, American University.
f) Staff, Cairo Conference, 1943
g) Staff, Teheran Conference, 1943
PROUTY, JR., LEROY FLETCHER, Col. U.S.A.F. (Ret.)
On June 5, 2001 at Alexandria Hospital, LEROY PROUTY, of Alexandria, Virginia. Beloved husband of 58 years to Elizabeth B. Prouty; loving father of David F. and his wife, Bonnie Prouty of Laurel, MD, Jane E. Prouty og Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Lauren M. Prouty of Lynchburg, Virginia. He is also survived by a sister, Corinne Toole of Fairfax, Virginia. Funeral services will be held on Friday, July 6, 1 p.m. at the Fort Myer Chapel. Interment Arlington National Cemetery will Full Military Honors. The family requests memorial contributions be made to the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, 910 S. Payne St., Alexandria, Virginia, 22314 or local humane society of your choice.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard