Wayne Leslie Lehto – Captain, United States Army

Wayne Leslie Lehto
April 11, 1943 – January 25, 2006
Durham, North Carolina
Visitation: 7-9 p.m. January 28, 2006 at Hudson Funeral Home, Durham
Funeral Service: 3:00 p.m. January 29, 2006 at Bayleaf Baptist Church, Raleigh North Carolina
Graveside Service: 3:00 p.m. February 22, 2006 at Arlington National  Cemetery
Interment: Arlington National Cemetery

He is survived by his wife, Dianna Whalen Lehto, of Durham; one son, Wayne Leslie Lehto, Jr. and wife, Heather, of Raleigh; three daughters, Sandra Dee Lehto, of Benson, Stephanie Lehto Strowd and husband, Gregory, of Chapel Hill and Janae Michelle Lehto and husband, Michael Jackan, of  Mebane; five brothers, Gene, Dale, Neil, Russell and Randy Lehto; six sisters, Lois Hipp, Linda Graham, Janice Vaughn, Lavada Seibert, Janelle Drapesa and Peggy Clements and six grandchildren, Anna-Stuart Lehto, Emmi Lehto, Wayne L. Lehto III, Ethan Strowd, Jackson Strowd and Alexander

Captain Lehto was a born in Butte, Montana to the late Eli Everette Lehto and Verna Day Lehto. He had lived in Durham since 1974. Mr. Lehto was a veteran of the United States Army, serving 2 tours during the Vietnam War.

He obtained the rank of Captain and was awarded a Silver Star and the Distinguished Flying Cross. He retired from American Tobacco Company. He was a very skilled handyman, a helicopter pilot and had also worked at  Durham Land Trust after retirement. He was active with the Vietnam  Helicopter Pilots Association. Mr. Lehto was of the Christian faith.

In lieu of flowers memorial gifts can be made to any local Veterans  Organization of choice or The Carcinoid Cancer Foundation, Inc.,333  Mamaroneck Avenue, #492,White Plains, New York 10605.


Wayne L. Lehto of Durham, North Carolina, passed away January 25,m 2006, after a six year running gun battle with cancer. Wayne served two tours in Vietnam, the firstas an Infantry Officer and the second as a Cobra pilot in the 361st ACE/AWC “Pink Panthers” from 5/70 to 5/71.

Wayne was an outstanding officer and excellent pilot, hard nosed and gruff, but always a mentor to the younger
pilots in the unit.

His Awards and Decorations include a Silver Star, a Distinguished Flying Cross, numerous awards of the Air Medal and all the ” I Been There ” medals.

Wayne attended Flight Class 69-42. He had hoped for a Chinook transition out of flight school but received a Snake transition instead. He never tired of telling his fellow  Panthers and all his friends it was the best thing that ever happened in his military career.

Wayne attended his first VHPA reunion in DC in 2000. He was hesitant to come at first but thoroughly enjoyed seeing his old friends and making new ones. He joined VHPA shortly after the reunion and was a regular till his health
problems side lined him in early 2005.

He is survived by his wife, Dianna ( Dee ), a son, Wayne JR and his wife, daughters Sandra, Stephanie and Janae and their husbands, six grand children, five brothers and six sisters.

Wayne will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery on February 22nd with full military honors. He was a warrior extraordinaire.



DATE OF BIRTH: 04/11/1943
DATE OF DEATH: 01/25/2006

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