Son Tay Raid commander Leroy Manor dies at 100

| March 1, 2021

Lt Gen Leroy Manor

Last week retired Air Force Lieutenant General Leroy Manor died, four days after his 100th birthday. Manor was commissioned into the Army Air Forces in 1943. Flying 72 combat missions over Europe in P-47s. He rose to the general officer ranks by the time of the Vietnam War.

As a brigadier general, Manor commanded the Air Force Special Operations Force. One of his crowning achievements in the post was leading the joint Army-Air Force special operations Son Tay Prison Raid. We talked about the raid recently. While they missed the POWs by a matter of days, the raid was considered a successful operation. It became the benchmark for all future hostage rescue operations.

Air Force Times reports;

Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Leroy Joseph Manor, known for commanding the special operations raid on the Son Tay prison compound in Vietnam, died Thursday, just four days after his 100th birthday.

In his nearly 35-year military career, Manor distinguished himself through service in World War II, the Vietnam era and beyond.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff appointed Manor as task force commander for a mission dubbed Operation Ivory Coast in 1970. The force was charged with the responsibility of rescuing an estimated 61 prisoners of war from torture and neglect at the hands of the North Vietnamese.

The mission ended when operators discovered during the raid that the Vietnamese had previously moved the POWs, but the Son Tay Raid has continued to be recognized and studied for its exemplary planning and execution.

Much more at the source.

Category: Air Force, We Remember

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Rest in peace, sir. Thank you for your many contributions to the security of our country.


RIP, sir.


Rest in well-deserbed peace, Sir.


Godspeed and Farewell Good Sir! May your new wings fit you well. I’m sure that the fellow Warriors met you at the Gates of Valhalla.



Fair winds and following seas, General.


May the Deity shine light upon his soul.


Col. Bull Simon was in charge of the trigger pullers on that mission.


That’s what I remembered. Soldier of Fortune ran a good article on him back in the 80s.


Rest in Peace, General Manor. And thank you.

Mike B USAF Retired

RIP, fair winds and blue skies….

One of the two MC-130E Combat Talons used for this mission was still operational until June 2012. I was always in awe when on this aircraft based on that. The other one was lost off SC in 72.

64-0523 Used in Operation Kingpin the Son Tai Raid. Retired 2012. Preserved on Static Display at Cannon AFB, NM, Air Park

64-0558 Used in Operation Kingpin the Son Tai Raid. Lost Dec 72, Mid-Air off SC.

I did Aircrew Life Support on aircraft 64-0523, while it was with the 7th SOS and 711th SOS.

88-92 Rhein Main AB, Germany 7th SOS, 39th SOW

96-00 Duke Field, Florida 711th SOS, 919th SOW

01-09 Duke Field, Florida 711th SOS, 919th SOW