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James Alexander Leonard

Submitted by: Norris Carroll Warren {Post member}

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James Alexander Leonard was born around 1891. James Leonard served in World War 1 with the United States Army. The enlistment was in 1916 and the service was completed in 1919.

Story of Service


James Alexander Leonard enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1916 in Lexington, NC. After training, he was commissioned 2LT and assigned A, 120th Inf. Regt., NCARNG.

In 1917, Co A, 120th Regt. was mobilized and sent to Camp Seiver, SC. There the unit was transferred to active duty and incorporated into the 30th Inf. Division. 2LT Leonard was promoted to Captain.

In 1918 he and his unit were shipped to a port of debarkation in France. They were assigned to the British Fourth Army, and assigned their position along the Hindenburg Line near Bellicourt, BG.

At 5:50 AM, September 29, 1918, the 119th and 120th Inf Regt went over the Top. Supported by British Tanks, and in spite of heavy Losses, the 120th Inf Regiment broke through the Hindenburg Line near the town of Bellicourt, BG.

The regiment continued battle and captured both Bellicourt and the important Bellicourt Tunnel Canal. Author Dale Blair wrote a book entitled "The Battle of Bellicourt Tunnel."

In April 1919, the 30th Inf Division was sent to Charleston, SC and demobilized. CPT Leonard received several heroic citations. He was promoted to Major and assigned Command of the 1st Battalion 120th Regiment, 30th Infranty Division. In 1930, Major Leonard was elected Sheriff of Davidson County, NC. He was liked by everyone. On February 1932, he was shot and killed while wrestling for his side arm. His funeral was attended by more than 1,000 people.

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