a blog by Peter Stekel

FINAL FLIGHT is the story of four aviators lost in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks on November 18, 1942


Read more about FINAL FLIGHT here.


January 21, 2021

I was sad to learn today that Leonard Spivey passed away on January 15th of this year. He celebrated his 100th birthday on December 6, 2020 and shortly thereafter contracted COVID-19.

Leonard was a great friend to me and a major contributor to making Final Flight an accurate account of World War aviation training. We spoke many times during the research for this book and Leonard was always willing to patiently entertain any questions.

What impressed me the most about Leonard was his steadfast commitment to the memory of his friend Bill Bechter and to his own crewmembers who were killed during the war.


Lt. William Bechter on the left and Lt. Leonard Spivey on the right in 1943.

In the middle are two memorial bricks that Leonard contributed at the VA hospital in Sacramento to remember his friend Bill Bechter and to honor Mather Field navigators killed in action during the war.


Leonard Spivey in 2010


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