Leonard Thomas Higdon was the son of Leonard Paul Higdon and Nettie Rae Parrish. Husband of Melissa Dawn Higdon and father of three children.

Personal Data
Home of Record Fort Benning, GA
Powell High School Graduate

Military Data
Unit Reconnaissance Platoon, Company E, 327th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborn Division, USARV

Casualty Data
Start Tour 13 February 1970
Incident Date 21 May 1970
Casualty Date 21 May 1970
Age at Loss 25
Location Thua Thien Province, South Vietnam
Remains Body recovered
Casualty Type Hostile, died outright
Casualty Reason Ground casualty
Casualty Detail Artillery, rocket, or mortar

Vietnam Wall Panel 10W Line 075

Gary Gresh
103, Mary Place,
Flat Rock, NC., 28731, usa
lest we forget
Tom Higdon died in my arms on my birthday, May 21, 1970, on Firebase Bastogne, 1327 Infantry, 101st. He was a great guy and his death affected me profoundly. He was killed by random incoming mortar fire at midday on the 21st. Several of us tried to save Tom by placing him on an army mule, the wheeled variety, and tried to get him to the helipad, for medivac. He never made it to the pad. He was trying to tell me something as he died, but I could not make out the words. Somehow I’m sure, it had something to do with his wife and I tried so hard to hear his words, but the entire firebase was on fire, and more rounds, were still incoming and I could not hear him. I know he loved her very much and he talked of her a lot. We should never forget, his sacrifice. He died, on his second tour in viet and I miss him.
Wednesday, October 17, 2001

The Knoxville News-Sentinel, 26 May 1970
Today’s report of the death of a Knox County serviceman brings to 80 the number of Knox Countians killed in Vietnam since Nov. 17, 1965
A Knox County soldier, serving his second tour of duty in Vietnam was killed by enemy mortar fire May 21 while with a company in the Demilitarized Zone. Capt. Leonard T. Higdon, 25, husband of the former Sandra Kay Golden and father of three children, was killed while occupying an artillery firing position, according to a telegram sent to his family. His wife and children live on Schaad Rd. Capt. Higdon was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Higdon Sr., Benton Lane. His father is a teacher at Karns High School and is mother teaches American history at Powell High School. A 1962 graduate of Powell High School, Capt. Higdon was a member of the football and basketball teams there, and during his senior year was a member of the All-County team. He attended Middle Tennessee State University , Murfreesboro, and Carson-Newman College. He was inducted into the Army in 1965 and graduated from Officer Candidate School in 1966, the same year he began a year’s tour of duty in Vietnam. He returned to Vietnam last February. Besides his wife and parents, he leaves two sons, Daniel and Leonard Jr.; one daughter, Melissa; two brothers, Charles P. Higdon and Walter Quillen Higdon, both of Knoxville; one sister, Mrs. Bonnie Atkins, Manchester and grandmother Mrs. Nannie Ross, Rome, Ga.

  • Rank: Captain
  • Date of birth:
  • 20 September 1944
  • Date of death: 21 May 1970
  • County: Knox
  • Service Branch: Army
  • Division/Assignment: 101st Airborne Division
  • Conflict: Vietnam
  • Awards: Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal, Purple Heart
  • Burial/Memorial Location: Woodhaven Memorial Gardens, Claxton, Anderson County, TN
  • Location In Memorial: Pillar XXIII, Middle Panel
  • Contact us to sponsor Leonard T. Higdon

Image Gallery

Click a thumbnail below to view at full size.

Submit more information on this veteran →