Today, like the rest of our country, we remember those who lived in our orphanage or residential home throughout our more than 100 years of service. Two such heroes were Lieutenant J.B. Lear and his brother, PFC George Lear.

J.B. was killed in action May 1, 1943. He was the Army pilot of a B-17 Flying Fortress, 423rd bomb squadron, and was shot down on a bombing mission over Germany. At the time, a publication, The Orphanage Visitor was quoted as saying “J.B. was one of the finest young men the Orphanage ever produced. He graduated with honors from Louisiana Tech in 1940. He taught in our mission school at Houma for one year. He entered the Air Corps in 1942. His training was rapid, for he applied himself studiously and well. He came home for a few days before being sent abroad. Our last letter from him disclosed that he was stationed in England.”

Private First Class George Lear was listed as missing in action after the fall of Corregidor. PFC Lear was in the 77th Infantry Brigade and was killed in action October 24, 1944. He was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.

PFC George Lear’s brick in our Memorial Garden behind Webb Hall on our Ruston campus.

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