Individuals and Units

Entries - Entry Category: Individuals and Units - Starting with L

Lambert, Joseph Calvin (Joe)

Joseph Calvin Lambert was a career U.S. Army soldier who fought in World War II before achieving the rank of major general and serving as the army’s adjutant general in the 1960s. Joseph Calvin (Joe) Lambert was born in Washington (Hempstead County) on August 3, 1908, one of six children of timber industry worker Walter Samuel Lambert and Maude Johnson Lambert. He lived in the area, much of the time in Texarkana (Miller County), until 1925, when he joined the army as a buck private. He rose through the non-commissioned officer ranks, reportedly gaining his master sergeant’s stripes after rescuing a general’s daughter from shark-infested waters in Panama, and was promoted to second lieutenant in the Army Reserve Corps in …

Landis, Reed Gresham

Reed Gresham Landis was a World War I flying ace who also served in World War II before retiring to Arkansas to run a resort near Hot Springs (Garland County). Reed G. Landis was born on July 17, 1896, in Ottawa, Illinois, the son of Winifred Reed Landis and Kenesaw Mountain Landis, a federal judge and longtime commissioner of major league baseball. Young Landis grew up in Chicago, Illinois, and, in the spring of 1916, enlisted in the First Illinois Cavalry, which was dispatched with other National Guard units to the Mexican border following Francisco “Pancho” Villa’s raid into U.S. territory. The unit returned to Chicago in November without seeing action, though the training the men experienced while deployed would …

Lee, Hubert L.

Hubert L. Lee, who lived in North Little Rock (Pulaski County) as a child, was a soldier in the U.S. Army who received a Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in battle during the Korean War. Hubert L. Lee was born in Arburg, Missouri, on February 2, 1915, the son of railroad fireman Charles Lee and Beulah Lee. Five years later, they were living in North Little Rock’s Ward 4. The family later moved to Leland, Mississippi, and it was there that Lee was inducted into the U.S. Army during World War II. He served with distinction, winning a Bronze Star and Silver Star for heroism in fighting in North Africa and Italy. Lee remained in the army and …

Lemley, Harry Jacob Jr.

Harry Jacob Lemley Jr. was a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point who served during World War II, the Korean War, and the Cold War before retiring as a lieutenant general in 1971. Harry Jacob Lemley Jr. was born on February 1, 1914, in Hope (Hempstead County), the son of future U.S. District Court judge Harry J. Lemley Sr. and Caroline McRae Lemley. After graduating from Hope High School, Lemley attended the Marion Military in Marion, Alabama, in preparation for his appointment to West Point. Remembering his time at West Point, Lemley wrote years later: “West Point devastated me mentally and physically, as I was grossly immature in every respect. I nevertheless toughed it out, as I …

Letzig, Margaret Heller Himstedt

Margaret Heller Himstedt Letzig was the first Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) officer from Arkansas during World War II. She served from 1942 to 1943, achieving the rank of first lieutenant. Margaret Himstedt was born on November 4, 1898, in Little Rock (Pulaski County) to Henry Himstedt and Margaret Hickey Himstedt. Her father was the co-owner of Pfeifer-Himstedt Plumbing and Heating Company. Himstedt was educated in Little Rock’s public schools and graduated from Little Rock High School in 1915. She attended Trinity College in Washington DC, where she received BA degrees in English and chemistry. She later received a master’s degree in social work from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. Himstedt worked as a medical social worker at St. …

Littleton, Herbert

Herbert A. Littleton was an Arkansas native who received the Medal of Honor for valor while serving as a U.S. Marine during the Korean War. Herbert A. Littleton was born in Mena (Polk County) on July 1, 1930, the youngest of three sons of the farming family of Paul N. Littleton and Lillie Maude Littleton. The family did not stay in Arkansas for long, relocating to Lawrence, South Dakota, by 1935, and then to Spearfish, South Dakota, by 1940, where Paul Littleton was working as a foreman on a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project. The family continued moving around the western United States, with Littleton attending elementary school in East Port Orchard, Washington, and high school in Sturgis, South Dakota. …

Lloyd, Edgar Harold

Edgar Harold Lloyd was awarded the Medal of Honor for service above and beyond the call of duty during World War II. The Medal of Honor is the highest award presented to an individual serving in the United States armed services for valor against an enemy force. Harold Lloyd was born on February 28, 1922, in Yarbro (Mississippi County) to Edgar Bentley Lloyd and Lillian Lindley Lloyd, who were farmers. He had one sibling, a sister named Marvin Emma. Lloyd graduated from Blytheville High School in 1939 and then attended the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County). There, he was president of the Associated Students and active in fraternity and other campus activities. He was captain of Company …

Loudermilk, William Murphy

In 1952, Jonesboro (Craighead County) resident William M. Loudermilk became the last Confederate veteran to die in Arkansas; he had been the last survivor to have served in a North Carolina unit. At the time of his death, he was one of the nation’s last nine surviving Confederate veterans. Being a native of North Carolina, he had served in a unit from his home state but moved to Jonesboro sometime in the late 1880s. He lived in northeastern Arkansas for over sixty years until his death in 1952. William Murphy Loudermilk was born near Murphy, North Carolina, in Cherokee County on October 27, 1847. He was the fifth of nine children born to Daniel Loudermilk and Nellie Thompson Loudermilk. Little …

Loyd, Robert

Robert Loyd—along with his husband, John Schenck—was an activist for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights in Arkansas, especially same-sex marriage. He was also a business owner and a veteran of the Vietnam War. Loyd and Schenck co-founded Conway’s Pride Parade and were plaintiffs in Wright v. Arkansas, a challenge to the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Ralph Robert Loyd, called Robert or Bobby, was born in Nuremberg, Germany, on September 24, 1949, to Inge and Troy Loyd. His mother had served in Germany’s regular army, and his father was an American soldier. Loyd’s father brought his wife and son to America when Loyd was three. They lived in Damascus (Van Buren and Faulkner counties). In 1968, at his …

Lucas, George Washington

George Washington Lucas was a young soldier in a Missouri cavalry regiment during the Civil War. He was awarded a Medal of Honor for killing an Arkansas militia general in Benton (Saline County) in 1864. George Washington Lucas was born in 1845 in Brown County, Illinois, to wealthy physician Daniel B. Lucas and his wife, Sarah Ann Lucas; he had five brothers and a sister. After the Civil War began, the eighteen-year-old private crossed the Mississippi River to enlist in Company C of the Third Missouri Cavalry (US) at Palmyra, Missouri, on February 21, 1862; his occupation was listed as farmer. Lucas was engaged in several scouting expeditions while the Third Missouri served in Arkansas, including one on July 25, …

Lyle, Lewis Elton (Lew)

A native of Pine Bluff (Jefferson County), Major General Lewis Elton Lyle of the U.S. Air Force began his military flying career as a B-17 bomber pilot in the European Theater during World War II. He flew more combat missions than any other lead pilot and was one of the war’s most decorated aviators. Lewis Lyle was born on June 22, 1916, to Lewis Eley Lyle and Nellie West Lyle in Pine Bluff; he had a younger sister. After graduating with honors from what is now Ouachita Baptist University in 1938, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Infantry Reserve. He began active duty in December 1940 as an anti-tank company officer. In May 1941, he …