Commander John M. Leaver, Jr., United States Navy, at age 38 was the Operations Officer on the staff of Rear Admiral Rembrandt C. Robinson, USN, Commander Cruiser Destroyer Flotilla 11 and Commander Cruiser Destroyer Force Vietnam (CTF 75). Commander Leaver was killed in a helicopter crash while returning to the flagship USS Providence (CLG-6) on May 8, 1972 while coordinating the cruiser destroyer attack on the Do Son Peninsula scheduled May 8-10 1972. Also killed in the crash were Rear Admiral Robinson and Captain Edmund Taylor, Jr.
Commander Leaver was born in Boston, Massachusetts, attended Brewster Academy in Wolfsboro, New Hampshire, and was a NROTC graduate of Dartmouth University. Commander Leaver was commissioned an Ensign in the US Navy in 1955, reporting to his first duty station in USS Robert H. McCard (DD-822) homeported in Norfolk, Virginia. Following this assignment, he served in USS Mississinewa (AO-144), commanded USS Sumner County (LST-1148), was Executive Officer in USS William M. Wood (DD-715) and was Commanding Officer, USS Ramsey (DEG-2).
Other duty stations in his 17 years of active duty included Officer Candidate School, Newport, Rhode Island, German General Staff College, Hamburg, Germany and the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Washington, D.C.
Commander Leaver reported to Commander Cruiser Destroyer Flotilla 11 in January 1972 from Ramsey and deployed to Vietnam in April of that year. Among his decorations include the National Defense Medal with star, the Vietnam Service Medal with two stars, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Grand Officer First Class Medal and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Medal.
Commander Leaver and his wife Claire had two sons, Robert Bruce who at the time of Commander Leaverís death was 3 and Edward Scott, aged 1.