Leland Etheldred Langford Died in Plane Crash


Leland E. Langford grew up in Ray City, GA before joining the Army.

Leland E. Langford grew up in Ray City, GA before joining the Army.


Leland Etheldred Langford (1919-1949)

Leland E. Landford was born July 10, 1919 at Ray City, GA,  a son of  Luther and Amanda Langford.  The Langford family farm place was on Rt 2, Ray City, Ga, about 1 mile east of town on the old Milltown (now Lakeland) – Ray City Road.

Leland attended the Ray City school  where he was a member of 4-H.  He graduated with the Ray City High School class of 1939.

After graduation, Leland had difficulty finding employment.  The Census of 1940 shows he continued to reside in his parents household and that he was doing government work as a carpenter on a school Works Program.  For this work he received $8 dollars per week.

On June 12, 1941 Leland Langford enlisted as a private in the Army at Fort McPherson, Atlanta, Georgia. Enlistment records show  he was 5’11” and 124 pounds.  Leland was trained as a pilot and commissioned as a Lieutenant.  Some time after he enlisted, Leland met and married a nurse.

Lt. Langford continued to serve  with the Army after WWII.  In 1949, he was working for the Army as a liaison pilot to the Air Force.

Atlanta Constitution
June 2, 1949

CAA Probes Union City Death Crash

Army officials and investigators of the Civil Aeronautics Administration yesterday launched a probe of the plane crash which Tuesday night killed two Army liaison pilots and injured an Air force officer near Union City.
Killed in the crash were Lt. Leland E. Langford, of Ray City, Ga., and Lt. Warren J. Ludwig, of New York City. Lt. Ludwig died en route to Grady Hospital.
Lt. Henry Matney, of Germantown, Md., flying with the two liaison pilots, parachuted to safety. He was treated at Fort McPherson Hospital for bruises.

Leland E. Langford killed in plane crash,  May 31, 1949.

Leland E. Langford killed in plane crash, May 31, 1949.

Leland’s body was returned to Ray City, GA.  He was buried at Beaver Dam Cemetery.

Leland Etheldred Langford

Leland Etheldred Langford

Ray City School Gets Lunch Room, 1941

There was a time when students at Ray City School ate bag lunches outside on the school grounds. In those days, said life-long Ray City resident David Miley, the unwary child might have his or her lunch snatched away by a free-range hog.  Later, the school yard was fenced and a cattle gap installed to keep out the livestock.  By 1941, the school had a lunch room serving 150 students a day.

Ray City School lunch room, 1952-53.

Ray City School lunch room, 1952-53.

In 1941, Alma Florence May Clements, wife of  Hod P. Clements, wrote a newspaper article about the lunchroom:

Nashville Herald
February 13, 1941
Lunch Room for Ray City School
by Mrs. H.P. Clements
    Through the efforts of our efficient Parent Teachers Association we are sponsoring one of the most worthy projects that we have ever sponsored.
    In the year 1939 we started or at least we created the idea of a lunchroom for our school. We had lots of things to discourage us, as in the first place we did not have room in the building, not stove, but a few of us decided that where there is a will there could certainly by a way.
    Our hats are off to one of our trustees.  Mr. M.A. Studstill, who with a big heart and a bigger pocketbook, donated the lumber to build the lunchroom.  But that wasn’t enough.  He furnishes us with all the wood that anybody will go after from his saw mill. If we just had  few more like him, I don’t known what we might be able to do.
With the assistance of the WPA our lunchroom has been built and the good women of the P.T.A. donated very generously to furnish it in January of 1941.  We had only two ladies in the lunchroom and accommodations for 100 children. Our good county school superintendent, R.A. Stallings, came to our rescue and helped us get more help and now we have four helpers in the lunchroom and they are all ready and willing to do their part and then some.

    We feed at least 150 children each day taking care of all of the underprivileged children and those who can are more than willing to donate and help finance the lunchroom. It is just a happy privilege to visit the lunch room, and I wish every mother who sends her child to the lunchroom would please visit us and see how efficiently the food is prepared and served to the children.
    Let’s try in every way we can to make this lunchroom in Ray City a larger and better lunch room than it has been in the past.  Let’s encourage our workers in the room, and stand behind the trustees of our school to visit the lunch room more often and see for themselves the work that is being done.
    Let’s all pull together to make a better school for Ray City, a better town in which to live. Our school faculty is always ready to cooperate and help in any and every way it can. Lets all put our shoulders to the wheel and really and truly do something for Ray City.