Leon Devereaux was born in Bend, Oregon in 1923 and graduated from Bend High School. On the one-year anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, Leon joined the U.S. Navy Air Corps and was commissioned as Ensign in July 1944. He served as a U.S. Navy combat pilot in WWII, flying a F4U Corsair off the aircraft carrier USS Shangri-La over the Japanese home islands. During an air battle off southern Hokkaido, he was credited with shooting down a twin-engine enemy plane. His last combat flight was over the Battleship Missouri during the signing of the peace document ending WWII in Tokyo Harbor on September 2, 1945. He had over 40 combat missions and was awarded the air medal with three gold stars.
After the War, he returned to Bend and married Marian Louise Mowery in 1946. They had three children. He began his first job as draftsman for Pacific Power and Light Co. After that he worked for Brooks-Scanlon Lumber Co. He was employed by that company for 38 years and became Controller. He retired in 1984. He served on the Bend City Commission and in 1968 became the Mayor of Bend. At that time Bend had a population of 13,000.
Leon served as Tiler of Bend Elks Lodge #1371 in 1950-1951, Lodge Esquire in 1951-1952, Lecturing Knight in 1952-1953, Loyal Knight in 1953-1954, Leading Knight 1954-1955 and Exalted Ruler in 1955-1956. He also served on the Board of Directors from 1958-1962. Leon has been an Elk for 69 years and is still active in Lodge activities and assists the Board of Directors with many projects. We are proud to have him as our Honored Veteran of the Year 2013-2014.