Leroy W. Machado (1954/12/01)
LeRoy was the last Santa Cruz County serviceman to die during the Korean War period.
LeRoy William Machado was born October 28, 1931, in Santa Cruz to Joseph and Ruth Machado. He was the only son of the couple, who appear to have separated during his youth. LeRoy lived with his mother, but maintained contact with his father and grandparents who also lived in Santa Cruz. Machado attended local schools and entered Santa Cruz High School, where he was active in sports. While in high school, he joined the US Army Reserve's 422nd MP Company and served in that unit for two years. Machado graduated from Santa Cruz High School with the February 1951 class.
LeRoy enlisted in the US Navy in July 1951. He was sent to San Diego for boot camp and after completing his basic and advanced training, was assigned to the US Naval Base in Sasebo, Japan. He remained at that station performing administrative work for the next fifteen months. After completing his far eastern tour, LeRoy returned to California and on February 20, 1954, reported to a naval facility at Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay.
In March 1954, Machado was sent to Bainbridge, Maryland, where he entered a twelve-week training program at the navy's personnel school. Following completion of that school, he returned to Santa Cruz for a thirty-day leave before reporting aboard the USS Hooper Island in Southern California.
On the night of December 1, 1954, while in San Gabriel, California, LeRoy Machado drove a vehicle into the rear of a truck laden with potatoes and was killed in the ensuing crash. His body was returned to Santa Cruz for a funeral and interment at Oakwood Memorial Park.
(SCR August 22, 1952 4:3; SCSn March 5, 1954 3:1, December 5, 1954 1:3, Oakwood Cemetery Survey)