Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Rest in Peace: American Jewish Pilot Lou Lenart, Saviour of Tel Aviv, Dies at 94

"Lou Lenart, a U.S. Marine Corps pilot during World War II who later helped thwart an Egyptian advance on Tel Aviv in Israel’s 1948 War of Independence, died Monday at age 94."

"Lenart was born Layos Lenovitz to Jewish farmers in Hungary. His family moved to America when he was 10 years old and settled in Pennsylvania. He later enlisted in the Marine Corps at 17 and became a pilot, seeing action during the Battle of Okinawa and elsewhere in the Pacific."

"Following World War II, Lenart joined Israel’s nascent air force, which consisted of just four Czech-built German Messerschmitt fighter planes. During the 1948 war, when Egyptian forces were closing in Tel Aviv, Israeli commanders decided to risk their entire fleet of planes and attack the Egyptian advance. Lenart, who was the most experienced pilot in the group, led the charge. Surprised by the Israeli aerial attack, Egyptian forces eventually retreated."

Modern-day Maccabee. Rest in Peace.