The 35th Infantry Regiment Association salutes our fallen brother, SP4 Leslie John Lantos, who died in the service of his country on April 3rd, 1968 in Kontum Province, Vietnam. The cause of death was listed as Small Arms/AW. At the time of his death Leslie was 25 years of age. He was from Ten Sleep, Wyoming. Leslie is honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Panel 47E, Line 52.
The decorations earned by SP4 Leslie John Lantos include: the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Unit Citation.
(With input from a college classmate, this is what we can put together about Leslie's unusual background)
Leslie was born in Hungary and left there with his parents during the unrest after the 1956 Hungarian uprising. Leslie and his Dad eventually settled in Bushnell, Nebraska where it is thought Leslie graduated high school.
Leslie attended Chadron State College in Chadron, Nebraska and it is thought he graduated from there around 1965-66. Leslie loved playing checkers at which he was quite proficient and also attempted to wrestle on the collegiate level. At this he was less successful but the hours spent in training did give him a powerful build. His adventurous spirit showed in an attempt to master parachuting, which was given up after a "near miss".
Coming from a restrictive Communist background, Leslie was thankful and adamant about the freedom offered in America. He talked about one day going to law school. Leslie was very appreciative of his new country and expressed that by joining the Army--probably in early 1967.
Official Army records list Leslie's home of record as Ten Sleep, Wyoming. It is thought that is where his Dad was teaching music at the time of Leslie's entry into the Army. At the time his death, Leslie's next-of-kin is listed as his Dad in Forreston, MN. Leslie is buried there in the Forreston Cemetery.