World War 2
In the fall of 1941 Louis moved to Los Angeles being employed as a riveter at Lockheed Aircraft Company. On January 23, 1943, he was inducted into the Army. After basic training he was accepted to Flight School starting in July 1943. He graduated, earning his wings and attaining the rank of 2nd Lt on February 1, 1945. Louis left Mississippi for Del Rio, Texas for bomber training on the B-26. He was about to be assigned to an active unit when the war with Japan ended in August 1945. Louis spent his entire enlistment (1943-1945) in training and never saw any action. Louis joined the local National Guard Unit (47th Viking Company E 135th Regiment) as a 2nd Lt which was his discharge rank in 1947.
Louis obtained the rank of 1st Lt. in September 1950 and his Guard unit activated for duty in the Korean Conflict in December. Louis left in January 1951 for Camp Rucker, Alabama and then to Fort Benning, Georgia for training. In June, Louis graduated from Officer School and was transferred to Fort Sill, Oklahoma. In October 1952 Louis left for Korea where he would become an aerial observer. We don’t know how he qualified for this since he was color blind as to green and browns. Louis returned in October 1953 and was stationed at Fort Atterbury, Indiana.
1954 brought another move, this time it was to Fort Carson, Colorado. Louis and the other pilots in the squadron flew the planes to Colorado, leaving their wives to get their families there by car. In August of 1955 Louis tore the ligaments in his right ankle. The doctors repaired it by cutting the ligaments on both sides of the ankle and sewing them back together with gold thread. The gold thread was used so that he could have full control of his ankle in flying. Louis was transferred again in September to Fort Riley, Kansas near Junction City. In February 1956 Louis and two other pilots left Fort Riley and traveled to Toronto Canada to familiarize themselves with the new Otter aircraft that was being looked at to be added by the US Army. In February 1956 Louis and two other pilots (Major Aaron G. Atkisson and Captain T. James Dowling) left Fort Riley and traveled to Toronto Canada to familiarize themselves with the new Otter aircraft that they were to fly back to Fort Riley. On February 14th, while on a test flight, the plane crashed, when a section of the wing broke loose, killing all aboard. One way that Louis was positively identified was by the gold thread in his ankle.