Ranger Exes Memorial - RHS Class of 1949

Leslie Hale LESLIE UDELL "DUCK" HALE, 50, was born in Ranger, TX on Dec. 1, 1931, to Vergie Huckabay & Thomas E. Hale. He was in the Ranger High School Class of 1949 but left school early that year to join the U.S. Air Force. He was married to Ollie Rogers (RHS-1948) and they were living in Azle at the time of his death. They had a son, David G. Hale, who lives in Azle & an older son, Weldon Eddie Hale. Udell made a career in the Air Force and served in Japan, Korea and Viet Nam before retiring in 1972 as a Master Sargent. He died on Nov. 17, 1982. Udell had older brothers, Twyman Joseph Hale (RHS-1934), Albert Dealon Hale and Thomas Weldon "Ike" Hale (RHS- 1940), & a sister, Aurelia, all deceased. It is believed that all of the boys may have attended some schooling in Ranger; however, all but Twyman may have left school early. Thomas Weldon was killed in action in the Army on Sept. 15, 1943, while serving in Italy during WWII. Because of this, Mrs. Hale would not sign for her son Udell to go into the Air Force at 17 and he had to wait until he was of age. He then joined the Air Force, remained for 22 years and retired as a Master Sargent. Udell also had a cousin, Barnett "Os" or "Ossie" Hale who was in the RHS Class of 1945. Udell had excelled in baseball as a pitcher but was injured in a football workout on his first day of training, breaking a collarbone and so his participation in football and as a pitcher was ended by that injury. In the Air Force he served in Japan as a crew-member of a sea/air rescue team during the Korean Conflict, rescuing downed airmen in the Sea of Japan as well as inland Korea. After Korea he returned to Ranger and married Ollie Rogers and then continued his Air Force career as an aircraft mechanic. He was stationed at Randolph Field in San Antonio at the time their sons, Weldon (1959) and David (1960) were born. In 1961, the family moved to England where Udell had duty and then he was stationed at Reese AFB in Lubbock. In 1969-1970, Udell had duty in Viet Nam and then was stationed at Forbes Field in Topeka, KS, where he retired and the family moved back to Lubbock until moving to Azle in 1977. In the fall of 1979, Udell became ill with cancer and finally lost his fight on Nov. 17, 1982. While in Viet Nam, Udell was with a unit that daily sprayed the Agent Orange and the family believes the chemicals were responsible for his illness and death.