Leon S. Pope Collection

Summary Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Pope, L. S., (Leon S.), 1923-
Leon S. Pope collection
0.1 Cubic feet 1 folder

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: "Item title, Collection title, Collection Identifier, Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan."

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Biographical Note

Leon (Bill) S. Pope was born in Boise, Idaho on October 9, 1923 to Leon T. and Stella Spalding Pope and was raised on a general grain and livestock farm in Somerset, Michigan. He was active in both 4-H and FFA. During his sophomore year at Michigan State College (now Michigan State University), he enlisted and served his country as a B-24 bomber pilot. Leon was a Second Lieutenant in the Army Air Corps stationed in England. He flew 23 missions over Germany. After the war, he graduated from Michigan State College with a degree in Animal Husbandry in 1947 and later earned his Masters and Ph.D. degrees from Oklahoma State University in animal nutrition.

Leon joined Alpha Gamma Rho as a member of Tau chapter at Michigan State in 1942 and was elected chapter president in 1946. Later, he served as chapter adviser at both Oklahoma and New Mexico State Universities. He was also the president of the Block and Bridle club and Alpha Zeta while an undergraduate.

Leon headed Oklahoma State's Department of Animal Science from 1964-1968 as a teacher and researcher. From 1968-1976, he served as Associate Dean for Administrative Affairs, College of Agriculture, Texas A&M University. From 1976 til his retirement in 1985, Leon served as Dean of the College of Agriculture and Home Economics at New Mexico State University.

Leon married Vanna "Polly" Mershon in 1951. He died in his home in College Station, Texas on December 27, 2010.

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Scope and Content

The Leon S. Pope collection consists of one volume which recounts his story as a bomber pilot during World War II. Wild Blue Yonder includes photographs of Leon Pope and fellow soldiers, colored maps of America and Europe, photographs over Germany, newspaper clippings, and a detailed picture of a B-24 Bomber.

Included also is a copy of his obituary and newspaper clippings announcing a scholarship he won.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections March 2014

Conrad Hall
888 Wilson Road, Room 101
East Lansing , MI, 48824

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from the heirs of Leon S. Pope.

Custodial History

Gift of Vanna "Polly" Pope.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Michigan State College.
  • Michigan State University. Class of 1947.


  • Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)

Personal Name(s)

  • Pope, L. S., (Leon S.), 1923-
  • Pope, Vanna, (Polly)


  • Bomber pilots -- United States
  • World War, 1939-1945

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Collection Inventory

Drawer Folder

Wild Blue Yonder: A Bomber Pilot's Story 2012 

FD 1