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Leigh Wade was born in Cassopolis, Mich., in 1896, and graduated from high school there in 1915.

He enlisted in the National Guard in June 1916, and a year later became an aviation cadet. In December 1917, after graduating from flying school, he was rated a pilot and commissioned a first lieutenant in the Aviation Section of the Officers' Reserve Corps, with which he served continuously until March 1926, when he reverted to inactive status.

General Wade then became an aircraft sales executive with Consolidated Aircraft, with which he worked in the United States and South America until 1941 and for which he was chief test pilot from 1928 to 1929. In March 1941, General Wade returned to active duty with the Air Corps as a major and was assigned to the Air Intelligence Section at Air Corps headquarters. In June 1941, he was transferred to the First Bomber Command at Mitchel Field, N.Y., where he served as assistant for plans and training.

General Wade went to Cuba in August 1942, to command Batista Field. In May 1946, he was assigned to the 14th Air Force at Orlando, Fla., as operations officer and public information officer.

In November 1948, General Wade received temporary duty at Air Force Headquarters. In July 1949, he became air attache at Athens, Greece. He was appointed air attache at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in May 1951, and in December 1952, became chief of the Air Section of the Joint Brazil-U.S. Military Commission also at Rio de Janeiro.

General Wade was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal in 1925 for his services as pilot and supply officer of the U.S. Army Air Service around-the-world flight from April 6 to Sept. 28, 1924. He also has been awarded the Legion of Merit and many foreign awards. He is rated a command pilot.

In 1925, General Wade received honorary master of science degrees from Tufts College and Norwich University.