Roger H. Henry, World War II CasualtyPorter County Data on World War II Casualties . . . .

Roger H. Henry
Captain, 88th Fighter Squadron, 80th Fighter Group
Date of Birth: January 30, 1919
Date of Death: July 29, 1945
Burial: National Memorial Cemetery of Pacific (Plot B, Row 0, Grave 1,366), Honolulu, Hawaii
Cause of Death: Airplane Crash (India)
Date of Enlistment: December 29, 1941
Awards: Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Cluster, Air Medal with 2 Oak Clusters
Hometown: Valparaiso

Newspaper Notices:

Capt. Roger Henry Killed In Indian
Army Air Officer's Second Plane Crash During War Is Fatal.

Captain Roger Henry, U. S. Army Air Corps, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Henry, 104 Harrison boulevard, was killed on July 29 in a plane crash in India, according to an announcement today.

First news of his death was received last Thursday by his father, J. H. Henry, at Saranac, Mich., where he was visiting his father, William H. Henry.

No further details were given in the telegram, but the father was advised a letter would follow from the corps chaplain.

Captain Henry had been in the Burma-India sector since last September. Recently he wrote his parents that he had completed 100 missions in 90 days.

Captain Henry was holder of the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal and numerous bronze stars.

It was the second plane crash in which Captain Henry had figured. In April, 1943, while on an escort mission in the South Pacific flying with a group of P-40's covering bomber raids, Captain Henry's Curtis Warhawk developed engine trouble.

He and his companions had encountered heavy anti-aircraft fire from Jap positions. When his motor "conked" about 15 miles from the home base he leaped out. As he jumped from the cockpit the tail of his plane caught him squarely in the face. He came too 30 hours later. He was picked out of the wreckage of his plane by a crash vessel patroling nearby waters. He suffered a broken nose and several skull fractures.

After recovering from his injuries in a New Zealand hospital he returned to the United States in June, 1943, and was "grounded" for a year. In was intention of army air corps to place Captain Henry in a "safe" position.

His intense love for flying and his eagerness to be of service to his country caused him to demand that he be returned to active duty. He took up his case with Gen. Hap Arnold and was restored to regular flying duty, receiving an assignment in the Burma-India region.

At the time of his death Captain Henry was flying a P-47 Thunderbolt. Flyers in the command were termed Burma Banshee pilots.

Leaving Notre Dame university in December, 1941, shortly after Pearl Harbor, to enlist in the army air corps, Captain Henry had over 250 hours of flying experience behind him due to CPT training at Valparaiso university, which he attended before going to Notre Dame. At Valparaiso he was a member of the school's football team.

After completing his pre-flight course at Kelly Field, Texas, he mastered his primary training at Bonham, Tex. Completing his basic training at San Antonio, Tex., he was graduated from Mission, Tex., in September, 1942.

His first bit of active duty sent him to Hawaii, where he did some instructing and patrolled the islands in that region. In February, 1942, he was sent to the Solomons.

Captain Henry was born in LaPorte on Jan. 30, 1919, and came with his parents to Valparaiso in 1926 when his father took over management of the J. C. Penney and company store. He was graduated from Valparaiso high school, attended Valparaiso university for three years and Notre Dame for one year.

Surviving besides his parents are one brother, Jack, radio man 3rd class, U. S. Navy, stationed on the U. S. Battleship New Jersey, and two sisters, Mrs. Laverne Jensen of Chesterton, and Jean Ann Henry, at home. 
Source: The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; August 13, 1945; Volume 19, Page 1, Column 1

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Information abstracted and transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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