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Henry W Stephenson
Lt Henry "Steve" Stevenson of the 321st Bomb Group, 447th Bomb Squadron flew over the Atlantic in their new B-25 Mitchell Medium Bombers with the 1st Replacement Crews (the Southern Route) to the Mediterranean Theatre. May 1943 with Lt Richard Spingler and Spingler's "Lady Luck" #42-64600. Lt. Stephenson flew 60 Missions from July 5th, '43 theu Feb. 20th, '44. Dick Spingler said that they flew 32 missions together, although they never flew in the same ship. Lt. Stephenson soon became Captain Stephenson!
Of his 60 Missions, he flew most in the "Huckelberry Duck" #41-12925, (Crash 4 Oct.'43, H Brinkley, Edward Ennis and Crew) and ship #42-64512 "Scotch and Soda". . . he also flew in the "Southern Belle" #41-12997, the "Buckeye Cannon Ball" #41-13210, The "Dumbo" #42-32498 (lost 28 Mar. '44) the "St.Myrtle, the II" #41-13175 and others. He quickly worked his way up to Flight Leader and was the pilot on the "Secret Mission" with the Generals to show off the 75mm Cannon/"G" Model B-25 Mitchell..
Capt. "Steve" was awarded the Air Medal with 9 Oak Leaves for Meritorius Achievemant, EAME with 5 Battle Stars and other Honors.
Lt. Henry Stephenson's saddest Mission was on Jan. 8th, 1944, the Trevor/Briskey/Kingsley loss. Edward Ennis, who flew many missions with "Stevie" in the "Front Seat" .........
This day Ed was aboard, manning the waist guns. Stephenson and Trevor became separated from the group, but stayed together, lower to the water, but were singled out by a great number of enemy fighters..........
eventually loosing sight of each other. On the Graham Trevor Loss, "Steve" (and Ed) made it back, landed, re-fueled and returned for the only sea-search Steve ever flew, looking for the Trevor Crew and ship #450. Stephenson mourned the loss of his wingman and crew for all of his life.
The Presidential Unit Citation was awarded the 321st BG on Oct. 4th, 1943. Lt. Stephenson was piloting the ship #41-13175, the "Saint Myrtle, the II" as Leader of the second element in the flight formation. That was quite a Mission !
On a lighter note, in the War Diary... 447th, Nov. '43 "14 planes were scheduled to participate in a raid over Athens/Eleusis A/D. Lt. Stephenson got lost and had quite an excursion over Greece and other enemy territory before he found Grottaglia safely. He logged 4 hours on that trip !" Some of the stories are "Something to Tell !"
In fact, Stephenson, Sattenspeil, DeMay, Paiton and Ennis went to "R & R" at The Isle of Capri together, the same day as the wind blew sparks from a fire and burnt Wm. Coursen (and friends) tent down !
In the Photo of Capt Stephenson standing calmly, looking thru a Roman Dwelling, into a pond. . .what was he thinking? He was intriguied, however, and many years later he would say that the Romans built Watch Towers, and although in need of repair, they were still standing. He remembered the road that the Romans built, called the "Appian Way" , in fact, they drove on it from Anzio to Monte Cassino (the 447th Bomb Squad were given a letter of Congratulations for their part in the "Saving the Day" Mission/Raid on the Monte Cassino) .. ..and then on to Rome. Years Later, at his home, he built his own path. . .and in the "Appian Way". The Roman "Via Appia" still remains today and in some areas, it is still the main path.
Photo's and Stories from his proud son, Henry W Stephenson, Jr.
Henry "Steve" Stephenson, Lt. Pilot B-25's MTO
1943 | Africa/Italy
Henry W Stephen entered the Service from McDill Field Florida on 5 March, 1942. He was accepted directly into the Army Air Corp. He was born in Georgia and had completed 4 years of high-school, was White, Citizen, employed in Sales at the time and was still single at enlistment.
Henry Stephenson, Jr, said " Mother still calls Dad "Steve". Dad always called Mom " Frisco". That was her nickname from when she told me she rode the train from Greenville, SC to Davidson College in (probably 1934 or 1935 as she said "I was probably 13") and she said 'I danced all night in the fraternity house to the "Frisco Flow". We were chaperoned of course and drank cokes". That is what she told me! The dance was popular in about the mid 1930's. Dad did say Mom was the " most beautiful thing I ever saw". Momma still tells me " he was the best look'in boy at the airbase" (Greenville, SC ).
Norma got with Patsy and a brick is going in for my Step-mom Pat's brother Tom G. Miller. Dad married Pat in 1964 and she is a sweet, sweetheart. Tommy was KIA on June 8, 1944 when the USS Rich hit a mine off Utah Beach. He had just turned 19 and had already survived being torpedoed off Murmansk,Russia in late 1942 or 1943. Your Paul lost his big brother. I think you said it was two days after D-Day which would be June 8, 1944. Years ago I remember reading about B17's that were off course several days after D-day and bombed our own fellows. It must have been very sad on the home front for all the families.
Henry, Jr 8-28-08
Henry Sr. did have a "321st in the news" that I think ended with March 31, 1945 and also a multi page pamphlet that listed the 447th personnel and their home address. It must have been a sad feeling for you when Walter found out about Brownie and after all the years. Dad talked so little about his overseas experience that when ever he did say anything I made a conscious attempt to try and commit it to memory. When he passed away in 1997 I wrote his words down as best I could recall.
> A little background, "Steve" and Mom married in 1945 and divorced in 1958. Mom remarried in 1962 and Patricia "Pat" and Dad in 1964. Both Pat and Mom are going strong. Pat told me that she believes Dad didn't talk to her very much about the war because she had lost her twin brother Tommy Miller, at D-Day. He was on the USS Rich when it hit two mines off Utah Beach on June 8, 1944. She added that earlier in the war, Tommy's ship was torpedoed off Murmansk and he had survived the sinking and the Russians. I think you said Paul lost his big brother a little after D-Day. All very hard on the home fronts. I cherish anything Pat reveals to me and try to commit it to an older memory now. I need to write her memories down also. In fact, a couple of weeks ago this popped out of Mother. She said "Steve had an engine shot out during the war". I questioned her and asked her how she knew that? She got a little adamant and replied, "It was in the Atlanta paper during the War. Sure was, said 'local boy does good. With his engine shot out he was able to cross the sea and return his bomber and crew safely home to base". We have never heard that one before!! Just came out of the wild blue.
Henry Jr. 5 August, 2008
(TO; Barbi Ennis Connolly; 321st BG Historian / From Henry about the MIA Mother/Alta Ennis recieved full term with Ed and Alta's 1st child, due date 11 Nov.'43) "Your Mother Alta is one strong person. Lynn and the western union lady almost got to meet on Sunday morning on Nov 7. Lynn and Alta were doing the best they could and were both fighting for Ed. Henry Jr.