Summary

Conflict Period:
World War II 1
Branch:
Army 1
Birth:
1915 1
Kansas 1
Death:
24 Dec 1943 2
Italy 2
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Pictures & Records (3)

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Personal Details

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Also known as:
"Danny"short for Dynamite! 2
Person:
Gerald J Henson 1
Level of Education: 4 years of high school 1
Marital Status: Single, without dependents 1
Birth:
1915 1
Kansas 1
Death:
24 Dec 1943 2
Italy 2
Cause: WW II B-25 Loss 2
Residence:
Place: Woodson County, Kansas 1
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Birth:
Mother: Jessie Alice Peterson 2
Father: Calvin Ebbert "Callie" Henson 2
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World War II 1

Branch:
Army 1
Enlistment Date:
26 Mar 1942 1
Army Branch:
Air Corps 1
Army Serial Number:
13069751 1
Enlistment Place:
Washington District Of Columbia 1
Enlistment Term:
Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law 1
Source of Army Personnel:
Civil Life 1
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Occupation:
Clerks, general office 1
Race or Ethnicity:
White 1
Source Information:
Box Number: 0122 1
Film Reel Number: 1.122 1

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Stories

Lt. Gerald J "Danny" Henson, 321stBG,446thBS /KIA 24 Dec.'43

Italy

Gerald was born in Kansas in 1915, he joined and was accepted directly into the Army Air Corp, on 26 March, 1942 in "WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA"  He had completed High School and was still single.  He trained and became a Pilot and was assigned to the 321st Bomb Group, the 446th Bomb Squadron that went to the MTO/ WW II in B-25 Mitchell Medium Bombers. 

  Gerald flew 3 Missions in Nov. '43 in #41-13008, and 1 Mission in #42-64509.

He flew 5 Combat Missions in Dec. also in the #41=13008, which must have been his regular ship (No name or nose art yet) It is unknown what happened....

On 24 Dec. 1943;  321stBG, 446thBS War-Diary;

321stBG,446thBS, Lt. Gerald J. Henson, Pilot 

Friday, 24 December 1943
446th BS War Diary: No Missions. Ella Logan and cast entertained at Group. Officers had party at their club. Not much sign of Christmas here but morale not too low.
446th BS: Extracts from Missing Air Crew Report # ?:
A/C No. unknown (MACR-? - crashed into mountain near La Senia Air Base, in Africa)
P Klang, Irving E., 2Lt - KIA
CP Henson, Gerald J., 2Lt - KIA
PAX Graham, Robert W., 2Lt - KIA
PAX Carnes, James B., Sgt - KIA
PAX Bonacich, Matthew G., Sgt - KIA

Family:  1930 Census-Toronto/Woodson Co. Kansas
Clavin E Henson/Head of Household/46
Jessie A Henson/Wife/46
Harold B Henson/Son/16
J Gerald Henson/Son/14
Vernor B Henson/Son/12

Family information from Paula Henson McAlister, her Dad was the oldest brother, Harold  Henson.  She and her Sister have been into Geneaology and have some information on their Uncle "Danny".  It was told to her Dad/Harold that the Turkey (s) had not arrived for the Christmas Dinner for the men, so the journey was to get that "alive and well" Turkey(s) and come back, sadly a dense storm brewed up in the meantime and the weather was bad when they returned. "Poor Visability" was the cause of the crash into the mountains near their African Base.  Their youngest brother, Vernon was know as "Toby".

   Gerald was married to Gladys D (Jaculi) in Jan. 1943, sadly they had a child that died very near the time of Gerald's death.

Corrections/Additions send to PRINCESSBARBI_B-25@msn.com

Lt Gerald J Henson, 310thBG,381stBS, KIA 25 Dec.1943

Africa

Gerald had completed High School with a bright future, but hte Call-Of-Duty came and Gerald became a B-25 PILOT... His nickname was "Danny" and he is remembered as that.  His niece tells us that it had shortened through the years to Danny from "Dynamite!" as a child as he was so energetic, that was his nickname :) 

 His service Record :   First mission 24 Jun 43:  This is regular plane and crew Jun thru Jul 43.    A/C No.   41-13197  

P Martin, John K. “Kirk”, 1Lt

CP  Henson, Gerald J., 2Lt

N None

B Brei, Harold G., S/Sg

E StAntoine, James J., S/Sgt

R Sidlik, Theophil S., T/Sgt

G Gehrts, Walter F., S/Sgt

Started flying with Orrantia on 26 Aug 43:  This was regular plane and crew Aug thru 25 Sept.    A/C No.   42-32416

P Orrantia, Gilbert D., 2Lt

CP Henson, Gerald J., 2Lt

N None

B Chamberlain, Don C., S/Sgt

E Kemp, Quentin B., S/Sgt

Ramirez, Zenon (NMI), Jr., S/Sgt

G McNeil, Gabriel J., Pvt

F Dobbins, Daniel G., 1Lt, HQ 321st BG

 25 Sep 43 flew first of 20 missions with Knapp thru 43 –

   Knapp’s steady plane was 41-13008

  A/C No.   42-64520

 P Knapp, Theodore A., 2Lt

CP Henson, Gerald J., 2Lt

N None

B Chamberlain, Don C., S/Sgt

E Hershberger, Ralph G., Jr., S/Sgt

R Walsh, Thaddeus J., S/Sgt

G Osterman, Raymond (NMI), Sgt

F Goetz, F. W., Sgt, 9th Combat Camera

*****   24 Dec 43: crashed in non-combat mission – considering the people on board,

it was probably a parts run/supply mission. Lt Graham was the Engineering

Officer, and also the “Tech Supply” Officer.  Sgt Carnes was in engineering,

and Sgt Bonacich was a gunner.

 

  A/C No. unknown (MACR-? - crashed into Lion Mountain, near La Senia Air Base, in Africa - due to poor visibility)

P  Klang, Irving E., 2Lt - KIA

CP Henson, Gerald J., 2Lt - KIA    

PAX Graham, Robert W., 2Lt - KIA

PAX Carnes, James B., Sgt - KIA

PAX Bonacich, Matthew G., Sgt - KIA

I can account for 46 combat missions, including “spares”

(non-combat crash mission not counted in this list)

Jun 43                 3 missions

Jul                      8 (all w/Martin)

Aug                    3 (all w/Martin)

Sep                    9 (7 w/ Orrantia - 2 w/Knapp)

Oct                   12 (7 w/Knapp – 4 with various pilots & planes)

Nov                     5 (all with Knapp)

Dec                    6 (all with Knapp)

            Total     46

Lt Gerald J "Danny" Henson, 321stBG,446thBS

N.Africa American Cemetery, TUNIS

Lt Gerald "Danny" Henson, North Africa American Cemetery

American Battle Monuments (North Africa American Cemetery Carthage, Tunisia)

Gerald J. Henson Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Forces Service # O-795741 446th Bomber Squadron, 321st Bomber Group, Medium Entered the Service from: Kansas
Died: 24-Dec-43
Buried at: Plot F Row 5 Grave 5
North Africa American Cemetery
Carthage, Tunisia
Awards: Air Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters

Lt Gerald "Danny" McAlister, 321st BG, 446th BS, B-25 Nav. 1943, MTO

North Africa

"DANNY" which was shortened from *Dynamite*.... written by Gerald "Danny" Henson's neice Paula McAlister.   Brother Vernon was called "Toby".  (3 sons, oldest is Paula's Dad/Harold, then Vernon (Toby) and Gerald (Danny").  All from Kansas.

10 April, 2010;  10 April, 2010;  to Barbi Ennis Connolly;  PRINCESSBARBI_B25@msn.com Really great hearing back from you so soon!  Didn't even know for sure that I had the right person! This is especially special to us as my sister & I are genealogy nuts & always trying for more info.  Thanks for letting me know that you posted more information. My dad was Harold Henson, who passed away in 1996.  Lived most of his life in KS, as did I til I married.  He was the oldest of 3 boys.  Gerald was the middle one & Vernon was the youngest. (How did you know Vernon's name?  He was known as Toby.) Gerald was known as Danny.  Dad once told me that he was full of so much energy as a youngster that they called him dynamite, shortened eventually, one way or another, to Danny.  Notice that the information said he was single, but he was married in Washington in Jan, 1943.  They had a baby that died very close to the same time as Gerald.  Grandmother Henson had 2 sad letters that December. To tell you the story of what I was told by Dad about my uncle Gerald's last flight is a question.  The first confirmation of any type that I have about this story is the fact that his plane crashed into a mountain in Africa, information that you just posted. I had dad record the story for me on tape, but at the minute my tape recorder (remember those old things) is on the fritz so telling you from memory.  Dad's story was that where Gerald was based, near Christmas, they learned that they didn't receive the turkey that they were supposed to have for  Christmas.  Gerald's crew either volunteered or was volunteered (dad said volunteered) to fly to a base in Africa to pick up some so the guys could have a really good Christmas dinner.  When they were ready to fly back, the navigator was missing & they had to fly back without him.  After the war, the navigator came to KS to visit Gerald's mom (my grandmother) and told her, that he felt responsible for the crash.  Said that if he had been on that plane, they would have never hit that mountain. Now that is not a story that I would want posted (no confirmation), but thought that you might find it interesting.  Dad believed it was true, but like I said, I couldn't confirm it in any way. On the information that you posted, am I reading it right that Gerald was the co-pilot and that there was no navigator listed? I do have other pic's of Gerald, but not a lot.  I think I have at least one of him in uniform when he was still in the states.  Let me know if you want, I can e'mail it. Well, it is late, so forgive any typos, mistakes, etc.  I was just excited to hear back from you so quickly.  Paula In no way should anyone feel responsible, suituations in War are completely unpredictable, and pea-soup is  still pea-soup if there is a Navigator on board or not.  We have to trust that everything is for a reason and a purpose, but all war is hell, and all losses are so personal and devestting.  Barbi Enns Connolly, 321st Bomb Group Historian

Lt. Gerald J. Henson (321st BG, 446th BS) was my dad's brother & I was pleased to see his picture here.   I was wondering if you had any other information regarding him other than the one picture.   Thanks,   Paula Henson McAlister

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