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.