42308File - 012 Looking for info on persons.
- Dec 1, 2013Compilation of members search for info on persons.
Latest update: November 11th 2008.
Garth Porter jesslin@...
is looking for info on his father F/O I. A. Porter's WW2 time in 210 Squadron
at Sullom Voe and his involvement in a U-Boat attack on 14.3.45.
George Herold GeorgeSS132@...
is looking for crew of the three aircraft (PBYs) that picked up my shipmates
and I on 6/25/42 at Amchitka after our sub sank.
Cass Philips: cassphillips@...
I had a friend who left flight school and went directly to his old squadron in
South Pac. I believe it was either VP23 or 24. He was in that squadron when
Pearl Harbor was bombed.
His name was Richard Cheney and at that time was a NAP.
For those who were in N. Africa or there abouts, I had several friends in VP63 or
VP73; Bruce Smithee, Howard Lee both were NAP when they first went over.
There was another of our class in 63. He was a little heavy and combed his
hair from one ear over to the other. I can't remember his name but he and I
graduated on the same day.
I don't remember his squadron but there was a guy named Richoz who might have
been part of your squad.
Luke Henley succes story.
"Reaching out to his brother" By Sam Venable.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008.
"This Veterans Day will be like none other for Luke Henley.
After 63 years, he has finally connected, albeit indirectly, with one of his
two brothers who were killed during World War II.
"I was shaking like a leaf as I walked up to that door," Henley told me.
"When he opened it, we hugged, and I cried like a baby."
Before we go any further, permit me to set the stage:
Henley, 81, is the retired owner of a Knoxville roofing business.
He is descended from Col. David Henley, who fought with George Washington
in the Revolutionary War and for whom Henley Street and the Henley Bridge
Luke was too young for military service during World War II. But his family
sacrificed dearly nonetheless. He lost older brothers Charlie and Cecil,
then 24 and 22, respectively.
Charlie, a lieutenant in the Army Air Corps, was killed Feb. 2, 1945, when his
B-24 crashed in the mountains between India and China. The wreckage was never
found, his body never recovered.
Cecil, navigator aboard a Navy patrol bomber, perished the following May 10.
His four-engine aircraft had completed a mission near the Japanese coastline
and was returning to base.
"They'd been flying for 14 hours," said Henley. "When they radioed in, they
learned the base was under kamikaze attack. They were ordered to fly in another
direction until the attack was over."
It was the worst possible no-win situation. The plane was already low on fuel.
At 3 a.m., in high seas and only 10 miles from base, it plowed into the ocean
and disintegrated. Of the 11-man crew, only three survived.
"They found Cecil's body the next day," he said. "It was returned to Knoxville,
and he was buried at Lynnhurst Cemetery."
In the decades that followed, Henley often thought of his two brothers and
wondered if anybody knew anything about them. He checked leads as they became
available, but the trails always dead-ended.
Then this summer, Henley was visiting his former pastor in Florida. A neighbor
dropped by. Casual conversation eventually drifted back to World War II.
"When I mentioned the PBY (Cecil's airplane), the guy said, 'Why, that's the
kind of aircraft I flew!' He hooked me up with a PBY veterans group, and I
wrote an item for their newsletter, telling them I was looking for a needle
in a haystack."
And wouldn't you know it: The needle got found.
On Aug. 9, Henley received a telephone call. It was from 87-year-old Bob Lee,
a retired television producer from Long Island, N.Y.
Lee had been Cecil's roommate on their tender ship. Not only did he remember
Henley's brother, he had written about him in his own autobiography,
"My Wings at Sunset."
Late last month, Henley and his nephew, Ryan Whitley, drove to New York
to meet Bob Lee. They stayed at his house two days and two nights.
Said Henley: "Bob and my brother had only roomed together 21 days before
Cecil was killed, but they had become good friends.
"They were both very religious. They went to a special service and had
communion the day before Cecil was killed.
"It was a very emotional time for me," he added. "I felt like I had found my
Sam Venable's column appears on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
He may be reached at 865-342-6272 or VenableS@...
� 2008 Knoxville News Sentinel
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