Henry Sienkiewicz was born January 4, 1923 in Syracuse, New York. He grew up in a working class neighborhood, where his father worked in the local foundry. Henry worked a variety of jobs himself in the prewar years, helping the family to make ends meet during the Great Depression. When the war came Henry knew he wanted to enlist, and he was most interested in the U.S Army Air Corps, which he eventually joined and where he became a bombardier in a B-17 crew. Don and his crew flew their B-17 over to Britain, and they were stationed at Grafton Underwood as part of the 384th Bomb Group, in the 8th Air Force. Henry would fly 36 missions attacking strategic targets in Germany and on the continent in support of the troops on the ground. He dealt with the fighters, the fear, the flak, and the freezing temperatures that became a part of life for men of the 8th Air Force during those years. Henry also had the chance to see a bit of Britain – to visit the local town and pub, and to meet the girls and people. His missions completed, Henry returned to the US, and headed back to Syracuse, where he took work in steel and ball bearing plants before becoming a firefighter. Henry married along the way and raised his family, finding his way in postwar America. Henry Sienkiewicz was interviewed by Scott Masters at his home in Syracuse, N.Y. in October 2023.
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