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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Remembering D-Day and Technical Sergeant Gerald M. Henderson

(Note: AWG member Skip Dreps asked that this invitation be shared with the general membership. Col. Phil Smart. Sr. was inducted into the association last August.  Washington's First Gentleman,  Mike Gregoire is expected to be present as well).

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012 Family friends, veterans and general public are invited to join us in paying tribute to Technical Sergeant Gerald M. Henderson and all veterans who participated in D-Day.
 Technical Sergeant Gerald M. Henderson was killed in action on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944.  For this activity, Technical Sergeant Henderson was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. Retired Colonel Phil Smart, Sr. of Seattle has assisted the family in obtaining the Distinguished Service Cross to honor their loved one. General Peter Chiarelli, USA (Ret.), formerly Vice Chief Staff of the United States Army, will present the award to the family.
This event will take place on June 6th, 2012 at 3:00pm in the Veterans Memorial Cemetery at Evergreen Washelli, located at 11111 Aurora Avenue, Seattle, WA 98133.
We will also place a wreath in the Normandy Section of our Veterans Memorial Cemetery to honor the memory and sacrifice of all the members of the 18th Infantry Regiment in Technical Sergeant Henderson’s honor.
The President of the United States takes pride in awarding the Distinguished Service Cross (posthumously) to Gerald M. Henderson, Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with the 18th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division (The Big Red One), in action against enemy forces on 6 June 1944, in Normandy France, on D-Day.
Technical Sergeant Henderson, while exposed to intense enemy artillery mortar, machine gun, and small arms fire, heroically supervised the unloading of men and vehicles from his landing craft. Observing that a vehicle from an adjoining craft had stalled, he voluntarily drove a truck along the fire swept beach, plunged in the water and fastened a cable to the disabled vehicle.

After towing it safely to shore, he personally carried two wounded occupants to covered positions and rendered first aid. He returned to the beach, and amid bursting shells and devastating small arms fire, courageously continued his rescue work. While carrying a wounded soldier across the beach to safety, a shell landed near this valiant soldier fatally wounding him. His heroic achievements during the initial landing resulted in the saving of many lives and much vital equipment.

The self-sacrificing devotion to duty, personal bravery and valorous leadership displayed by Technical Sergeant Henderson exemplified the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 18th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, and the United States Army.



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