Sunday, March 11, 2018

WW2 Fallen - B-17 pilot Henry Martinson

Lt. Henry Martinson was a B-17 pilot in the 850th Bombardment Squadron. 
Page views of WW2 Fallen 100 recently past 600,000. Thanks to all those who read and share these stories so more people can be mindful of the fallen.

Henry J. Martinson never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on March 19, 1918 in Minnesota. His parents Henry and Agnes were also both born in Minnesota. Three of his grandparents were from Sweden. His father worked as a wholesale produce proprietor and died in 1930. Henry had one younger sister. Before the war Henry had completed one year of college and was working as a welder. He was married to his wife Helen.

He enlisted in the Army Air Forces on April 12, 1942. He went to flight school and was trained as a bomber pilot. He became a first lieutenant in the 850th Bombardment Squadron, 490th Bombardment Group, 8th Air Force which was equipped with B-17 Flying Fortresses. Lt. Martinson joined his squadron in January 1945.

Lt. Martinson flew his bomber on a mission to Nurnberg on April 5, 1945 when he was killed. The bomber was damaged and crashed on the continent and was found five days later. 

His grave is at Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I don't know what happened to his widow.

Randy de Mars of the WWII Pictures Facebook group provided this pre-war photo of Henry Martinson.
Thank you Henry for your sacrifice. Let's Earn It for Henry.

Last year on this date I profiled Wilbur Bledsoe, 8th Infantry Division. You can read about Wilbur here.

On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!

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