James Calvin Henneberry

Airman Second Class
United States Air Force
06 January 1942 - 30 June 1965
Pittsfield, Massachusetts
Panel 02E Line 025

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign James Calvin Henneberry

The database page for James Calvin Henneberry

19 Sep 2001

Jim Henneberry was stationed at Westover Air Force Base in Chicopee Falls, MA. He was my friend. I had boyfriends and he had girlfriends. We danced together once in a while at service club dances.

Jim's roommate, whom I did not know, got orders to ship out to Vietnam in 1964. A2C Jim Henneberry volunteered for a tour of Vietnam since his friend was going. The night before Jim left, a friend and I traveled to his home in Pittsfield, MA, to spend some time with him. We went for pizza, listened to some music and then hugged goodbye for now. Jim promised to write as did I.

Jim wrote to me at least twice a month and I did the same. He was a radio operator and told me some of what he was able about his job. He talked of the heat, boredom and also about helping the people of South Vietnam. He felt strongly about being there.

In May 1965, Jim's friend and roommate who had been sent over and the person who Jim volunteered for a tour in order to be with, died. He had been in the hospital with severe burns and then died. That hit Jim hard.

In one letter, he spoke of sending at least $150 a month home for his future even though it would be difficult for him to live on a budget over there. He even had all the paperwork in for a return to Westover even though he had to agree to extend for four months before discharge. He would have been discharged in August 1966.

That was not to be as I read in the newspaper that Jim had died in June 1965. I made arrangements to attend the funeral and drove to his town in my non air conditioned 1954 Chevy Bel Air by myself. It was a hot and muggy day but a most beautiful military funeral. I cried of course as did many others.

Jim Henneberry was a really nice person with a future that God had other plans for. I believe he is resting in peace and I find his name each time I visit the Vietnam Memorial Wall, either in Washington DC or when it travels to an area I can get to.

Gale Studna
(formerly Freyenhagen of Springfield, Ma)

19 Apr 2006

My name is Tom Wetherington; I was stationed with Henny at Pleiku from the time I arrived there on January 1st 1965 until his death. He was a friend to everyone he ran into. It was really a blow to all of us who worked with him and knew him when we heard of his tragic end. I am attaching a photo of where we worked when we were in Pleiku at II Corps Hqs.

From a friend,
Tom Wetherington

We worked in the bunker in the background. We had two shipping containers dug into the side of a hill with sandbags stacked on top and in the front for protection.

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A Note from The Virtual Wall

Although Airman Henneberry was assigned to a unit based at Tan Son Nhut Air Base outside Saigon he went on detached duty to other locations. Ms. Studna has placed exerpts from some of his letters on the "Springfield 50" site. In the last of those letters, dated 23 June 1965, Airman Henneberry wrote
"Gale, for the first time I am beginning to feel quite nervous about an operation. This will be my second one. The first one I just set up my radio in the rear, but on this one I will be walking through a wooded area. It probably won't be bad once I get started, but I will be glad when it is finished ... This will probably be my last operation. In a way I hope it is."
He was killed by gunshot in Phu Bon Province, up near Pleiku.

Captain Paul R. Windle, a Forward Observer with the 22nd TASS, and an artillery observer, Army Major Joseph E. Parker, were in O-1E tail number 55-4649 providing FAC support to the ARVN Airborne Brigade near Cheo Reo, Phu Bon Province. Windle was directing an F-100 strike when the Birddog was hit by ground fire and crashed. Both men were killed. It seems likely that Airman Henneberry was involved in the same operation.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 09/22/2011