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Henry Robert Benefiel


In January, 1944, his unit arrived in a convoy at Liverpool, from which they were transferred by train to Upottery. They were stationed there from February, 1944 until D-Day. On D-Day, Henry was assigned to the second wave of gliders. They never flew during the invasion, but were retained for later. On June 15, 1944, Henry was assigned to take heavy equipment (ground) for a whole battle group across the English Channel in a Landing Ship tank (LST). They landed on Omaha Beach, after the action. [Anecdote: The first night Henry slept on a tractor, and the next morning discovered that overnight, he had lost two of his men, who had gotten Calvados liquor from a local farmer that was apparently poisonous, and they died.] The 94th TC was subsequently assigned to base at Chateau Dun, Normandy, where they remained during July and August of 1944, and Henry was made a second lieutenant via field commission while there. He subsequently saw action in Operation Dragoon, Operation Market Garden and Operation Varsity, and was awarded the Air Medal and Bronze Star for his actions in Normandy and Germany, respectively.


Units served with

Associated Place

  • Upottery

    Military site : airfield
    Known locally as Smeatharpe, Upottery was built during 1943-44 potentially as a USAAF medium bomber, or reconnaissance or transport base. It had three concrete runways, 50 loop hardstandings, and two dispersed T2 hangars. Opened in February 1944 and...


Event Location Date


Date Contributor Update
29 January 2016 15:07:12 mgbissell Changes to biography, unit associations and place associations

Oral history related directly by my father to me in 1998.
-MG Bissell (son)

Date Contributor Update
29 January 2016 14:52:24 mgbissell Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname, nationality, service number, highest rank, role and media associations

Oral history told to me directly by my father at Casa Grande, Arizona on Nov 15-16, 1998.
-MG Bissell