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Obituary: Henry P. Stemcosky

Henry P. Stemcosky

Henry P. Stemcosky, born July 4, 1920 in Shenandoah, PA, passed away on Jan. 30, 2010, referred to himself as the original Yankee Doodle Dandy. The family moved to Glen Cove where he grew up with many fond memories of fishing, clamming and boating.

Henry was preceded in death by his four brothers, Chester, Eddie, Norby and Bernie and his sister Angie. Henry and Marian were married for 66 years before her passing. They were married on Oct. 10, 1944 while on furlough from the famed United States Army 9th Fighter Squadron.

Henry was also a proud graduate of the Chico Flying School in 1942 before heading overseas. Henry, a WWII staff sergeant with the 49th Fighter Group 5th Air Force, had the honor of being in the first fighter outfit to land in the Japanese capital of Tokyo during General MacArthur’s command and credited for the destruction of 276 enemy planes in combat. Henry was awarded the American Service Medal. Asiatic-Pacific Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal and WWII Victory Medal. Henry was crew chief mechanic for his squadron’s operation of the P-38 “Lightnings” in Japan, the Philippines and Okinawa and felt immense pride in keeping the bomber planes in tiptop shape and ready for combat.

Henry was employed by Republic Aviation on Long Island, continuing his work building planes for the military. Upon moving to Tucson, he was employed at Davis Monthan Air Force Base where he felt blessed to be able to continue working with his passion for planes. Much to his amazement, some of the very same planes Henry built for the military early in his career were also the very same planes he later retired at the Davis Monthan Grave Yard. Henry got a great deal of satisfaction from this full circle achievement in his aviation career.

Henry is survived by his only child Carol and was very proud “PopPop” to his grandchildren, Justin, Tina and Cereeda who were his world. A most proud American to serve his country and the best dad and grandfather anyone could hope for. Now Henry has met his desire to once again be with his wife Marian.

Arrangements were made by the East Lawn Palms Mortuary.