I'm taking some time today to remember this amazing man, my grandfather, Henry Powell. He was a pilot in the Army Air Force in WWII and flew a P-51 Mustang to escort bombing missions in the Pacific. They say he was a ball of fire and one of his favorite past times was riding with the local Harley Davidson Club with my grandmother before he went off to war.
He earned several medals during his service including the Distinguished Flying Cross for "heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight" as well as the Purple Heart. In the early days of August 1945 he was on a bombing escort out of Iwo Jima which I understand he volunteered for even though he wasn't due to fly but the needed extra men. He gave his life for his country that day when he was shot down and landed in the Pacific, unable to eject from his plane.
Less than two weeks later Japan surrendered and the war was over. Exactly one week later my grandmother gave birth to my mom. We are but one of many families who have lost loved ones that gave their life to the service of our country. My mom never met her dad, but we had the stories and pictures like this one to remember him by. My grandmother just passed away a little over a year ago and even until the end she would tell us stories about her and Henry and the adventures they'd go on as she rode on the back of his Harley.
Thank you to all our service members who have given something if not everything to protect our country and our freedom. I'll be thinking about my grandpa this and every Memorial Day and all those before and after him who allow me and my family to enjoy the life we have in this country. God bless our service men and women 🇺🇸 #memorialday