Sgt. Henry Blackwell

Taking advantage of the Civilian Pilot Training Program, Sergeant Henry C. Blackwell became a licensed pilot at age 20, being taught in his off hours by Bob Tyce. On December 7, 1941, Sgt. Blackwell, and his friend Corporal Clyde C. Brown, rented a pair of Piper Cub J-3’s to take some friends out sightseeing. Blackwell, piloting Cub NC-35111, was reportedly shot down by as many as seven Japanese planes. The Cub plummeted straight down into the ocean and sank. An Army crash-rescue boat searched the area, but found no trace of the Cubs or occupants, making them the first reported military casualties. On the afternoon of December 31, 1941, soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment made a discovery of a brown Army service shoe containing a badly decomposed foot. The shoe was size 11, the same size that Sgt. Henry Blackwell wore.