|Birth: ||Aug. 9, 1918|
|Death: ||Sep. 17, 1943|
THANK YOU TO STEVE EDQUIST FOR THIS SPECTACULAR PHOTO. I THINK IT EXPRESSES THE SPIRIT OF OUR HEROS AND VETERANS.
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO VISITS MY FATHER.
In February of 2016, I received the following information from Frank van Lunteren who lives in the Netherlands:
Dear Mrs. McNaughton,
On www.findagrave.com I found your tribute page to your father, S/SGT Henry P. Paquet. I am the historian for the 504th PIR In WWII and have so far written two books - "The Battle of the Bridges" on the unit in the Holland Campaign and "Blocking Kampfgruppe Peiper" on the 504th in the Battle of the Bulge.
I am currently working on three more books on the regiment. In the end there will be 5 volumes. For the first volume (1 May 42 till 30 Sept 1943) I would like to include your father's photograph. May I use this photo, listing you as courtesy holder?
This is what I have written on your father:
When the mist thinned three German tanks appeared at the northeastern edge of Altavilla, on the road that ran east along Hill 424. They soon began to fire into foxhole after foxhole. First on the A Company sector, then along the 2nd and 3rd Platoons of B Company. A direct hit fell on a bazooka position dug in among a cluster of trees on the right flank of the 2nd Platoon, B Company. Staff Sergeant Henry P. Paquet was killed by a tank shell burst and Private Emanuel J. Weinberger, had both legs blown off. It was a blow to his platoon, as Paquet had been one of the original 1st Battalion cadre members.
“As the tanks fired,” wrote Lieutenant Lekson, “a German attack was launched from the northwest along the draw against the 1st Platoon of A Company. In a short fire fight the German force was driven back with some loss. Though the German tank support had hit the battalion’s northwest perimeter hard, the 2nd and 3rd Platoons of A Company had not been affected by tank fire.
While the tanks had been active, the artillery observer had gained radio contact. Soon, VI Corps artillery was firing on Altavilla and on the tanks. As the German tanks and infantry withdrew, enemy artillery began to pound the hill. I, with a command post detail, moved to the aid station to collect ammunition from the wounded. Some of the troopers had reached a critical low in small arms [ammunition]. In the aid station were some twenty wounded.”[i]
[i] John S. Lekson, The Operations of the 1st Battalion, 29.
I am very grateful for this information. I never knew just how my father died. Thank you so much Mr. van Lunteren. Some people are just so kind! Of course, I gave him permission to use the photo. His efforts help to keep our veterans and heroes alive.
Henry married Helen Battenfield on March 13, 1942 in Opelika, Lee, Alabama, USA. I was never privileged to know him since he died two months after I was born.
My father was in the 82nd Airborne, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Company B. Purple Heart, American Legion Gold Star Certificate.
I have always been exceptionally proud of him!
ENDLESS GRATITUDE TO MY FRIEND, STEVE EDQUIST, WHO NOT ONLY SPONSORED THIS MEMORIAL, BUT TOOK THE TIME TO GO INTO FORT SNELLING AND TAKE A SECOND PICTURE OF MY DAD'S HEADSTONE WITH THE AMERICAN FLAG THIS MEMORIAL DAY (2011). THANK YOU SO MUCH, STEVE, FOR PHOTOS TAKEN IN FORT SNELLING.
If you have time, please visit Steve's son, Aaron:
Received by my mother Sept. 27, 1943
I volunteered as a parachutist fully realizing the hazards of my chosen service and by my thoughts and by my actions will always uphold the prestige, honor and high esprit-de-corpe of the only volunteer branch of the army.
I realize that a parachutist is not merely a soldier who arrives by parachute to fight, but is an elite shocktrooper and that his country expects him to march farther and faster, to fight harder, to be more self-reliant and to soldier better than any other soldier.
I shall never fail my fellow comrades by shirking any duty or training, but will always keep myself mentally and physically fit and shoulder my full share of the task, whatever it may be.
I shall always accord my superiors fullest loyalty and I will always bear in mind the sacred trust I have in the lives of the men I will lead into battle.
I shall show other soldiers by my military courtesy to my superior officers and non-commissioned officers, by my neatness of dress, by my care of my weapons and equipment that I am a picked and well trained soldier.
I shall endeavor, always by my soldierly appearance, military bearing and behavior, reflect the high standards of training and morale of parachute troops.
I shall display a higher degree of initiative than is required of other troops and will fight on to my objective and mission, though I be the lone survivor.
I shall prove my ability as a fighting man against the enemy on the field of battle, not by quarreling with my comrades in arms or by bragging about my deeds, thus needlessly arousing jealousy and resentment against parachute troops.
I shall always realize that battles are won by an army fighting as a team, that I fight first and blaze the path into battle for others to follow and to carry the battle on.
I belong to the finest fighting unit in the Army. By my appearance, actions and battlefield deeds alone, I speak for my fighting ability. I will strive to uphold the honor and prestige of my outfit, making my country proud of me and to the unit to which I belong.
UNITED STATES ARMY PARATROOPER
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.
PILOT JOHN GILLISPIE MAGEE
No 412 squadron, RCAF
Killed 11 December 1941
Brothers: Rudolph Peter Paquet and
Nick M Paquet
Paul Paquet (1879 - 1959)
Lucie Stiren Paquet (1889 - 1965)
Helen Ruth Battenfield Paquet Henkel (1918 - 2006)
Henry P. Paquet (1918 - 1943)
Nick M Paquet (1923 - 1973)*
Nick M Paquet (1923 - 1973)*
Rudolph Peter Paquet (1924 - 1984)*
Fort Snelling National Cemetery
Plot: Section C-22, Site 12878
Maintained by: rosie mcnaughton
Originally Created by: US Veterans Affairs Offi...
Record added: Mar 04, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 3486765