Pike County, Arkansas, US
Technical Sergeant, Anti-tank company of the 18th Inf Regiment, 1st Inf Division
06/06/1944, Omaha Beach, Normandy
Gerald M. Henderson was a hero, through and through. Henderson was born in Pike County, Arkansas on May 15th, 1919. He joined the army and arrived in Europe on August 1st, 1942, a Technical Sergeant in the Anti-tank company of the 18th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division of the Army.
Sergeant Henderson was always a brave man, putting his safety on the line for the men standing next to him time and time again. He participated in the landing in Northern Africa and Sicily, and was awarded a purple heart in both battles for being wounded while in the line of duty. Sergeant Henderson also participated in the landing on Omaha, where he would be later awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions. After his landing craft made it to the beach, Sergeant Henderson bravely stayed with his craft making sure every man made it off and onto the beach.
Amidst the chaos of heavy machine gun fire and falling mortar shells, Sergeant Henderson noticed a stalled vehicle in the water close by. He voluntarily found another vehicle on the beach, drove it into the water, hooked a cable onto and drove the stalled one onto the beach. But Sergeant Henderson did not stop there. He unloaded the occupants from the vehicle, who were both injured, and immediately started provided first aid. Sergeant Henderson saved the lives of those two men, and then continued to run about the beach carrying the wounded to cover before treating their wounds. Sergeant Henderson saved countless lives that day, a hero who, while carrying a wounded man to cover, was hit by a mortar shell and fatally wounded himself. He made the ultimate sacrifice for those men and lives on in the hearts of his family and of all the men he saved.