Personal Stories of the Crew

Lt. and Mrs. Earl Henry

Shown here are Lt. and Mrs. Earl Henry dining two weeks before he departed on the last mission of the USS Indianapolis. Mrs. Henry delivered their son a few weeks later.

Dr. Henry was the cruiser’s dentist and the only Tennessee dentist who lost his life during World War II. No one saw Lt. Commander Henry after the torpedoes hit the cruiser.

Dr. Henry was a lover of birds and became an accomplished bird illustrator and painter very late in his short life. He painted only 30 pictures of birds. As a young boy, he combed wooded areas to bird watch and began collecting bird pictures from soda boxes. Dr. Henry learned to mount birds for study and imitate bird calls. These bird calls are the only sound Earl Henry Jr. has ever heard from his father’s voice. Earl Henry Jr. was just six weeks old when he lost his father to the sinking of the USS Indianapolis.

Earl Henry Jr. travels the country attending community events and schools sharing the life of the father he never knew. He sells prints and greeting cards featuring his father’s bird paintings.

Earl Henry Jr.

Earl Henry painting
Painted by Lt. Earl Henry while on board the USS Indianapolis.

 

Earl Henry painting
Wood duck mounted by Dr. Earl Henry prior to service in the Navy.


Earl Henry painting
Painted by Lt. Earl Henry while on board the USS Indianapolis.