Veteran of the Week: Staff Sergeant Henry Clifton Mathis Jr.
Published 10:30 am Tuesday, November 12, 2019
By MELANIE POOLE / Special to the Reporter
The Veteran of the Week is sponsored by the National Veterans Shrine and Register of Honor at the American Village — honoring America’s veterans and telling the stories of their service and sacrifice for the cause of liberty.
“The American Village is pleased to join the Shelby County Reporter in recognizing Staff Sgt. Henry Clifton Mathis Jr. as Veteran of the Week,” American Village founder and CEO Tom Walker said. “He is representative of the hundreds of thousands of Alabamians who have risked it all for the sake of our country and its freedom. To all veterans we owe a debt we can never fully repay.”
Visit the website, Veteransregisterofhonor.com, today and add your loved ones to the Register of Honor. Help us honor, recognize, respect and remember our country’s veterans.
Here are highlights about this week’s Veteran of the Week:
Henry Clifton Mathis, Jr. was born in Vincent in 1922. He was a waist gunner on the U.S. Air Force B17 Liberty Run and was shot down over Germany in September 1943. His body was brought home to Vincent, where he was buried at Macedonia Baptist Church. His son, Larry Clifton Mathis, was 10 months old when his father died. He says, “As I grew up, I spent many summers with my grandparents, Clifton and Lura Mathis, learning about how well loved my dad was in the community. His sister, Barbara Clinkscales, still lives in Vincent and we see each other often. He had another sister, Mary Hugh, and a brother, Phillip, who have passed away. My mother, Mavis, and I met with some of the surviving crew of Liberty Run after the war when I was still young. They told us about his heroics. This made me feel proud of what he accomplished with his fellow Airmen.”
Melanie Poole is Communications Officer for the American Village and can be reached at MPoole@americanvillage.org.