August 22, 1918 (Rockville, CT) – January 11, 1943; 24 years old
Last local address: 104 South Main Street, South Norwalk  
Service number: 11033044
Unit: 375th Bomber Group (Heavy), 514th Bomber Squadron

Born to Delfasse (1851-?) and Daisy Avery Vanesse (1888-?). Brothers Ellery James (1916-1998) and William (1905-2001). Sisters, Alice P. Vanesse Gerstenlauer (1908-1998), Dorothy L. Vanesse Molinaro (1909-1971) and Verna Marion Combs (1912-1992). Many different spellings of the last name in newspapers and records.

Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, and Purple Heart Medal.

From The Hartford Courant January 17, 1943

From The Norwalk Hour March 22, 1943

Staff Sergeant Harold “Tex” Vanesse, who made his home at 20 West Avenue, in this city, was killed in action on January 11, friends in this city were notified over the weekend. Sergeant Vanesse was first reported as missing in action on January 9 His death was confirmed by the International Red Cross. Sergeant Vanesse was a bombardier attached to the Halverson detachment. He has a brother, Ellery Vanesse, whose home is in New Britain. Sergeant Vanesse entered the service on September 1, 1941. Prior to that, he was employed at the Segal Lock Company, at Corpy’s Restaurant, Railroad Avenue, and at the Burdick Diner, South Main Street. He had been a resident of this city for more than 10 years. He had many friends in this city.

From Ole Rock, serial number 41-11618, was one of the 23 HALPRO B-24s.  Her RCL was #4.  She was lost on her 8th mission attacking a convoy.

From George Uhrich provided the above photo.  He ID’d the men as follows:
Standing, L to R
Co-Pilot 2/Lt. Ferdinand R. ‘Rudy’ Schmidt
Nav/Bomb. 2/Lt. Allen V. Hopkins
Pilot 2/Lt. George A. ‘Speedball’ Uhrich
Kneeling, L to R:
Radio Op. S/Sgt. Douglas H. Williams
Gunner S/Sgt. David A. Tunno
Engineer S/Sgt. Louie L. Walters
Armorer Sgt. Harold C. Van Ness

Buried at Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and Memorial, Nettuno, Città Metropolitana di Roma Capitale, Lazio, Italy; Plot F, Row 11, Grave 55. Picture provided by Melanie Resto, Superintendent, Sicily-Rome American Cemetery.


Published by jeffd1121

USAF retiree. Veteran advocate. Committed to telling the stories of those who died while in the service of the country during wartime.

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