Henry Polansky was born on August 5, 1924 in Jourdanton, Texas. He was the Piloton B-24H (42-50331) Liberator of the 856th Bomber Squadron, 492nd Bomber Group performing the “Carpetbagger” mission to parachute six OSS (Office of Strategic Operations) operatives from Team Norso II (of the Norwegian Operational Group) as part of Operation Rype into Norway on March 31, 1945.
Operation Rype was a mission to impede the redeployment of enemy forces from Norway to Germany. The OSS was a precursor to the CIA.
While enroute to the parachute drop, the plane was forced to turn around due to bad weather. Upon return to Scotland, the plane lost 2 engines and the pilot directed the crew and passengers to bail out. Only the Co-Pilot was able to do so and survived. The rest perished when the plan crashed just south of Kirkwall, Orkney near St. Ola. A memorial remembers the crew and operatives on ““Liberator” Drive in Kirkwall.
FROM FIND A GRAVE:
THE EMPORIA GAZETTE, EMPORIA, KANSAS, FRIDAY EVENING, APRIL 13, 1945, FRONT PAGE LT. H.L. POLANSKY KILLED IN ACTION Lt. Henry L. Polansky was killed in action in Germany March 31, according to a War department message received Thursday by his wife, Laura Louise Daum Polansky, who is living with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Carl O. Nelson, 206 West Thirteenth. Lieutenant Polansky was a B-24 pilot and had completed either 12 or 13 missions. He had been overseas since January. He received his cadet training at Emporia State college and further training at Texas fields, at Boise, Ida., at Liberal, and at Lincoln, Neb. He is survived by his wife, his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Polansky, of Pleasonton, Tex., three sisters and a brother. THE EMPORIA GAZETTE, EMPORIA, KANSAS, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 1945, PAGE TEN Lt. Henry L. Polansky, who served as a B-24 pilot in the European theater until his death in Germany in March, has by direction of President Truman, been posthumously awarded the Air Medal, according to news received by Mrs. Polansky who is living with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Carl O. Nelson, 922 Lawrence. The accompanying citation reads: "For meritorious achievement while participating in a number of aerial flights against the enemy under hazardous and adverse flying conditions in the European Theater of Operations. The courage, coolness and skill displayed by Lieutenant Polansky upon these occasions reflect great credit upon himself and the armed forces of the United States." THE EMPORIA WEEKLY GAZETTE, EMPORIA, KANSAS, THURSDAY, JULY 8, 1948, FRONT PAGE LYON COUNTY WAR DEAD ARE RETURNED TO U.S. The bodies of three Lyon county veterans of World War II have been returned to the United States aboard the U.S. Army Transport Lawrence Victory which reached New York City June 26. The bodies are those of S-Sgt. Lavelle E. Smith, son of Mrs. Chloe O. Smith, now living in Barstow, Calif.; S-Sgt. Arthur D. Price, son of Arthur E. Price, Rt. 2, Olpe; and 2nd Lt. Henry L. Polansky, son of Mrs. Laura L. Polansky, 922 Lawrence, Emporia. The body of Lieutenant Polansky is to be interred in the Fort Leavenworth National cemetery, Fort Leavenworth. The other two bodies will be brought to Emporia. THE EMPORIA WEEKLY GAZETTE, EMPORIA, KANSAS, THURSDAY, AUGUST 12, 1948, PAGE FOUR RITES FOR LT. POLANSKY Graveside services for Lt. Henry Lee Polansky, who was killed in England in 1945, were held at the Fort Leavenworth National cemetery, Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock. Lieutenant Polansky, a B-24 bomber pilot, received his training as a cadet at Emporia State college and further training was given him at Texas fields, Liberal, Kan., Lincoln, Neb., and Boise, Idaho. He received his wings at Lubbock, Tex., April 15, 1944. He then went to England, January, 1945, and he was killed on his eighth mission on March 31, 1945.