Robert W. Hensey, Class of 1936

November 14, 2003
Santa Paula High School
By B. J. Harding, President, SPUHS Alumni Association Biography #230 (Have you submitted yours?)Robert C. and Ethel Hensey of Santa Paula had three children: our subject Bob, Class of 1936; Janice, Class of 1941; and Lawrence, Class of 1943. The children attended grade school in Santa Paula, and then went on to SPUHS.In high school Bob was a member of the band, orchestra and Glee Club under the tutelage of H. Peyton Johnson. He was also a member of the Spanish Club and on the track and football teams his junior and senior years. His specialty in track was the hurdles.The coach at SPUHS at this time was a fellow named Roy Priebe. For those who knew and remember him after he left SPUHS as a coach in 1936, Roy went to Hollywood to become a cameraman for the movies. He became a member of the American Society of Cinematographers, and was a professional cameraman until his death in the 1960s.Other members of the track team with Bob were Robert Ridle, Bill Vanderwall and Donald Kamachi of the Class of 1936, and Jack Lercari and Bill Whitaker of the Class of 1938. Bobís lifelong classmate friend was Maurice Ragner (í36).Following graduation bob went to USC, followed by the Air Command and Staff College and the Air Force School of Public Relations. Immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor Bob joined the Army Air Force, and since he already had his pilotís license he soon became an instructor in the 418th Bomber Squadron. He served as a commander in the 100th Bomb Group in Thorpe Abbotts, England.
Being a career officer, Bob also served in the Korean War. In this war he was director of Combat Intelligence, Far East Air Force in Tokyo. Bob flew B-47s as well as B-24s, B-29s, B-52s and F-80s. His life was flying, and when he retired from the Air Force in 1966 he was deputy commander of the Little Rock Air Force Base in Little Rock, Arkansas, and retired with the rank of full colonel.Even after retirement, Bob could not stay away from flying. He soon became a civilian corporate pilot, flying for another two decades.Bob married Mary Louise Turner, a love affair that lasted 48 years until Bobís passing in 2000. They had no children, however one of their godsons, William Phillips, was perhaps closer than a birth son to them.In his lifetime Bob was a member of the National Association of Uniformed Services, the Retired Officers Association, a life member of the VFW Post 6796, a life member of the 100th Bomb Group Association, and he and Mary Louise were both active members of the Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas, where they both served as lay leaders and as leaders in young peopleís organizations.

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