Gloucester — Henry Arthur Jones, 89, of Gloucester, died peacefully on Saturday, November 10, 2012 at the Addison Gilbert Hospital. Henry was a former President of Cape Ann Savings Bank and World War II Veteran.
Henry was born in Gloucester on May 23, 1923, the son of Henry and Florence Jones. He grew up in Gloucester on Shepherd Street and attended Central Grammar and was a member of the first class to graduate from the current Gloucester High School (1941). In high school, he was an honor student, ROTC officer, varsity letterman in football, basketball, baseball and track. He was one of four sophomores to play on the 1938 Class C Champion football team that traveled to Washington DC, one of the top teams in GHS history. Affectionately known as "Hammerin' Hank", he captained the 1940 football team that defeated the previously undefeated and unscored upon Peabody team on Thanksgiving. He was the first football captain to be a member of the National Honor Society, won the Sawyer Medal for Academic Achievement, and was the Class President.
Following High School, Henry turned down a football scholarship to enlist in the Army paratroopers and became a member of the 101st Airborne Division, "Screaming Eagles". His first combat jump was over Holland in “The Market Garden” operation. Their purpose was to break German lines and allow Field Marshal Montgomery to roar through Holland. It was the operation featured in the film “A Bridge Too Far.” His unit was also the first to capture Adolf Hitler’s hideaway at Berchtsesgaden. Henry earned the Presidential Citation with an Oak Leaf Cluster, The European Theatre ribbon with an arrowhead, the Expert Combat Badge, and he has three major battle stars from engagements in Arnheim, Bastogne, and Reims. Henry's fondest memories of the war, however, were playing first base on the all-star paratrooper baseball team and playing end on the all Division football team. His play earned him a scholarship at the University of Wisconsin but he turned it down to come home to Gloucester to take care of his ailing father and disabled sister. His mom had passed when he was in High School.