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Henry Davis Genther

PFC in 603rd Engineer Camouflage Bn : Co B, HQ Platoon


Born 1906 in VA, Died 1963

County of residence at enlistment: Washington, DC
Other residence(s): Fredericksburg, VA; Washington, DC
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
Occupation before the war: stenographers and typists
College education before the war: 1 year
Notes: Rank changed from PVT in GA Roster to PFC per New York Area Leave List
Source: 603rd Camouflage Engineer Roster provided by W. Anderson; Company B Names and Addresses roster; photo from 1924 high school yearbook

Henry Genther was born on February 19, 1906 in Fredericksburg, VA, the younger of two children. His father was a harness maker, and Henry's grandfather was a Confederate veteran; he would die in 1926, one of the last remaining Civil War veterans in Virginia.

Henry graduated from Fredericksburg High School in 1924. His yearbook reports that he was a member of the Athletic Association all four years, and offers the following quote about him: "Henry comes very irregularly to school, but when he does honor us with his presence we are very glad to have him. He is not afraid of work, but would rather not be intimately associated with it. If Henry's income is as large as his heart, Rockefeller will envy him."

After high school he moved to Washington, DC where he was working in 1926 as a salesman at department store Woodward & Lothrop.

Sometime in the 1920s, he married Eleanor Abell.

By 1930-1931, the Genthers were living apart, for whatever reason. Henry was working as a tree surgeon, boarding with a family in Hightstown, NJ. Eleanor was still in Washington DC. (She would spend 50 years working at the Office of Management and Budget.)

By 1932, Henry was back in DC as a tree surgeon with National Public Buildings & Parks, and living with Eleanor. The couple divorced a few years later.

Henry registered for the draft on October 16, 1940; at the time he stated that he was working at the Interior Department, Capitol Parks Division. With war pending, he married Florence Louise Coakley on December 5, 1941. He enlisted on October 6, 1942, with his profession categorized as "semi-professional occupation," probably still with Interior. He stated that he had one year of college.

During the war he served with the 603rd Engineer Camouflage Battalion. He was discharged with the rank of PFC, and returned to the capital. In 1948, he was still a tree surgeon with the Interior Department.

He died on May 15, 1963 in Washington and is buried at Fredericksburg Cemetery, Fredericksburg, VA. Since only his sister, and not his wife, is mentioned in his death announcement, it's likely that he and Florence had divorced some time after the war.


1924 high school yearbook (see below)


1910 census

1920 census

1924 high school yearbook

1926 city directory Washington DC

1926 obituary of his grandfather in the Times-Dispatch (Richmond VA)

1930 census

1931 city directory Washington DC (wife's listing)

1934 city directory Washington DC

1940 census

1940 draft card

1941 marriage record

1942 enlistment record

1963 Find a Grave record

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