Helen Jeanette Henley volunteered for the U.S. Army Nurse Corps October 20, 1943. She died in a plane crash while helping wounded soldiers. She was a graduate of Greensboro Senior High School, class of 1936, after which she graduated from Greensboro College and St. Leo Hospital’s School of Nursing.
Guy Julian Thomas, Jr. graduated from Greensboro Senior High School in 1936. He joined the Army Air Forces in 1942, earned his wings, and became a flight instructor. He requested combat duty and was assigned to Foggia, Italy as a P-38 fighter pilot. 1LT Guy Thomas was hit over Innsbruck, Austria on November 26, 1944. While bailing out from the descending ship, he was injured by the aircraft’s tail. He was taken to an Austrian hospital where he died from his wounds on December 5, 1944. He had been on combat duty for three weeks. He was awarded a posthumous Distinguished Flying Cross.
William Jasper Balsley is the only Greensboro Senior High School Roll of Honor alumnus known to be taken as a prisoner of war. Graduating with the class of 1934, he attended Ballentine College of Commerce and Virginia Tech. He joined the U.S. Army Air Corps in September, 1940, well before World War II began. He died when a ship carrying 700 American POWs was sunk. His body was never recovered.
Joseph Sigmund Thomas, like his older brother, was an outstanding athlete and captained the Greensboro Senior High School football team during his senior year. Joe Thomas earned his navigator wings on January 15, 1944 and navigated his new B-24 bomber from the States to Foggia, Italy – arriving May 1. On May 6, 2LT Joe Thomas’ B-24 was hit during a bombing mission over Romania. Thomas and six other crew members were killed instantly. He was just 19 years old when he died.
Adrian London Kirkman dropped out of Greensboro Senior High School and joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1939. After Boot Camp at Parris Island he deployed as an anti-tank missileman in Puerto Rico and Cuba. After the war started, Kirkman became a Marine Parachutist and participated in the Invasion of Guadalcanal in August, 1942. He was killed in September, 1942, after the combat-depleted Marine Parachutists had been merged with Edson’s Raiders.
John Lawrence Sullivan, Jr. graduated from Greensboro Senior High School in 1943 and immediately enlisted in the Navy – at the age of 17. He died when the ship he was on went down due to a severe storm. He was 18 at the time of his death.
After Greensboro Senior High School, Stafford Wilbur Webb graduated from Denison University in 1940 and UNC-Chapel Hill in 1941. He joined the Army in 1941, becoming a pilot. He flew his 17th combat mission on October 14, 1943. Unfortunately, Webb's plane was among 60 B-17s that did not return to base that day.
After graduating from Greensboro Senior High School, Class of 1935, John Wesley Long Benbow attended Guilford College and UNC-Chapel Hill. Afterwards, he joined the U.S. Army Air Forces as an aviation cadet -- one month before WWII began. His plane went down over Japan on July 16, 1945.
Robert Eugene Roach was one of the oldest Greensboro Senior High School Roll of Honor patriots to join the Army. He was 31 years old when he joined the Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne Division as a charter member. Roach operated along the Normandy coast until June 8, when he was killed by enemy small arms fire.