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HONOR BELL TOLLS FOR THE 2,000TH TIME, HONORING A WWII FORMER PRISONER OF WAR

We are grateful to his family for sharing these stories about his time in the service with us, and are always honored to help show dignity, honor, and respect by tolling the Honor Bell for those who have served our country.

On November 21st we rendered Bell Honors for Sergeant Henry J. Cornellisson of the United States Army Air Force. It was the 2,000th time the Honor Bell has been tolled at veterans’ funeral or memorial services. 

Sgt. Cornellisson was captured after the fall of the Philippine Islands in May of 1942 and was held by the Japanese as a prisoner of War until the end of hostilities in 1945.

Hank, as he was known, was born in Barnard, KS and enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1939. He was serving with the 19th Bomber Group in the Philippines when, on December 8, 1941, they heard about Pearl Harbor. Shortly thereafter their airfield was attacked. Holding out for four months, cut off from supplies and replacements, they were eventually forced to surrender to the Japanese. Cornellisson would go on to spend the rest of the war as a Prisoner of War in Japan. He acknowledged struggles both in prison camps as well as after the war. The first, he said, he conquered with hate, and the second with love. He would go on to make the Air Force his career, followed by a career with the Air Force in a civilian capacity.

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