|Henry E. Heyser, Jr., Short Snorter
The Short Snorter Project
This short snorter was originally acquired by me in December of 2007 and subsequently posted to this website on
March 31, 2008. The only information I could gather is that it had once belonged to Henry E. "Hank" Heyser, who flew
into Roberts Field, Liberia, on 3/24/43. I purchased it from his son's widow. There was an envelope with this lot that had
a return address for Henry Heyser of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and a newspaper clipping from the Air Force Times
August 8, 1977 issue titled "Ah, the Days of Short Snorters" (which gives a pretty good account of the history and
tradition of the short snorter phenomena of WWII). Other than that, it was a complete mystery... UNTIL NOW!
Henry "Hank" Heyser in the cockpit of his B-26 Martin Marauder
On Wednesday, March 4, 2009, I received an email from Kris Roberts which read: “My name is Kristin Roberts and I am
the daughter of Henry "Hank" Heyser Jr. My brother, Henry E. "Hank" Heyser III, stumbled upon your website when he
Googled our dad's name. My family found your website very interesting. My father passed in 1989 but I am in possession
of the majority of his things. I was going to look this bill up but wasn't sure if this is something I would have or you would
have. We would be fascinated on any more information you can give us on this "Short Snorter". I would be happy to
supply you with more information on Dad. Let us know and I would appreciate any help you can give us."
I called Kris after receiving her email. After mentioning who I bought the short snorter from, Kris confirmed that person
was the widow of her oldest step-brother, Fred. She mentioned that she lived in Colorado Springs which helped me to
ascertain that she was Hank Heyser's daughter (remember the envelope?). I offered to sell Kris the short snorter for
what I had paid, as I believe that short snorters should remain with the family. I also asked her if she would let me
display it at the ANA convention and if she would loan me any World War 2 photos of her dad for the exhibit. She whole-
heartedly agreed and then shipped photos the next day. I put that panel for the exhibit together on Monday, March 9.
While driving down to Portland on Thursday, the thought of having the ANA return it to the Heyser family in Colorado
Springs crossed my mind. During the Friday bourse, I was talking to Mr. Denly ("Denly's of Boston") about short snorters
when Clifford Mishler, ANA Governor, walked up. We somehow started talking about my website and the exhibit and I
mentioned the circumstances around the Henry "Hank" Heyser Short Snorter. Then I threw out the idea about the ANA
presenting it to the family back in Colorado Springs and Mr. Mishler said he would talk to the ANA staff. On Saturday, I
was paged on the bourse floor. Mr. Mishler was waiting and wanted to introduce me to Jay Beeton, ANA Marketing &
Public Relations, and Douglas Mudd, ANA Curator. Everyone was all smiles! I related the recent events and they agreed
to take the Henry "Hank" Heyser Short Snorter back to Colorado Springs to return it to the family.
*****Click this link to read about the return of Henry Heyser's short snorter in the Colorado Springs Gazette*****
|A blurry image of the Henry E. "Hank" Heyser Short Snorter displayed as part of a larger Short Snorter Project exhibit
at the American Numismatic Association Mid-Winter Convention held in Portland, Oregon, March 13 - 15, 2009.
Henry Ernst "Hank" Heyser, Jr., was born in Evanston,
Illinois, on May 24, 1917. He graduated from the
University of Illinois in 1937. By 1940, he was a Second
Lieutenant, Commanding Battery "G", 83rd Field
Artillery, Fort Jackson, South Carolina.
Henry "Hank" Heyser graduated from Advanced Flying School in Class 42-G at Moore Field, Texas, on August 5, 1942.
Henry Ernst "Hank" Heyser passed away in San Diego, CA, on February 13, 1987, and was buried at Arlington National
Cemetery, Virginia, with full military honors.
He moved to England and was assigned to the 9th Air Force, 394th Bombardment Group, 585th Bomb Squadron, as the
Pilot of a B-26 Martin Marauder. The 394th Bombardment Group helped prepare for the invasion of Normandy by hitting
V-weapon sites, bridges, marshaling yards, aerodromes, and gun emplacements. On D-Day they bombed gun positions
at Cherbourg. Serving as Major and the Pilot of a B-26 he was dispatched to attack enemy installations in France. During
the course of the bombing run the formation encountered intense and heavy anti-aircraft fire from the ground, which
forced Major Heyser out of formation. He assessed that the damaged aircraft was still under control and continued to
follow the formation but was slowly losing speed and altitude. Major Heyser, with complete disregard for his own safety,
went to the assistance of another damaged aircraft and guided it back to safety. For this, he was awarded the Silver Star
and given a parade. He was awarded the "croix de guerre" with Gold Star by Charles de Gaulle on August 18, 1945, "for
exceptional war services rendered during the operations for the liberation of France". He also flew bombing missions
over Germany and was awarded the Bronze Star. He contracted Tuberculosis and was medically discharged from the
Army Air Corps with the rank of Lt. Colonel. He then moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado, to recuperate at a sanitarium.