[Congressional Record Volume 150, Number 93 (Thursday, July 8, 2004)]
[Senate]
[Page S7819]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                        TRIBUTE TO HENRY COUZENS

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I wish today to pay tribute to Henry 
Couzens, a genuine World War II hero and survivor. Mr. Couzens 
performed extraordinary acts of courage during some of world history's 
most difficult and tumultuous times.
  The day after his 18th birthday in 1942, Mr. Couzens applied for the 
Aviation Cadets, and after passing all requirements was accepted into 
the Air Corp Training School. A year later, Mr. Couzens graduated as a 
pilot and was commissioned as a second lieutenant to fly P-47 fighter 
planes. In early 1944, Mr. Couzens arrived in England to fight on the 
front lines in the European Theatre alongside the 8th Infantry and 
356th Fighter Group. His unit's assignment was to control an area along 
the English Channel. Their purpose was to escort and protect B-17s and 
B-24s on bombing missions to Germany and other occupied countries.
  On April 23, 1944, Mr. Couzens was assigned to destroy German 
airplanes on the ground. His target that day was the airfield at 
Haguenau, France. On his third pass over the airfield, he was hit by 
German anti-aircraft fire. The hit was so substantial it stopped the 
engine of his plane, forcing him to ``Belly in.'' While he was 
fortunate enough to land alive, the group commander and another pilot 
were shot down. For a little over a year, Mr. Couzens was a prisoner of 
the Germans at the famous Stalag Luft III Camp. He endured one of the 
coldest winters in decades and finally saw freedom when they were 
liberated on April 29, 1945, and became part of General Patton's Third 
Army.
  Thank you, Mr. Couzens for defending freedom and democracy. The 
heroics you and your comrades displayed will forever be remembered; you 
truly are the Greatest Generation.

                          ____________________