WWII vet visits Hattiesburg restaurant 75 years after working th - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

WWII vet visits Hattiesburg restaurant 75 years after working there

Mayor DuPree gives Henry H. Bennett a WWII souvenir. Source: Jac Bedrossian Mayor DuPree gives Henry H. Bennett a WWII souvenir. Source: Jac Bedrossian
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

Before Henry Bennett flew over the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, he worked at Coney Island Cafe in Downtown Hattiesburg.

He was paid $15 dollars a month with free meals, an upgrade from his job at his bakery across the street.

At Coney Island he met his wife, Gay. The two have been married for 72 years. 

Monday Bennett met the current owner of the restaurant, Billy Fokakis. His grandfather was Bennett's boss at Coney Island.

Fokakis didn't get a chance to meet his grandfather, but Bennett told him he was "good to work for." 

During his time at the restaurant, Bennett was called into war. He trained at Camp Shelby.

"I went in and they give you an aptitude test," said Bennett. "I was good enough, They said I could go into any branch I wanted to.”

While in service, he received the Distinguished Flying Cross, one of the highest honors in the military. Bennett flew 30 missions over Europe in WWII.

He was honored again by Mayor DuPree at the restaurant.

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