Henry W. Antheil, Jr.

Diplomat, Deceased Person

1912 – 1940


Who was Henry W. Antheil, Jr.?

Henry William Antheil, Jr. was an American diplomat killed in the shootdown of the Kaleva airplane at the wake of the Soviet occupation of the Baltic States.

Antheil was born in Trenton, New Jersey.

Antheil, younger brother of noted composer George Antheil, was a clerk at the U.S. legation in Helsinki. He was killed on June 14, 1940, while serving as a diplomatic courier when the Finnish passenger plane Kaleva was shot down over the Gulf of Finland near Tallinn, Estonia at 14:05 on Friday, June 14, 1940, approximately ten minutes after taking off from Tallinn Airport.

Two Soviet bombers downed the passenger airplane on the day the Soviet blockade of Estonia went into effect. According to an Associated Press wire story that ran the following day, Henry was serving as a diplomatic courier when his plane exploded en route to Helsinki.

Antheil was carrying several diplomatic pouches from the U.S. legations in Tallinn and Riga. Soviet troops had already been based in Estonia since October 18, 1939, as a result of the secret protocol to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact signed between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany.

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Sep 23, 1912
Also known as
  • Henry Antheil, Jr.
  • United States of America
Lived in
  • Trenton
Jun 14, 1940
Gulf of Finland

on July 23, 2013


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