Henry W. Antheil, Jr.
Diplomat, Deceased Person
1912 – 1940
Who was Henry W. Antheil, Jr.?
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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