Doyle W Hensley, age 96, a permanent resident of Albuquerque since 1974, passed away on 15 July 2021 surrounded by his loving family. He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Claire Elaine Hensley (Rose), his children Doyle W Hensley II (Georgia), Pamela H Spriet (Clay), and Richard M Hensley. Grandchildren Jill Culver (Chance), Erica Via (Craig), Clayton Spriet (Sarah), and Katrina Rose Abrahams (Will); Great Grandchildren Shelby Rose Meadows, Brooke Via, Penny Culver, Connor Spriet, and Paige Spriet; and Great Great Granddaughter River Rose Trahan; his brother James Hensley, nephew Mark Hensley (Donna), and brother-in-law Morris Rose; Nieces Doris Sullivan (Mike), Sheila Taylor; Grand Nephew Steven Sullivan (Pam), Joey Sullivan (Michelle); Great Grand Nephew Kevin Sullivan, Jesse Sullivan, Colten Sullivan, Great Grand Niece Stephanie Gonyea (Kaleb). Doyle was preceded in death by his parents Richard and Lillie Hensley and his brother John Hensley.
Doyle was born in Elmwood, Tennessee and spent the first 17 years of his life farming tobacco, corn, and other crops. While in High School, he listened on the radio to the Declaration of War by President Roosevelt and later the next spring determined to defend his country. Shortly after turning 17, he joined the United States Navy on July 16, 1942, choosing to serve his country during World War II. Upon completing boot camp in San Diego, CA, he was assigned in the Aviation Ordnance field and sent overseas to Pearl Harbor aboard the USS Henderson (AP-1) for further assignment throughout the Pacific Theater. In 1943 he spent time aboard the USS Chandeleur (AV-10), a seaplane tender, and was transported to Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides, later that year moving to the island of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands, where, as he recalled, he and his group were subjected to 40 days of continuous enemy bombing. A year later he was stationed in Munda, on the island of New Georgia, and completed his two years in the Pacific Theater while on the island of Manus in the Admiralty Islands. As a Navy Aviation Ordnanceman on these various islands, he spent his time ensuring the Navy bombers and fighters were continually loaded with bombs and other munitions and ready for combat.
Returning to the United States in late 1944, Doyle spent the next 7 years serving ashore and on deployments into the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic aboard the USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) and the USS Kearsarge (CV-33), where he flew on the TBM (torpedo bomber). In 1950, Doyle deployed to the Korean Conflict aboard the USS Leyte (CV-32), where the ship was instrumental in the successful extraction of UN forces through the port of Hungnam. Of note, the forces included the 1St Marine Division, who they supported from helping covering their breakout from the Chosin Reservoir to helping their evacuation from the coast. Later in 1956, he deployed on the USS Shangri-La (CV-38) to the Far East visiting Pali, Hawaii, Midway, Japan, Philippines, and Hong Kong. During the 1950’s and 1960’s, he was stationed in Texas, North Carolina, California, Alaska, and Iceland, ending up in 1966 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. From 1968 to 1970, he did two deployments aboard the USS Coral Sea (CVA- 43) as the Ordnance Officer in support of operations in Vietnam. Ultimately returning to New Mexico, where he would end his career in the Navy and retire after 30 years of active service. Having enlisted as an E1 in 1942, he went on to retire as an O4, Lieutenant Commander, on July 1, 1972.
After retiring from the US Navy, he took on several jobs, ultimately retiring after 14 years as the Security Manager for 1st Interstate Bank of New Mexico.
Doyle’s affiliations with the Navy included being a Life Member of the Navy Fleet Reserve Association and of the Association of Naval Aviation Ordnance. He was also a Freemason, being a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason, for 67 years. He became a member of the Ballut Abyad Shrine, joining its Legion of Honor, preforming Flag Pageants throughout the Southwest, and supporting numerous other activities, such as the sales of Vidalia Onions and of tickets to the Shrine Circus to raise money to support the Shrine Children’s Hospital.
Doyle was the very definition of a good man. He enjoyed helping people and spending time with his friends. He was also a survivor, beating colon cancer in 1985, he was able to continue to enjoy the outdoors, loving hunting, fishing, gardening, and bird watching. But most of all, he loved spending time with his family and his pet Dachshunds. He believed in God, Country, and Family and lived that belief every day of his life. An American Patriot and member of the Greatest Generation- he will be greatly missed but always remembered.
Services will be held on August 17, 2021 at 1030 a.m. at the French Funeral Home located at 10500 Lomas Blvd NE. Internment will take place following the services at the Santa Fe National Cemetery at 1330. Should friends desire, make memorial contributions in lieu of flowers, to the Ballut Abyad Shrine (Transportation Fund) located at 6600 Zuni Rd SE, Albuquerque, NM 87108.
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