John Black Henderson
- Born: 10 Dec 1922, Chicago, Cook Co., Illinois
- Marriage (1): Ruby Iveson about 1944 in England
- Marriage (2): Ruby Iveson about 1958
- Died: 25 Feb 1980, Scottsdale, Maricopa Co., Arizona at age 57
- Buried: 1 Mar 1980, Garden of Love, Green Acres Memorial Gardens, Scottsdale, Maricopa Co., Arizona
Another name for John was Jack.
John B. Henderson, U.S. Army Air Corps, serial # 15107432. On 5/17/45 paperwork lists his army address: 509 Bomb Squadron 351 Bomb Group (HQ 557). Squadron ID Code: RQ.
The story of the 351st Bomb Group, 1st Air Division of the 8th Air Force is a story of heroism and sacrifice during World War II. The 351st was formed in November, 1942 at Geiger Field near Spokane, Washington. Four squadrons of B-17 Flying Fortresses were established and designated the 508th, 509th, 510th and 511th. Lt. Colonel William A. Hatcher was named commanding officer.
After training in the western United States for about five months, in April, 1943, the various units of the Group embarked for England. The base occupied was near the hamlet of Polebrook in East Anglia and was known as Station 110. The Group's first completed combat mission took place on May 14th, 1943, when 18 B-17's targeted a German airfield in Belgium. Its final mission of World War II, the Group's 320th, took them to Brandenburg, Germany where the target was marshaling yards. The actual number of missions credited totaled 311. The 351st lost 175 B-17's and their crews. Among those lost are two men who were awarded, posthumously, the Medal of Honor. Lt. Walter E. Truemper and S/Sgt. Archibald Mathies heroically attempted to land a badly damaged B-17 to save the life of its severely wounded pilot who was unable to bail out. Sadly, both were killed in the attempted landing near the base at Polebrook.
Gunners of the 351st were credited with the destruction of 303 enemy aircraft during combat operations 1943 -1945. A total of 6913 men were on the rolls of the 351st between November, 1942 and June, 1945. A number of these were important ground force personnel who spent the entire war in England. Combat crews were rotated home if they survived 25 missions, later 30 then finally 35 missions.
Commanding officers of the 351st Bomb Group are as follows: Colonel. Hatcher (Nov. 1942 - 31 Dec. 1943) Colonel. Eugene Romig (3 Jan. 1944 - 12 Oct. 1944) Colonel. Robert Burns (12 Oct. 1944 - 30 Mar. 1945) Colonel. Merlin Carter (30 Mar. 1945)
The 351st Bomb Group officially ceased to exist near the end of WW II in 1945. However, its spirit lives on in the 351st Bomb Group Association. Those who served, relatives and friends honor the memory of those who paid the ultimate price during that war. The Association meets in reunion annually. Monuments to the men of the 351st are placed on the site of the airfield at Polebrook, England and at the Mighty Eighth Air Force Historical Museum near Savannah, Georgia. In a picture outside what is presumed to be his barracks reads the sign: "Woozie Boozie Boys of Sleepy Hollow".
WWII Army Enlistment Record:
Name: John B Henderson
Birth Year: 1922
Race: White, citizen (White)
Nativity State or Country: Illinois
County or City: La Porte
Enlistment Date: 15 Aug 1942
Enlistment State: Indiana
Enlistment City: Fort Benjamin Harrison
Branch: Air Corps
Branch Code: Air Corps
Grade Code: Private
Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law
Component: Army of the United States - includes the following: Voluntary enlistments effective December 8, 1941 and thereafter; One year enlistments of National Guardsman whose State enlistment expires while in the Federal Service; Officers appointed in the Army of
Source: Civil Life
Education: 4 years of high school
Marital Status: Single, without dependents
John married Ruby Iveson about 1944 in England. (Ruby Iveson was born on 25 Oct 1927 in Dewsbury, England, died on 12 Oct 1987 in Phoenix, Maricopa Co., AZ and was buried about 15 Oct 1987 in Phoenix, Maricopa Co., AZ.)
John next married Ruby Iveson about 1958. (Ruby Iveson was born on 25 Oct 1927 in Dewsbury, England, died on 12 Oct 1987 in Phoenix, Maricopa Co., AZ and was buried about 15 Oct 1987 in Phoenix, Maricopa Co., AZ.)