41-24126         B24

 

On 1 October 1943, at about 1225 hours, a B-24D, # 41-24126, assigned to 9th Bomb Squadron, 7th Bomb Group, left the 10th Air Force airport at Pandaveswar, India, on a combat mission to bomb the enemy’s Heho Airdrome. After dropping its bombs the B-24D departed the target in formation with the other seven bombers. Enemy fighters attacked the formation and crippled 41-24126. It fell behind and was attacked by several enemy Zero fighters, and the pilot, 2ndLt McHenry, told the crew to bail out. 2ndLt McHenry skillfully controlled his airplane long enough for six members of the crew to bail out before a wing was ripped from the fuselage and his bomber crashed in flames. He, the co-pilot, and the navigator perished in the crash. The crew was comprised of:

                                  Pilot                 2ndLt William S McHenry Jr                          0-797159         KIA

                                  Co-Pilot           2ndLt Arthur W Zipperian                              0-746505         KIA

                                  Navigator        2ndLt Irving Raubitschek                                0-798878         KIA

                                  Bombardier      2ndLtGerald Chester Funk                              0-671415         POW returned

                                  Engineer          TSgt John W Hubbard                                     34279839        POW returned

                                  Radio-Oper.     TSgt Charles A Pittard                                     39251123         Died as POW

                                  Asst Rad-Op    SSgt Orbra A Wagoner                                    35163717        POW returned

                                  Arm Gunner    SSgt Horace B Doyal                                       14139069        POW returned

                                  Arm Gunner    SSgt Benedict A Lukas                                     32559293        POW returned

Witness statement: On 18 Oct. 1943, on a bombing mission of the Heho Airdrome, I was rear turret gunner on last plane in 7-ship formation. The enemy attacked, a gunner saida plane was hit. The crippled ship fell back to our six and was losing altitude. One man bailed out. It kept falling back lower. Enemy fighters attacked it. After a Zero attack, the left wing blew off and saw sheet of flame on fuselage. It nosed down and plunged through clouds. SSgt Edward T Friedmann.

MCHENRY, WILLIAM STEWART, JR., # 0-797159, USAAF

 

William S. McHenry, Jr., was born 31 August 1917 in Penns Grove, New Jersey, to William S. McHenry (1887-1951) and Jane Harriett (Christie) McHenry (1892-1973). Siblings included David Christie McHenry (1920-2005) and Robert Stewart McHenry (1927-2011). He had married Cornelia (Neal) Early nee McHenry (1921-2017). She married again, to USAAF fighter pilot John E. Early (1917-2004). He had been decorated for valor flying the P-47 Thunderbolt and the P-51 Mustang during WW II. Their marriage lasted more than fifty years.

 

2ndLt McHenry enlisted in the New York National Guard on 5 January 1937 and was assigned to the 156th Artillery Regiment, 2nd Battalion, Headquarters Company. This was during/after the great depression so it was probably done, like many others, to supplement income. He enlisted in the USAAF on 11 March 1942 at New York City, New York (enlisted service # 12060286) as an aviation cadet. He completed the numerous pre-flight and flight schools and was rated for multi-engine aircraft. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for heroism, letting his crewmen have time to bail out. The citation included: “After his bomber was severely damaged, Second Lieutenant McHenry skillfully controlled his airplane long enough for six members of the crew to bail out before a wing was ripped from the fuselage and his bomber crashed in flames.