HENNIN, PHILIP F., Lieutenant Colonel, # 0-370629, USAAF


Philip F. Hennin was born on 31 May 1914 in New York to Franciscus “Frank” Wilson Hennin (1890-1955) (England) and Alice B. (Moore) Hennin (1893-1966) (OH). Siblings included Blanche B. (Hennnin) Hanley (1915-2012), Francis W. Hennin Jr. (1920-1982). Living with them in 1920 were his maternal grandparents, John Moore (1863-    ) (NJ) and Blanche Moore (1874-    ) (OH). He graduated from college.


After enlisting in the USAAF in Newark, New Jersey on 26 December 1941, he completed flight instruction and he was in Bexar Co., Texas, as an aviation cadet, in 1940. After completing advanced schools, he earned his commission and pilot wings. He was selected for flying the B-29 Superfortress. He was sent overseas to India. On 28 November 1944, a B-29, # 42-24706, “Windy City II,” assigned to 20th Air Force, 468th Bomb Group, 794th Bomb Squadron (of which Lt.Col. Hennin was Commander), departed the airfield at Kharagpur, India, on a training flight over Halliday Island and return. The # 3 engine was losing power, then caught fire. The Kidde system (fire surpression) was activated and the fire was under control. The electrical system was deactivated. SSgt Metzger was sent to turn on the “putt-putt” (small generator) and did so. As it was activated, the entire right wing exploded. King, Salisbury, Metzger, Dilioway, Davis and Vavra bailed out and saw the B-29 roll over twice as it went down. He is remembered on the memorial wall of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, Philippines. He was awarded the Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters.


His brother, Frank W. Hennin, born 13 March 1920, served in the USAAF from 5 August 1942 to 29 December 1946 and from 29 August 1947 to 31 March 1963, separating as a Major, USAF, and served in WW II and Korea. He died on 14 January 1982 and is buried in the Mount Carmel Cemetery, West Long Branch, Monmouth Co., New Jersey.