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358th Hendry Crew
John W. Hendry, Jr., Pilot
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JOHN W. HENDRY CREW - 358th BS
B-17F War Bride #42-5360 (358BS) VK-Q
(crew assigned 358BS: 21 June 1943 - photo: 20 July 1943)
(Upgraded from CoPilot, Richard L. Kruse, Crew, to Pilot: 30 July 1943)

(Back L-R) 1Lt Calder Wise (CP),
1Lt John W. Hendry, Jr. (P)(POW), 1Lt Richard L. Kruse (Instructor Pilot),
1Lt Bernard T. McNamara (N)(POW)(WIA), 1Lt Richard E. Webster (B)(POW)(WIA)

(Front L-R) S/Sgt John Arasin (WG), S/Sgt John J. Doherty (WG/TG)(POW),
T/Sgt James J. Brown (R)(KIA), S/Sgt Olwin C. Humphries (BTG)(KIA),
S/Sgt Howard L. Abney (TG)(WIA), T/Sgt Loran C. Biddle (E)(POW)

(Ranks and Grades at time of last combat mission.)

Twenty-Seven dispatched (24 credited) combat missions of 1Lt John W. Hendry, Jr.: As CoPilot with 1Lt Richard L. Kruse (Instructor Pilot): 48(A) (4 July 1943), 49, 50, 51(A), 52, 53, 54 (26 July 1943). As First Pilot: 56 (30 July 1943), 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 71(A), 72, 73, 74, 76, 77, 78, 79 (20 Oct 1943). (A) Non-credited aborted mission For Mission dates, targets and Mission Reports, see Combat Missions.

Thirteen B-17Fs flown by 1Lt John W. Hendry on his combat missions:

  • 42-29640 Ol' Ironsides (359BS) BN-X - Mission 48(A)
  • 42-5360 War Bride aka Old Faithful (358BS) VK-G - Missions 49, 50, 51(A), 52, 56, 57, 65, 66, 71(A), 72, 76, 78
  • 41-24565 Idaho Potato Peeler aka Rambling Wreck (359BS) BN-P - Mission 53
  • 42-5264 Yankee Doodle Dandy (358BS) VK-J - Mission 54
  • 42-29664 Jersey Bounce, Jr. (358BS) VK-C - Mission 58
  • 42-3192 G-for-George (358BS) VK-G - Mission 59
  • 42-29524 Meat Hound (358BS) VK-K - Missions 60, 68
  • 42-24426 Black Diamond Express (359BS) BN-V - Mission 61
  • 42-29571 Charley Horse (358BS) Mission 64
  • 41-24577 Hell's Angels (358BS) VK-D - Mission 67
  • 41-24562 Sky Wolf (358BS) VK-A - Mission 69
  • 41-24629 (No name) (358BS) VK-G - Missions 73, 77, 79
  • 42-29629 Connecticut Yankee (358BS) VK-M - Mission 74
    See nose art photos of the named B-17s
Crew Notes:
Regular crewmen - In crew photo:
  • 1Lt John W. Hendry (P)(POW) - Flew on 5 credited missions as CoPilot, with 1Lt Richard L. Kruse as an Instructor Pilot. (48(A), 49, 50, 51(A), 52, 53, 54. Flew 19 credited missions as First Pilot (56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 71(A), 72, 73, 74, 76, 77, 78, 79). Completed 24 credited combat missions. Became a POW - mission 79 (20 Oct 1943).

  • 1Lt Richard L. Kruse (Instructor Pilot) - An original 358th BS crewman. Flew with Capt Robert L. Nolan crew as CoPilot on 20 credited missions. Was upgraded from CoPilot to Pilot on 4 July 1943 and flew five credited missions as an Instructor Pilot with 1Lt John W. Hendry crew (48(A), 49, 50, 51(A), 52, 53, 54). Completed his 25 mission combat tour on 26 July 1943 (Mission 54).

  • 1Lt Calder Wise (CP) - Flew on 15 credited missions as CoPilot, 1Lt Hendry crew (56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 71(A), 72, 73, 74). Upgraded from CoPilot to Pilot on orders dated 10 Oct 1943. and flew on 10 credited missions as First Pilot (75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 83, 84, 118) Completed 25 mission combat on 25 Feb 1944 (Mission 118).

  • 1Lt Bernard T. McNamara (N)(POW) - Flew on all of the 24 credited combat missions of 1Lt John W. Hendry, Jr. plus 1 credited mission with 2Lt Paul W. Campbell (P) - Mission 75. Became a POW on mission 79 (20 Oct 1943). Landed on and passed through the roof of the "Gaspard" repair shops in St. Saulve, a suburb of Valenciennes. Was reported to have been machine-gunned during his parachute decent inflicting wounds to his head, a hand and leg. Was cared for by local inhabitants and Dr. Delrue. Was found by Germans two hours later and was sent to a local hospital for further treatment. On the next day he was driven to a Luftwaffe Hospital in Cambrai, France.

  • 2Lt Richard E. Webster (B)(POW)(WIA) - Flew on all of the 24 credited combat missions of 1Lt John W. Hendry, Jr. plus 1 credited mission with 2Lt Robert S. O'Connor (P) - mission 47. Became a POW on mission 79 (20 Oct 1943). Was hit in the chest by 20mm shell fragments. He was saved by his flak suit but had a badly broken leg.

  • T/Sgt Loran C. Biddle (E)(POW) - Flew on all of the 24 credited combat missions of 1Lt John W. Hendry, Jr. Became a POW on mission 79 (20 Oct 1943).

  • T/Sgt James J. Brown (R)(KIA) - Flew on all of the 24 credited combat missions of 1Lt John W. Hendry, Jr. plus 1 credited missions with 2Lt Robert S. O'Connor - mission 44. Was KIA on mission 79 (20 Oct 1943).

  • S/Sgt Olwin C. Humphries (BTG)(KIA) - Flew on 5 of the credited missions of 1Lt John W. Hendry, Jr. (48(A), 49, 50, 51(A), 52, 53, 54, 56. Was KIA on 1Lt Hendry's first mission as First Pilot 30 July 1943 (Mission 56). Was shot through his right lung and side. His body was returned to Molesworth with his crew

  • S/Sgt John C. Arasin (WG/TG) - Flew on 23 of the credited missions of 1Lt John W. Hendry, Jr.: As Right Waist Gunner (48(A), 49, 50, 51(A), 52, 53, 54, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 64, 65, 66, 67, 69, 71(A), 72, 73, 74: As Tail Gunner (76, 77, 78). Flew on 2 credited missions with 1Lt John R. Johnston (P) (Missions 80, 81). Completed his 25 mission combat tour on 5 Nov 1943 (Mission 81).

  • S/Sgt John J. Doherty (WG/TG)(POW) - Flew on all of the 24 credited missions of 1Lt John W. Hendry, Jr. Three missions (76, 77, 78) as Tail Gunner. Other missions as Left Waist Gunner Became a POW on mission 79 (20 Oct 1943)

  • S/Sgt Howard L. Abney (TG)(WIA) - Flew on 11 of the 1Lt Hendry credited missions (48(A), 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54(A), 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61). Was wounded on 19 Aug 1943 (Mission 61) by 20mm shell fragments in his right hip and arm. Was taken to the 12th Evacuation Hospital and removed from combat flying.
Substitute Crewmen - not in crew photo
  • 2Lt William B. Harper (CP) (KIA) - Substitute for 1Lt Calder Wise when 1Lt Wise was upgraded from CoPilot to Pilot. Flew on four missions with 1Lt John W. Hendry, Jr. (76, 77, 78, 79). Was KIA on 20 Oct 1943 (Mission 79) when his damaged parachute was trailing and failed to open. Flew on 8 credited missions as CoPilot with other Pilots: 1Lt Jack C. Timken (51(A), 56); Capt John V. Lemmon (53, 54 (As LWG), 59, 60, 65, 70, 78). - Total 12 credited missions

  • Sgt Alfred J. Hargrove (BTG)(POW) - Substitute for S/Sgt Olwin C. Humphries who was KIA on 30 July 1943 (Mission 56). Flew on 18 credited missions with 1Lt John W. Hendry, Jr. (57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 71(A), 72, 73, 74, 76, 77, 78, 79). Became a POW on 20 Oct 1943 (Mission 79).

  • S/Sgt Wilmer G. Raesley (TG/WG)(POW) - Substitute for S/Sgt Howard L. Abney who was wounded on 19 Aug 1943 (Mission 61). Flew on 13 credited missions with 1Lt John W. Hendry, Jr.: As Tail Gunner (64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 71(A), 72, 73, 74); As Right Waist Gunner (76, 77, 78, 79). Dispatched on 9 missions (7 credited) with other pilots (Missions 6, 7, 10, 12(A), 19, 22(A), 24, 57, 60). Became a POW on 20 Oct 1943 (Mission 79). Total 20 credited missions.

  • Sgt Delbert E. Guhr (LWG)(POW) - Flew on 2 credited missions with 2Lt William C. Hartigan (P) (Missions 76, 77) and became a substitute for S/Sgt John C. Arasin flying on one mission with 1Lt John W. Hendry, Jr. Became a POW - 20 Oct 1943 (Mission 79). Total 3 credited missions.
Mission 79, 20 October 1943, to Duren, Germany in B-17FG 41-24629 (No name) (358BS) VK-G (Missing Air Crew Report 1032):
Cannon shells from a German ME-109 started a fire in the left wing gas tank. 1Lt John W. Hendry, Jr (P) gave the bail-out order when it became apparent that the B-17 might explode. The B-17 exploded at low altitude and crashed near Valenciennes, France. Debris (fuselage, wings, engines and bombs) fell all over the city. The downing of the 1Lt Hendry crew was credited to Major Mietusch leader of the 11/JG 26 Group who was flying in a ME-109G on a head on pass. The bodies of 2Lt Harper (CP) and T/Sgt Brown (R) were found in the remains of the B-17. They were buried on 22 October 1943 in the Valenciennes St Roch Cemetery in the British plot with seven crewmen of a RAF Halifax bomber that crashed in the night of 20/21 October 1943. The bodies of 2Lt Harper and T/Sgt Brown were transferred to an American cemetery on 17 September 1945. 2Lt Harper is now buried in the Normandy American Cemetery near Coleville-sur-Mer, France.

[photo from the 303rdBGA Archives - clipping courtesy of Ralph Watson]
[Researched by Harry D. Gobrecht, 303rdBGA Historian Emeritus]