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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. B Henson


Bernard Henson was born in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire on 6th March 1915. His interest in flying was triggered by the Cobham Flying Circus which visited the area.

Henson joined the RAFVR on 28th November 1938. The 1939 census showed him as home on leave at the Riverside Cafe in Wisbech. On 26th June 1939 he married Eunice Patricia Whall at St. Augustines, Wisbech.

Called up on 1st September 1939, he completed his training at 5 FTS Sealand on No. 45 Course, which ran from 11th December 1939 to 10th June 1940.

Posted directly to 32 Squadron at Biggin Hill in late June 1940 he was soon in action and claimed a Ju87 destroyed on 3rd July and a Me109 damaged on 19th July.

He probably destroyed a Do17 on 15th August and destroyed another on the 18th. On this day he was hit by return fire during a combat over Biggn Hill and made a forced-landing at Otford in Hurricane V6536, with a slight wound on the face. He was discharged from hospital on the 24th and rejoined the squadron.

On 28th August Henson made a forced-landing near Linton-on-Ouse, in Hurricane N2409, during a transit flight from Biggin Hill to Acklington.

Henson was posted to 257 Squadron at Martlesham Heath on 15th September 1940.

He was reported 'Missing' on 17th November after being shot down by Adolf Galland in an action ten miles east of Harwich, in Hurricane N2342. The aircraft was seen to impact onto Lighthouse Sunk, a sandbar off Harwich. A search revealed no trace of Henson.

On 5th January 1941 his body was washed ashore at Epple Bay, Birchington and returned to Wisbech for burial at Mount Pleasant Cemetery there.





Additional research courtesy of the RAFA.


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