Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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131970   Flying Officer Andrew Alexander Henry
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 23/08/2019
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 50 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (British Air Force)
Date Of Birth: 22/04/1922
Died: 10/05/1944 (Killed in Action)
Age: 22
Summary      
Andrew Alexander Henry was the son of Robert and Elizabeth Henry. Alec Henry was born on 22nd April 1922. Prior to the Second World War Alec worked as a Petroleum Officer in the Civil Service. Alec Henry served with the 50th Squadron of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Flying Officer Andrew Alexander Henry was flying his 34th sortee on the night of the 10th May 1944 when his Lancaster bomber was shot down over the east of the city of Lille in France whilst attacking the rail yards.
Flying Officer Andrew Alexander Henry
Further Information
Andrew Alexander Henry was the son of Robert James and Elizabeth Ewing Henry (nee Tennant).
Andrew Alexander Henry was born on 22nd April 1922. He became known as Alec Henry.
Known family: Robert James Henry, Elizabeth Ewing Henry (nee Tennant), Andrew Alexander Henry (born 22nd April 1922).
Prior to the Second World War Alec worked as a Petroleum Officer in the Civil Service.
Alec joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve as a Flying Officer.
Whilst training in Nottinghamshire with the R.A.F. he wrote home to his mother:-
‘Dear Mother, I don’t think I have written since I was in Glasgow and that seems quite a time ago. Even so, there is not a great deal to say except that I won’t be able to get home until the travel ban is lifted, and that won’t be until everything has gone up in smoke. As you see by my new address I am on the move again. I came here last Sunday week but it is only temporary and I expect to be off again somewhere else next week. I have done a few hours in the air around here, the first time I have been off the ground since the end of last November. I have been pretty lucky getting a move like this as I managed to get with my old pilot, navigator, and our engineer again. Our rear gunner hasn’t done any, but the mid-upper has done 44 trips. Our wireless operator is new. He’s a very amusing bloke and comes from Mauritius. He can speak English fairly well and seems good at his work. Well I don’t think there is much else to say at the present time so I will stop and go out in the sun for a while. Alec’
Flying Officer (Air Bomber) Alec Henry served with the 50th Squadron of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
Flying Officer Andrew Alexander Henry was flying his 34th sortee on the night of the 10th May 1944 (Serial No. NN694) when his Lancaster bomber was shot down over the east of the city of Lille in France whilst attacking the rail yards.
Lancaster bomber
The bomber crashed and exploded at Forest-sur-Marque killing all six crew members on board. His fellow servicemen were:
bullet 641825 BULL, W C (W/O)
bullet 650776 HARRIS, T (F/S)
bullet 1216353 MASON, J H (P/O)
bullet 1561612 WATERS, J J (F/S)
bullet 1450790 WOOD, W G (Sgt)
In a letter to his father dated, 13th May 1944 from Wing Commander A W Heward expresses:
‘Dear Mr Henry, It is with deep regret that I have to confirm that your son, Flying Officer A A Henry has been reported missing from operations carried out on the night of 10/11th May 1944. He was the air bomber of a Lancaster aircraft captained by Warrant Office J H Mason, which was detailed to attack Lille, and, unfortunately nothing further has been heard of the aircraft since take off. This was your son’s 4th sortee of his second operational tour (34 in all) and he was one of our most experienced air bombers. He carried out his duties with the up most accuracy and precision. He was popular with his crew and his absence will be sadly felt in the Officers’ Mess. With regard to his personal belongings, these are being collected and listed and will be forwarded to the R.A.F. Central Depository, Slough, Bucks as soon as possible, in accordance with regulations. You will receive a letter from that unit asking your wishes as to the disposal of these personal effects and any enquiry regarding them should be direct to the Officer Commanding, R.A.F. Central Depository.’
Initially marked with a wooden cross, Flying Officer Andrew Alexander Henry was buried at Forest-Sur-Marque Communal Cemetery in France.
The cross was later replaced by a CWGC headstone. The inscription reads ‘CALLED TO HIGHER SERVICE’
The CWGC record Flying Officer Andrew Alexander Henry as the son of Robert James Henry and of Elizabeth Ewing Henry (nee Tennant) of Cookstown, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland.
The private papers of Pilot Officer J H Mason, who may well have been Alec’s pilot throughout, are with the Imperial War Museum. They have not been digitised as yet.
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Relevant Cookstown Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Montober Orritor Lived in Montober 54.672337 -6.844480
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 Bomber Command Details of flight and crash
2 Imperial War Museum Private Papers of Pilot Officer J H Mason
3 RAF Commands Details of crew and air crash
4 Remembering My Soldiers Large photos of all CWGC headstones in cemetery (pic04)
5 World War Two Cemeteries Grave photo
Cookstown District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2010-2019