Flying Officer James Morphett HENDERSON

Service No: 406560
Born: Perth WA, 28 February 1915
Enlisted in the RAAF: 3 February 1941
Unit: No. 95 Squadron (RAF), Freetown, Sierra Leone
Died: Air Operations: (No. 95 Squadron Sunderland aircraft L5805), Off West Africa, 11 June 1942, Aged 27 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Leo Morphett Henderson and Dorothea Henderson, of Serpentine, Western Australia.
Roll of Honour: Unknown
Remembered: Panel 5, Column 1, Malta Memorial, Malta
Remembered: Panel 123, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Cenotaph Undercroft, State War Memorial, Kings Park WA
Remembered: World War II Honour Roll, National War Memorial of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Flying Officer Henderson has been included on the South Australian Memorial and the reason for this is not clear from the available records. There are no other members with the name Henderson J M listed as WWII RAAF casualties.

Flying Officer Henderson was the Second pilot of Sunderland flying boat L 5805 of No. 95 Squadron, detailed to escort a ship to Freetown, Sierra Leone on 11 June 1942. The aircraft was last seen circling the ship on a bearing of 284 degrees approximately 135 miles from Freetown in the early hours of 11 June, after which it proceeded in a north easterly direction. At 1400 hours a possible white light was sighted at a low height, but no sound of engines was heard. During the next three days extensive air and sea searches were carried out, but no trace of the aircraft or crew were found. It was presumed that the aircraft forced landed at sea during the night patrol and that the crew members were lost at sea.

The nine crew members of L5805 were:

Sergeant John Edward Burley (943928) (RAFVR) (Fitter Mechanic/Air Gunner)
Sergeant Vincent Comer (1015558) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Sergeant Raymond George Greenman (967527) (RAFVR) (Fitter Mechanic/Air Gunner)
Flying Officer James Morphett Henderson (406560) (Second Pilot)
Pilot Officer Raymond Walter Lawrence (64936) (RAFVR) (Third Pilot)
Aircraftman Class 1 Herbert Kitchener McCombie (981773) (RAFVR) (Wireless Operator)
Leading Aircraftman Gordon McLeod McNeill (980994) (RAFVR) (Fitter Mechanic/Air Gunner)
Flying Officer Jack Pybus (401778) (RNZAF) (Pilot)
Pilot Officer David John Whalley (128051) (RAFVR) (Observer)


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records (RAAF Casualty Information compiled by Alan Storr (409804))
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Department of Veteran’s Affairs On-Line WWII Nominal Roll
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record A705, 163/35/191


Gaston, Bruce DFC (406646), Harry Horner DFC OAM (406595), Raymond Storer (406666) (Editors), Aircrew for the Duration: of and by members of RAAF EATS Courses 10, 11, 12 & 13, Gaston Horner and Storer, Nedlands WA, 1990

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