RICHIE N. HENDERSON, LT, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Richie Henderson '40

Date of birth: July 21, 1918

Date of death: October 11, 1943

Age: 25

Lucky Bag

From the 1940 Lucky Bag:


Loss

Richie was lost when USS Wahoo (SS 238) was sunk, likely on October 11, 1944, in La Perouse Strait off Northern Japan.

His mother was listed as next of kin.

Career

Richie was assigned to the USS Mississippi after graduation. During the war he was promoted to Lt(jg) on April 15, 1942 and to LT on October 1, 1942.

Silver Star

1940 Henderson 1.jpg

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Richie Neale Henderson (NSN: 0-85127), United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in the line of duty and in a position of great responsibility while serving on the U.S.S. WAHOO (SS-238), during the SEVENTH War Patrol of that Submarine in enemy patrolled waters from 9 September to 11 October 1943. He assisted his Commanding Officer in penetrating dangerous, confined and patrolled enemy waters where he contributed to the known destruction of one important enemy vessel. Other damage inflicted upon the enemy by his submarine in this area is unknown since his vessel failed to return from this patrol and it is presumed that he gave his life for his country. His conduct was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Board Serial 0559 (March 27, 1944)
Action Date: September 9 - October 11, 1943
Rank: Lieutenant

From Hall of Valor:

The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Richie Neale Henderson (NSN: 0-85127), United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in the line of his profession as Torpedo and Diving Officer of the U.S.S. WAHOO (SS-238), during aggressive and highly successful War Patrols in enemy-controlled waters during World War II. His careful and efficient maintenance of the torpedoes directly contributed to his vessel's success in delivering successful torpedo and gun attacks against heavily escorted task forces and convoys, which resulted in the sinking of over 93,000 tons and the damaging of over 30,000 tons of shipping and combatant units. His calmness, judgment, fearlessness, and steadiness were an inspiration to the officers and men in his ship. His conduct throughout was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Commander in Chief Pacific: Serial 01633 (May 6, 1944)
Action Date: World War II
Rank: Lieutenant

Navy Directories & Officer Registers

The "Register of Commissioned and Warrant Officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps" was published annually from 1815 through at least the 1970s; it provided rank, command or station, and occasionally billet until the beginning of World War II when command/station was no longer included. Scanned copies were reviewed and data entered from the mid-1840s through 1922, when more-frequent Navy Directories were available.

The Navy Directory was a publication that provided information on the command, billet, and rank of every active and retired naval officer. Single editions have been found online from January 1915 and March 1918, and then from three to six editions per year from 1923 through 1940; the final edition is from April 1941.

The entries in both series of documents are sometimes cryptic and confusing. They are often inconsistent, even within an edition, with the name of commands; this is especially true for aviation squadrons in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Alumni listed at the same command may or may not have had significant interactions; they could have shared a stateroom or workspace, stood many hours of watch together… or, especially at the larger commands, they might not have known each other at all. The information provides the opportunity to draw connections that are otherwise invisible, though, and gives a fuller view of the professional experiences of these alumni in Memorial Hall.

June 1940

Ensign, USS Mississippi

Others at this command: LT Henry Wygant, Jr. '30, ENS Marion Dufilho '38, and ENS Milton Jarrett, Jr. '40.

November 1940

Ensign, USS Mississippi

Others at this command: LT Henry Wygant, Jr. '30 and ENS Milton Jarrett, Jr. '40.

April 1941

Ensign, USS Mississippi

Others at this command: LT Henry Wygant, Jr. '30 and ENS Robert Durette '41.


Class of 1940

Richie is one of 91 members of the Class of 1940 on Virtual Memorial Hall.