Official file (1941-1961) of member of USNA class of 1941, including orders, biographical date, citations, and certificates.
In 1918 Henning was born in Trinidad, CO, the son of John Henning and Cassie DeFore Henning. He was enrolled in schools in Trinidad, CO and Raton, NM, and in 1936 graduated high school in Raton. Henning enrolled in the US Naval Academy in 1937, graduating in 1941 on the eve of World War II. As a junior officer Henning served on USS Long, eventual becoming Executive Officer by 1944. Henning next was assigned as Gunnery Officer of the aircraft carrier USS Belleau Wood. On this ship, Henning participated in air strikes on Okinawa and Japan, and was also in attendance at Japan's surrender ceremony. Following World War II Commander Henning took command of USS Towhee, a ship in charge of mine clearance in home waters of Japan. In Henning's next assignment he was sent to Charleston, SC and began duty as Commander of Mine Division Ten of the Mine Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet. In addition, he was also assigned Flag Secretary to Commander Mine Force. In 1948 Henning was assigned to the staff of the Naval Inspector General in Washington, DC. That same year he married Madge Hall McCrady of Charleston. Henning's contribution to the Korean conflict was as Executive Officer of USS Rogers and Commanding Officer of the USS Hanson. Other duties he took on included staff positions at Headquarters Allied Forces, Mediterranean, Malta, Commander Mine Squadron Nine in Long Beach, CA, and staff and instructor duty at the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD. In 1961 Henning officially retired from the military and moved with his family back to Charleston. He was a steadfast member of St. Philip's Episcopal Church and promoted it to others whenever the opportunity arose and a member of the U.S.N.A. Alumni Association. Henning died in 2008 in Charleston.
The papers include the official files of Henning, a member of USNA Class of 1941, reflecting his service from 1941 through his retirement in 1961. Specific materials consist of orders, biographical data, citations, certificates, reports, memorandums, commissions for duty and travel vouchers.
Gift of Commander William J. Henning, USN (Ret)
Encoded by Apex Data Services
Processed by Dale Sauter, January 2020
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