Jim Henderson at FDR Memorial

Photo by Maggie Cox

Flight of Honor For Bay Area War Hero

Silver Star Recipient From WW II

Stan Bunger
October 17, 2018 - 8:46 am

NOVATO (KCBS Radio) -- Jim Henderson has seen a lot in his lifetime. He's 95 years old, and the recipient of a Silver Star for valor in combat during World War 2.

But the former Novato city councilman and mayor is still touched by the respect shown to members of "the greatest generation". "I'm always a little overwhelmed by the 'thank you's' that are extended," Henderson said.

He and other military veterans heard those words of gratitude often this week during a three-day "Honor Flight" trip to Washington, D.C. Henderson traveled with a group of 29 vets from World War 2, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Afghanistan  conflict on a flight from San Luis Obispo organized by the Honor Flight Central Coast of California.

The Honor Flight organization provides an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington for veterans, who are then taken on tours of various monuments. Henderson, accompanied by his daughter Maggie Cox, was one of five World War 2 vets on this trip.

While in Washington, the vets had it happen again and again. "Perfect strangers come up to you and shake your hand and say, 'thank you for your service, sir'," Henderson said.

Henderson was in a mortar platoon with the 104th Infantry Division "Timberwolves", a unit that saw heavy action in France, Belgium and Germany. Henderson was awarded his Silver Star in 1944. The citation read, “Sergeant Henderson made his way across seventy-five yards of shell-torn terrain to the wounded man’s side and then carried him one hundred yards under intense enemy fire to a position of cover where medical aid was available."