INDENTM.C. London Gazette 22.1.1916 Lieut. (Temp. Captain) R.F.C. Special Reserve "For conspicuous gallantry and skill. On 28th November 1915, between La Bassee and Lille, after he had driven down one Albatros, he attacked two other hostile machines and, in spite of heavy fire, put them both to flight. Then under anti-aircraft fire he chased two more machines and drove them off. On 2nd December, near Don, when on escort to a bombing expedition, he was hit by a bullet in the head in a fight with a German machine. Though partially stunned and half blinded, he succeeded in bringing his own machine back to his aerodrome".
A more interesting and comprehensive account of the above engagements appeared in R.F.C. Communique Nos. 22 and 23:
"Lt. Henderson (Morane Scout, 3 Sqn) left the aerodrome at 9.30 a.m. to attack a hostile machine reported over Noeux Les Mines. He found an Albatros at 8,000 feet which made off. The Morane soon reached the same altitude and overhauled the Albatros, which turned and attacked. Lt Henderson dived at him, passing over him at 50 feet and firing continuously. The enemy machine was seen to be descending rapidly and was pursued by the Morane firing as opportunity occurred. The Albatros went down to about 1,500 feet over Vending Le Vieil, where he dropped a smoke ball and was lost to view. Proceeding towards Lille with the intention of intercepting hostile aeroplanes re-crossing the lines, Lt Henderson found at 8,000 feet, a B.E.2c being attacked by an Albatros and a second German machine, type not recognised. These two machines were attacked in turn, the latter making off after half a drum had been expended against it. The Albatros showed more fight but was eventually also driven off. During this time a hostile machine stood off about half a mile east, and an Aviatik was directly above but took no part in the action. The latter was pursued to La Bassee and was last seen at 13,000 feet making for Lille."
"Lt Henderson (Morane Scout, 3 Sqn) when escorting the bombing machines to Don engaged a hostile tractor biplane of the Morane type which approached from the direction of Douai at 8,500 feet. The Morane Scout was flying just ahead of the B.E.2c's of 2 Sqn. As the German approached, Lt Henderson turned to go in the same direction and dived at him, opening fire at 150 yards. The B.E.2c's then came into the field of fire. The German machine dived, Lt Henderson diving after him and overhauling him fired a whole drum at short range. While changing the drum, the German turned sharply right-handed and at the same time Lt Henderson was hit by a bullet just above the right eye. His goggles were broken, and being temporarily blinded by blood, he was forced to discontinue the engagement and returned home. He landed his machine safely".
During the last engagement, Henderson was wounded by a bullet from a rifle, in this instance the German Observer's only weapon.
A.F.C. London Gazette 3.6.1919. Major (A/Lt.Col.) M.C. (R.E.)
Lieutenant Colonel George Lockhart Piercy Henderson M.C., A.F.C., son of Lieutenant General Sir Edward Henderson (Air Council until 1918) volunteered with a number of other Oxford University students upon the outbreak of the war to act as Despatch Riders for the B.E.F. in France; he became 2nd Lieutenant on probation, Royal Flying Corps, April 1915 and is shown as Lieutenant serving in 'A' Flight No. 3 Squadron in November that year. Henderson commanded 66 Squadron (Sopwith Pups) in England and France from June to October 1917 and is mentioned several times in McCudden's own book "Flying Fury" in particular when he and Henderson shared hits on "V" Strutter while on Offensive Patrol, 26 July 1917. During this period, Henderson attempted a forced landing in a Sopwith Pup - he crashed heavily and not being strapped in he was flung throught the central bracing wires to safety as the aircraft burst into flame. Thereafter he shunned safety harnesses stating that had he worn one he would have been burnt to death!
After the war Henderson was one of the first pilots to be engaged by Imperial Airways before he became a well known figure in aviation circles of the 1920s. By 1927 he was operating his own flying training school at Brooklands with a fleet of Avros and in the following year opened another at Croydon flying Mono-Avros and Moths. He became involved in aircraft design and contstruction and produced the H.S.F.1 known as the Flying Greenhouse and then the Henderson Glenny Gadfly - both aircraft were not successful.
On 21 July 1930, when piloting one of his company's single engined Junker aeroplanes on taxi-service from Croydon to Le Touquet, the aircraft suffered an in-flight structural failure and crashed near Meopham, Kent. Six people died in the crash, including the Marquess of Dufferin and Ava, Viscountess Ednam and Sir Edward Ward. The man who despised the safety harness, Lieutenant Colonel Henderson, was the only person found still in the wreckage - strapped in, but he died within minutes. (A folder of photographs and research accompany the group).