Henry G. Ward
U. S. Army Air Corps
WWII US Military
Dates of Service: 09/18/1940 - 12/12/1945
Transport Pilot: C-46, C-47, C-87, C-54.

He was born in Philadelphia, Mississippi, as one of four children. Henry helped his father in the fields for nearly 19 years. He plowed with a mule and chopped and picked cotton. The family raised their own food, washed laundry in a big black pot in the yard, and bought many of their clothes in the fall after selling their cotton crop. Upon graduating from Cold Water High School in 1937, Henry entered East Central Junior College in Decatur, Mississippi. Hoping to become an airplane mechanic he joined the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1940. He was sent to Barksdale Field for basic training, then to several other airfields for cadet and flight training: New Orleans; Maxwell Field in Montgomery; Craig Field near Selma, Alabama; Arcadia, Florida; Bainbridge, Georgia; and Spence Field in Moultrie, Georgia for advanced flight training. Henry graduated on January 14, 1943. Meanwhile, he met Luby Ladder on a Greyhound bus. They married January 16, 1943 and had three children, eight grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren Assigned to transports, he was sent to Northwest Airlines for two months of training in both the C-46 and C-47. He finished his training at Homestead, Florida, before going overseas. Henry ferried a C-46 to Karachi, India, and then reported to his duty station, Chabua, India. There he flew a C-46, ferrying supplies over the Burma Hump to Kunming, China. He carried aboard, he recalls, "people, broomsticks, just whatever." Stationed at Chabua for 15 months, Henry flew 80 round trips. He returned to America in 1944 and flew the Fire Ball Airline, a route from Miami to Africa. He was discharged on December 12, 1945 as a first lieutenant. Back in Jackson, Mississippi, however, an old cadet roommate was a recruiting officer who offered Henry a master sergeant rank to return to the service. Henry agreed and served in flight operations. Needing pilots to fly in the Berlin Airlift, the Air Force discharged Henry, then recalled him as an officer. He was sent to Rhein-Main Air Base in Germany in February of 1948, and came home the next June. He attended supply school and was assigned as a supply officer in a student squadron at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi. Henry was later assigned as an instructor pilot. He was sent to Japan in 1953 to a radar station on Hokkaido, where he worked 12 to 15 hours a day, seven days a week. Back in America in 1955, he was assigned to Continental Air Command at Mitchel Air Force Base near Garden City, New York as materials officer. He also served as a general's pilot. Henry's last duty station was as a unit advisor to an Air Force Reserve unit in Baton Rouge. He retired in 1961 as a major. Remaining in Baton Rouge he earned his master's degree at LSU and became a school principal, retiring from that endeavor in 1983.