I’ve only recently been informed about the death of another 617 Squadron veteran from the latter part of the Second World War, Stanley Henderson. He was the flight engineer in Plt Off Castagnola’s crew on a number of operations with 617 Squadron, including the successful attack on the Tirpitz in November 1944. His daughter Alison sent me this notice from the Canadian press:
HENDERSON, Stanley James. November 01, 1921-September 27, 2010. It is with great sadness that we, the family of Stanley (known as Chick to his family and friends), announce his passing on September 27, 2010 after a very long and courageous battle with cancer. Stan is survived by his loving wife of 58 years and best friend, Pearl; his son Peter Henderson (Monica); his two daughters Alison Zawada (Ron), and Janine Henderson; his two grandsons, Tyler and Colby Zawada; and other family members and friends. Born in England, Stan was a distinguished member of the famed RAF 617 Squadron (Dambusters) and a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Medal. After retiring from the RAF, and emigrating to Canada in 1963, he worked for many years for the Canadian Tire Corporation. Then, after his second retirement, and moving to British Columbia, Stan took on the role of the President of the British Columbia Aviation Museum. Stan loved his time spent there and the camaraderie that came with this role. Stan was an extremely devoted husband and father, who lived for his family, always putting them first in everything he did. They were his life, and he their rock. Stan will be greatly missed by all of his family, and all of those who came to know and love him. The family would like to thank everyone at Saanich Peninsula Hospital, the Cancer Clinic, Dr. Spencer and Dr. Cuthburt for helping him through the fight of his life. A service in remembrance of Stan will be held 2 p.m. Thursday, 07 October 2010 at the British Columbia Aviation Museum, Sydney, BC. The family would appreciate that donations in his memory, in lieu of flowers, be made to the Saanich Peninsula Hospital or the British Columbia Aviation Museum.