Henry G. Carr

    Henry George Carr was born in Portland, Oregon on October 1, 1919 - not quite a year after the close of the First World War.  

    He first attended Sunday School at the Arleta Baptist Church and his mother still has the certificate of promotion from the Beginners Department.
    He attended the Buckman grade school before his mother moved to California where his step father, Mr. E.E. McDonald was manager of an Avocado ranch south of San Diego.  There he attended the Monument School in a one-room schoolhouse.
    When his folks came back to Portland in 1930 and lived near Union Avenue and Holladay Street Mrs. McDonald brought Henry, then 10 years old, to our Sunday School because it was the nearest Baptist Church.
    Miss Helen Tjernlund, Miss Josephine Neil, O.S. Rydman, Leonard Anderson and others took an interest in Henry who at once felt at home among us.
    In 1931 or 1932, the family moved to Vancouver Avenue and Russell St. and Henry attended the Third Baptist Sunday School only a block away and where his mother was a member of the church.
    The Lord spoke to Henry in various ways, in the home, in Sunday School and church, in daily vacation Bible Schools, faithful teachers showed him the way of salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and his heart opened early to receive the Lord as his personal 
Savior.  On one Saturday when Henry was eleven, his mother spoke to a playmate of Henry's about going with Henry to Sunday School the next day but the neighbor boy said he didn't want to go.  The next day when Henry went to Sunday School the other boy went down to play near the Battleship Oregon, then anchored near the Broadway Bridge.   Swinging out hand over hand on one of the heavy ropes that held the ship, the boy's strength gave out as he neared the ship and he lost his hold and slipped into the river and drowned.  Henry was deeply impressed by the fact that his playmate would have lived. had he heeded the invitation to go with him to "Sunday School.
    Henry was baptized and became a member of the Third Baptist Church on Sunday May 16, 1933.  Henry attended the Holladay grammar school across the street from out church while living on union Avenue but attended the Eliot School when living on Vancouver Avenue and Russell Street.  He graduated from the Eliot School in 1934 and then attended Jefferson High School.
    About this time, Henry came back to our Sunday School and was in A. Leonard Anderson's class and later in Harley K. Hallgren's Baraca Class.  Part of the time he walked to church but often Mr. O.S. Rydman would stop by to pick him up and have a cup of coffee at the same time that Henry was finishing his breakfast.
    Henry transferred his membership to our church, the Temple Baptist December 6, 1936 where he attended faithfully until he went away to college.
    During his high school years, Henry carried the Oregonian newspaper and earned other money doing odd jobs.  He was always busy at something useful.
    In 1938, Henry was an honor graduate of Jefferson High School and that fall entered the University of Oregon at Eugene where in 1940, he received the Junior Certificate with Honors Privileges granted only to those students qualified to undertake special work.
    While at Eugene he served as vice president of the student YMCA and in 1939, was sent as a delegate to the Seabeck Conference where the Chinese statesman, Dr. T.Z. Koo was the speaker.
    During the summer of 1940, Henry was district manager of the Oregonian carriers in the St. John's area and in the fall went to California planning to enroll in Stanford University.  While visiting in San Deigo with his mother's sister, Mrs. Effie Schreiber, Henry went to work for a San Diego news paper and continued until he enlisted in the Army Air Corps in December 1941.
     In May 1942, Henry graduated from the Army Air Corps Navigation School and was commissioned a 2nd Lt. and on May 5 was Typical B-17 Flying Fortress used in WW II - 12,726 were made. assigned to a Heavy Bombardment Squadron using B-17's or Flying Fortresses.
    On August 10, 1942, Henry's plane left San Francisco at 7AM arriving at Hickam Field, Hawaii at 8:00 PM Pacific Time.  Then to Christmas Island, across the Equator to the Fiji Islands to New Caledonia and to Australia, reaching final post at Wareeba on August 23rd attached to 19th Group of the 30th Squadron.
    On August 27, at 9:30 AM, Henry's plane took off with eight other Flying Fortresses and crossed the Coral Sea to bomb Japanese shipping at Milne Bay.  This was Henry's first raid.  He wrote in his diary that he carried with him.  "My first raid-----Due there one hour from now.  Have no noticeable feeling of fear, you might call it curiosity or anxiety--more later.
    On the way home--Thank God, we didn't see the boats for the weather kept us down to 1000 feet.  We landed at Port Moresby after searching fruitlessly.  We then gassed up and got out for home in a hurry."

 

 

 

From Henry's Diary

August 12,
    Christmas Island (1158 miles south of Hicken Field)

August 13,
    Cantan (coral ring 1 mile wide) Crossed Equator

August 14 -15,
    Crossed International Date Line--reached Fiji

August 15,
    New Caledonia

August 17,
    Brisbane, Australia

August 18,
    Charleyville

August 23,
    reached final port at Mareeba--19th Group - 30th Squadron - very well laid out field master piece of camouflage - live in tents - food food - very small town.

August 27,
    9:30 AM - first time crossing the Coral Sea with 8 other Fling Fortresses -- First Raid  No fear only anxiety.

On September 16, 1942, he wrote:
    "Night raid on Rabaul aerodrome again.  dropped 8-500lb demolition (bombs)  Hit runway and dispersal areas.  Ack Ack fairly heavy but in accurate.-------This bombing isn't bad but I don't like night raids."

Oct 1, 1942:
    My birthday but work goes on just the same.  Supposed to hit Rabaul tonight-----(but raid postponed because we discovered Japanese had found out about it.)

October 5:
    "Four squadrons all went to Rabaul this morning----spent too much time over the target.  I kept watching zeroes take off.  There was a running fight for nearly 30 minutes as we headed eastward we were credited with 4 shot down and 3 probables.  Even that I got one with ;my little 30 caliber.  Saw him go spinning down in smoke but don't know whether he hit or not for he began to level out about 5000 ft.  Our side gunner shot down one plane.  The ball turret man was hit by an incendiary bullet.  The number two engine was shot out and we had to feather it.  Our hydraulic system was shot up and we suffered a few holes in the wings and the bomb bay.  We limped home to Moresby on three engines.

And so the diary tells of raid after raid.

The last entry (on a loose paper) was written Sunday November 15,1942.
    6:30PM on the shore of New Guinea 100 miles southeast of Port Moresby.  We pulled a raid on Rabaul Harbor last night, a very successful raid as far as navigation is concerned but without a bomb bay tank.  So when we returned to Moresby this morning it was closed in as tight as a drum.  We thought we might be able to make Fall River but our gas didn't pan out so rather than take a chance we landed on the beach.  Willie Compton made a beautiful landing , Out side gunner got a bad burn in last night's raid.  
    "As soon as the natives saw us here they came out to meet us--took us to the coconut plantation nearby and spread palm leaves for us to set on while the youngsters climbed trees and cut coconuts for us to drink 
    "They filled our water jugs and brought papaya, bananas, pineapples, potatoes (both sweet and Irish) and tomatoes back to the plane for us."
    "A more appreciating audience I have never seen in all my life.  There was a constant series of "oho" and "ahs" as we showed them the plane."  

    This biography of Henry Carr was presented by Betty Carlson in March 2003.  The account was written by her father Harley taken from conversation and letters from:
    Mrs. Eva McDonald Shannon
    Mrs. Agnes Johnson
    Mrs. Effie Schreiber of San Diego 

From the 1946 Annual Reports of Temple Baptist Church

A memorial service for Lt. Henry George Carr, a member of our church since 1936, was held Sunday evening, February 10th.  Lt. Henry Carr was a navigator on a Flying Fortress (B-17) which failed to return from a bombing mission over New Guinea, on December 2, 1942.

Ernest Hanson, Church Clerk

Return to Church History 1946

Return to Harley's Notes Honor Roll