lucky you - your browser doesnt play annoying midis

12/29/13 - NNHS Newsletter - Herbert Henderson

Herbert Robinson Henderson
(19 July 1928 - 25 Dec 2013)

Newport News High School Class of June 1947

Dear Friends and Schoolmates,

    We have sad news this Sunday morning.          Herbert Henderson, Class of June 1947, widower of     Callie Lou Royal Henderson (June '47), passed away at his home in Newport News on Wednesday, Christmas Day, December 25, 2013 at the age of 85. 

From the Daily Press - 12/29/13:

              Herbert R. Henderson


    NEWPORT NEWS - Herbert R. Henderson, 85, passed away Wednesday, December 25, 2013 at his home in Newport News.

He was born on July 19, 1928 in Bryson City, North Carolina, the son of Edwin T. and Ollie L. Henderson. The family moved to Newport News, VA in 1943. He attended Newport News High School graduating in 1947 and joined NACA Langley Research Center and the U.S. Naval Reserves. He served as a seaman on the U.S.S. Missouri until 1947.

Herbert Henderson
  He then accomplished two special events in his life, he married his high school sweetheart Callie Lou Royal and he joined the Air Force Reserves. Shortly after, he was called to active duty in 1951 during the Korean War and was assigned to Langley AFB as a radar landing control technician. He received an honorable discharge in 1953 and returned to NACA where he pursued his studies in electronics at the College of William and Mary Technical Institute and graduated in 1961.

Since that time, he took numerous short courses and seminars in a variety of technical subjects concerning instrumentation, basic acoustics and noise control. Mr. Henderson was employed by NACA/NASA for 37 years with his beginnings in the Instrument Research Division, then as a researcher in the Noise Control Branch of the Acoustics Division and concluding his service in the Field Experimentation Branch of the Atmospheric Sciences Division. He specialized in instrumentation research, aircraft noise and sonic boom flight-testing and the development in state-of-the-art measurements, communications and program management associated with field tests and flight experiments on subsonic and supersonic aircraft and large spacecraft vehicles. During hisNACA/NASA career, he was recipient of five NASA Group Achievement Awards, a NASA Special Achievement Award, the Apollo Achievement Award and numerous Outstanding Achievement Awards.

He authored and co-authored over 60 technical reports relating to CTOL and STOL aircraft, helicopter noise and sonic booms associated with aircraft, such as the B-58 Hustler, XB-70 Valyerie and SR-71 Blackbird and also space vehicles including Saturn-Apollo, Skylab and the Space Shuttle.

Following his retirement from NACA/NASA in 1984, he was employed by the Bionetics Corporation of Hampton as their Sonic Boom Program Director on Shuttle missions. In 1988, he joined Eagle Engineering, Inc. as part of the Noise and Sonic Boom Measurement Team. He continued in this role with Eagle Aeronautics, Inc. of Hampton.

During his distinguished career of over 60 years, Mr. Henderson was involved in essentially all the major aircraft NASA noise and sonic boom programs from the U.S. Supersonic Transport effort in the mid-1960's to the Saturn-Apollo, Skylab and concluding with the U.S. Space Shuttle Program. In all of the later Space vehicle programs, he served as Project Manager on sonic boom measurements during NASA's Lunar Landing Missions, on Apollo 15, 16 and 17, Skylab 1, 2 and 4 missions and on 26 Space Shuttle missions acquiring boom data during the launch-ascent and reentry to landing phases of flight.

In all of these programs, sonic boom data acquisition was 100 percent successful. This was due, in large part, to Mr. Henderson's wealth of experience and expertise in obtaining this one-of-a-kind type of data under adverse operating conditions at sea and on land, in remote locations and with a limited budget and priority.

Not so well recognized is his contribution to the two key areas of communication and measurement systems that permitted success in all of these field measurements programs. His first major contribution occurred during the U.S. SST sonic boom measurement activities of the 1960's. Because functional and dependable long-range ground-to-ground radio communications, critical to the success of the program, were not available, Mr. Henderson, working with the Motorola Corporation, developed a reliable, functional, dependable and low-cost FM system for use in theses field programs. Most of this technology made its way into today's cell phone industry.

Mr. Henderson's second major contribution came during the early phases of sonic boom flight-testing in the 1960's. The existing measurement systems that could capture and fully define sonic boom signatures did not exist and usually required a dual system; one which for the low frequency and one for the high end. He led the effort to develop a measurement system that would faithfully capture boom signature working with the Photocon Research Corporation of Los Angeles, CA. The resulting analog system served as the national standard for boom measurements for almost a quarter of a century for all aircraft and spacecraft boom measurements and set the requirement for today's digital systems.

Mr. Henderson enjoyed sports, especially target shooting and varmint hunting. He was a life member of the NRA and a charter member of the Lafayette Gun Club of Virginia, joining in 1950. He was also active in the development of firearms, rifles and ammunition with the likes of firearms legends including Roy Weatherby, William Ruger and Phillip B. Sharpe.

He was very active in the Peninsula Boy Scouts of America, serving as Committee Chairman to Troop 14, Western District Commissioner along with other committees of the Peninsula Council for the Boy Scouts of America.

He was a faithful, committed and active member of Hilton Baptist Church for over 35 years where he was a life deacon, member of the Tribble Bible Class and he chaired numerous committees.

Mr. Henderson is preceded in death by his parents and wife Callie L. Henderson.

He is survived by two sons, Herbert E. and Thomas, and one daughter, Mary and her husband Eddie Lemon of Gloucester, Virginia, three grandchildren, Ryan Henderson of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Rachel Sweat and Joseph Martin of Gloucester, Virginia and four great-grandchildren, Kaleb and Khloe Sweat, Kailey Lochridge and Jemma Sweat-Washington, and many loved nieces and nephews. He will be greatly missed by his family and many friends.

The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 pm on Monday, December 30, 2013 at Parklawn-Wood Funeral Home. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 am on Tuesday, December 31, 2013 at Hilton Baptist Church with the Reverend Lynwood Wells officiating and assisted by Reverend Clarence Hilling. Interment will follow at Parklawn Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hilton Baptist Church building fund.

Friends are encouraged to visit to share memories and words of condolence with the family. Arrangements are under the care of Parklawn-Wood Funeral Home, 2551 N. Armistead Ave. in Hampton, 23666. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at

Published in the Daily Press on December 29, 2013.

View Guest Book


December 29, 2013 

Herb was a close friend of mine and will be missed. His favorite saying to me was, "Give me five." God speed, Herb. I'll miss you greatly.

~ Larry Painter, Newport News, Virginia


December 29, 2013  

Mary and family, my heart goes out to each of you. Sorry for your loss and the extremely hard time your dad had with his health. Praying for each of you and thinking of you especially my dear sister in law. Dede

~ Delia Hudgins, Hayes, Virginia

December 30, 2013

Herb was a great and loyal friend to his pastor and a longtime and faithful supporter of his church. His wisdom and insights were always generous and valued and his life touched many others through his many years of his "behind the scenes" service to his church and community. He was a special brother, friend and "father in the faith" to me and he will be deeply missed!

December 30, 2013



December 30, 2013


December 30, 2013



December 30, 2013

Harry and I dearly loved Jimmy, he was the sweetest and kindest man we've ever known. You are all in our prayers. - See more at:


December 30, 2013



December 30, 2013



December 30, 2013



December 30, 2013


December 30, 2013


December 30, 2013


December 30, 2013



December 30, 2013S



December 30, 2013


December 30, 2013


   Our sincerest sympathies are extended to the Henderson family and their friends at this difficult time.


  Y'all take good care of each other!  TYPHOONS FOREVER! We'll Always Have Buckroe!

                          Love to all, Carol





Carol Buckley Harty
7020 Lure Court
Fayetteville, NC 28311-9309

Servant of God, Well Done!

Words by Charles Wesley (28 Dec 1707 - 29 Mar 1788)
Music by
George J. Elvey (27 Mar 1816 - 09 Dec 1893)

(The Methodist Hymnal, 1966, #288)

Wesley wrote this hymn in 1770 on the occasion of the death of clergyman George White.
Elvey's tune, "Diademata", has been set to several other hymns, notably "Crown Him with Many Thorns" and "Soldiers of Christ, Arise".

 Servant of God, well done!
Thy glorious warfare’s past;
The battle’s fought, the race is won,
And thou art crowned at last.

With saints enthroned on high,
Thou dost thy Lord proclaim,
And still to God salvation cry,
Salvation to the Lamb!

O happy, happy soul!
In ecstasies of praise,
Long as eternal ages roll,
Thou seest Thy Savior’s face.

Redeemed from earth and pain,
Ah! when shall we ascend,
And all in Jesus’ presence reign
With our translated friend?

"Servant of God, Well Done!" midi courtesy of - 01/13/06

"Servant of God, Well Done!" lyrics courtesy of - 01/13/06

Greg Olsen Paintings courtesy of – 01/27/05

Animated Navy and Air Force Flags clip art courtesy of - 06/18/03

Blackwork Flowers Divider Line clip art courtesy of - 08/12/04

National Rifle Association logo courtesy of - 11/11/08

Back to NNHS Newsletters - 2013

Return to NNHS Class of 1965