George Douglas Herndon

May 16, 1922 - April 22, 2010

05/16/1922 - 04/22/2010

Past Services

Saturday May 01, 2010
10:30 am
Greenwood Cemetery-Wheeling
National Road
Wheeling, WV 26003
304-232-0330 | Directions

HERNDON, George D., known as Doug to his friends and family, was born in Pocohontas, Virginia to Arthur Herndon and Mary Alice Hundley Herndon. Shortly thereafter, the family relocated to Berwind, West Virginia where Doug was raised. Doug graduated from Big Creek High School in 1939 having lettered in baseball and football and received national honors as a thespian. On his graduation, he enrolled in Berea College.
World War Two interrupted his academic career. Doug enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps on November 12, 1942 with his entire class from Berea College. He graduated from the Bombardier School in Big Springs, Texas, on April 28, 1944 after serving as an instructor for one year. He served in the 388th Bombardment Group in the 561st Squadron in the Eighth Air Force at Knettieshaw in the European Theater of Operations until the close of the war against Germany.
He flew 22 combat missions including the last raid on Berlin, the raids on Schweinfurt, and Hamburg, two missions on Kiel, five civilian relief missions, and three transfers of bombers to Italy. Among the usual commendations, he received the Air Medal with three clusters, the Purple Heart, and Distinguished Flying Cross with one cluster. He mustered out on October 12, 1945 as a first lieutenant while in transit to the Pacific Theater of Operations.
He was preceded in death by his air crew, Ed Hines, pilot; John Ingram, copilot; J.K. Hendrix, navigator; Robert Hirsch, tail gunner; G.B. Minge, waist gunner; J.W. Broughton, engineer; J.W. McGraw, radio operator; and John Johnson, ball turret gunner. To the last of his life, he kept in touch with his crew.
While on leave before departing for Europe, he met his future life long wife, Betty Cyphers, at a ration coupon center in War, West Virginia. The two were married on June 6, 1947. Doug attended the University of Georgia graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1949. He received a Masters degree from Georgia Tech in 1950.
After graduation, Doug worked for Pocohontas Fuel Company in their tax department from 1950-1960, for Weirton Steel Company in their insurance department from 1960-1964, for Island Creek Coal Company in their insurance department from 1964-1966, for Lee C. Paull Insurance Company and for Berry, Bippus, Chison & Foose. He opened his own insurance agency catering to national and international corporate risks in 1979 and retired in 1983.
He was a loving husband to his wife, a wonderful father to his children, a real life hero, and a truly good man. The space that his loss leaves in the hearts of his family will never be filled.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Arthur and Mary Alice Herndon; his wife, Betty Cyphers Herndon; his father and mother in law, Alec and Rebecca Cyphers; two brothers, James Herndon and Arthur

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Bessie Sue
8 years ago

Godspeed, Dad.