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Rear Admiral Douglas B. Henderson


Douglas Bruce Henderson was born on December 9, 1910, at Seattle, Wash.  He attended public schools in Seattle and vicinity, and the University of Washington where he was a member of the Naval ROTC.

He was graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, New London, Conn., with a B.S. Degree and a commission as Ensign on June 8, 1936.

During his four years at the Academy, he served as President of the Academy Athletic Association, as Cadet Battalion Commander in his first class year, and as captain of the swimming team.

His earlier assignments were spent at sea on board the Cutter Chelan on the Bering Sea Patrol on board the cutters Cayuga and Tahoe operating in the North Atlantic out of Boston.  That was followed by shore duty as assistant to the First Coast Guard District Engineer in Boston from June 1939 to June 1940.

He then attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at Cambridge, Mass., where he was awarded a Master's Degree in Naval Construction and Engineering in June 1943, during World War II.  During the remainder of the war, he was assigned to the office of the U.S. Navy Supervisor of Shipbuilding at San Pedro, Cal., where he served as Hull Inspector and as Officer in Charge of the Technical Division, handling all design matters on the construction of various Navy and Coast Guard ships - including the famous Wind-class icebreakers.

In May 1946, he became Hull Superintendent and Docking Officer at the Coast Guard Yard, Curtis Bay, Md.  Returning to sea duty in the Pacific in July 1948, he first served for one year as Engineer Officer on board the Cutter Chautauqua, then another year as Executive Officer of the cargo vessel Kukui on logistics services to Loran Stations.  He also commanded the Cutter Klamath out of Seattle on the Bering Sea Patrol for seven months.

While serving on the staff of the Chief, Office of Engineering at Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, D.C., from March 1951 to August 1955, he was Secretary of the Ship's Structure Committee and Sub-Committee.

RADM Henderson served the next four years at the Coast Guard Academy as Officer in Charge of the Power Laboratory, and as Deputy Head of the Applied Science and Engineering Department.  After that he commanded the 327-ft. Cutter Ingham on search and rescue and weather patrol in the North Pacific and in the Atlantic out of Norfolk, Va., from June 1959 to June 1961.

He then served two tours of duty as Chief of Engineering first in the 14th District, Honolulu, and then in the 5th District, Portsmouth, Va.  In June 1964, he reported at Coast Guard Headquarters as Deputy Chief, Office of Engineering.  Following the then Captain's appointment as flag officer to rank as permanent Rear Admiral from July 1, 1966, RADM Henderson remained at Headquarters as Comptroller of the U.S. Coast Guard.

On January 1, 1968, RADM Henderson became Chief, Office of Engineering, Succeeding retiring RADM John B. Oren, USCG.  During his first year in that post RADM Henderson served as Project Manager, Polar Transportation Requirements Study which proved of inestimable value to the Department of Transportation in the planning and programming for future polar problems on a systems basis.  RADM Henderson received the Legion of Merit Award (in Feb. 1969) for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of that special duty.

Following is a resume of RADM Henderson's advancements in rank: Cadet, August 1932; Ensign, June 8, 1936; Lieutenant (jg), June 8, 1939; Lieutenant, February 25, 1942; Lieut. Commander, December 8, 1942; Commander, August 14, 1945; reverted to Lieut. Commander, July 1, 1946; reappointed Commander, April 15, 1949; Captain, June 13, 1958; Rear Admiral, July 1, 1966.

RADM Henderson holds memberships in the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, the American Society of Naval Engineers, the Society of American Military Engineers, the American Society for Engineering Education, the cooperative Education Association, and the Rotary International. 

RADM Henderson is married to the former Esther J. of New London, Conn., who graduated from Williams Memorial Institute and attended the Connecticut College for Women.  They have three children, daughter Nanine, a post-doctoral fellow at the National Institute of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Md., son James, a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Mass., and daughter Elizabeth who attends public school in Rockville, Md.

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