Henderson Historic Military Facts
Only two enlisted men have served as President of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society and both were from Henderson, Kentucky: Luther Skaggs and Gary Lee Littrell.
Admiral Husband Kimmel, the commanding officer at Pearl Harbor at the time of the Japanese surprise attack on December 7, 1941, a day that will live in infamy, was born and raised in Henderson, Kentucky.
General Adam Rankin “Stovepipe” Johnson, a Confederate general during the Civil War, led the first raid across the Mason-Dixon line when he and his men attacked Newburgh, Indiana, a city on the Ohio River.
Admiral Brad Hicks, a Henderson native, recently retired as a three-star Admiral in the United States Navy.
Lt. General John Conway, from Henderson, served as Commander of the United States Air National Guard. He is also a published author having written the book Call Out the Guard!
Maj. General John Campbell, a Henderson native, was the United States Air Force Liaison to the Central Intelligence Agency. During World War II, Henderson County, Kentucky was one of the leading war bond purchasing counties, per capita, in the United States.
During World War II, the area around Henderson, Kentucky, and Evansville, Indiana, was the greatest producer, per capita, of war goods in the nation. Henderson, and the nearby cities of Owensboro and Madisonville, Kentucky played a major role in meeting the needs of U.S. and Allied war efforts.
The 506th Airborne Infantry Regiment, on which the book Band of Brothers was based, trained at nearby Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky.
Glider training for the D-Day invasion was conducted at Camp Sturgis in nearby Sturgis, Kentucky. From June 5th to July 15th, 1943, the training held at Camp Sturgis was the largest combined paratrooper and glider-borne exercise conducted by the United States Army.
Nurse Mary W. Arvin Kentucky’s most decorated WWI female Veteran. Born April 21, 1879, in Henderson, she was a 1904 graduate of the School of Nursing at Owensboro City Hospital in Owensboro, Kentucky.
She joined the American Red Cross and served with Base Hospital 5 during the war. On June 30, 1918, the hospital in France was bombed by the Germans. For her heroic actions during the raid, she was decorated by France, England, and the United States.
Following the war, she continued her lifelong career of nursing in Kentucky and Florida. She died September 9, 1947, in Henderson. In March 2006, she was inducted into the Kentucky Commission on Women’s Hall of Fame. Her portrait hangs permanently in the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort.