Freedom Fighters: John Heffner - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Freedom Fighters: John Heffner

John Heffner enlisted in the U.S. Air Corps in 1942. By the time he was twenty, he was trained as a navigator and ready to go to war. With only a week's notice, John and his sweetheart Bennie were married before John went on active duty.

Heffner was sent to the China-India-Burma theater of war where he bombed bridges and roadways carrying Japanese cargo. His crew also flew gasoline "over the hump" to General Chenault's army in China. Flying over the Himalayas was perilous since the B-24s weren't built to fly that high with their cargo, Those that did make it safely still had to face the challenge of landing on native- built sharp rock runways that often blew out the plane's tires.

Heffner returned home after the war to civilian life. He and his wife Bennie have been married 64 years and have three grown children and grandchildren.

Joan Hallmark, Reporting

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