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George Churchill Kenney Date of Birth: August 6, 1889 Place of Birth: Yarmouth, Nova Scotia George Churchill Kenney was born in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, during a summer vacation taken by his parents. He was the oldest of four children. His parents were Joseph Atwood Kenney, a carpenter, and Anne Louise (Churchill) Kenney. He grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts. He graduated from Brookline High School in 1907 and later that year he entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he studied civil engineering. He went on to take various jobs before joining the Quebec Saguenay Railroad as a surveyor. George Kenney returned to Boston in 1913, where he took a job with Stone & Webster. In 1914 he joined the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad as a civil engineer. He went on to form an engineering partnership with a high school classmate in Massachusetts. After the United States entrance in the First World War in April 1917, Kenney enlisted as a flying cadet in the Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps on June 2, 1917. He attended ground school at MIT in June and July, and received primary flight training at Hazelhurst Field in Mineola, New York, from Bert Acosta. He was commissioned as a first lieutenant on November 5, 1917, and departed for France soon after for Advanced Flying Training School. There, he received further flight training at Issoudun. In February 1918, upon successful completion of the course, he was assigned to the 91st Aero Squadron. The 91st Aero Squadron flew the Salmson 2A2, a reconnaissance biplane. Kenney crashed one on takeoff on March 22, 1918. He broke an ankle and a hand, and earned himself the nickname "Bust 'em up George". His first mission was undertaken on June 3, having recovered from his injuries. Kenney flew one of four aircraft on a mission near Gorze on 15 September 1918 that was attacked by six German Pfalz D.III scouts. His observer shot one of them down, and Kenney was credited with his first aerial victory. For this he was awarded a Silver Star. A second victory followed in similar circumstances on October 9th while he was flying near Jametz in support of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. Once again, the formation he was flying with was attacked by German fighters. This time he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, which was presented by Brigadier General Billy Mitchell on 10 January 10, 1919. Kenney's citation read: “For extraordinary heroism in action near Jametz, France, October 9, 1918. This officer gave proof of his bravery and devotion to duty when he was attacked by a superior number of aircraft. He accepted combat, destroyed one plane and drove the others off. Notwithstanding that the enemy returned and attacked again in strong numbers, he continued his mission and enabled his observer to secure information of great military value.” As World War I ended, Kenney remained for a time with the Allied occupation forces in Germany, and was promoted to captain on March 18, 1919. He returned to the United States in June 1919 and was sent to Kelly Field, near San Antonio, Texas, and then to McAllen, Texas. As commander of the 8th Aero Squadron, he flew reconnaissance missions along the border with Mexico during the Mexican Revolution. During World War II, he was given command of Allied Air Forces in the Southwest Pacific in September 1942 Lieutenant General Kenney, in command of American Air Forces in the Southwest Pacific, directed one of the most decisive operations of World War II in the crushing defeat of a twenty-two ship Japanese convoy off the coast of New Guinea. Lieutenant General Henry H. Arnold, Commanding General Army Air Forces, in a statement said, “In attacking and eliminating the enemy were he was most vulnerable and before he had time to get set, General Kenney utilized the striking power of his air force to the fullest advantage. The bomber crews and fighter pilots who disregarded bad weather and comparatively close enemy air bases carried out their missions in the highest traditions of the Air Forces.” He wrote several books about his experiences during World War II, including "General Kenney Reports" (1949), a personal history of the air war he led from 1942 to 1945, "The Saga of Pappy Gunn" (1959), and "Dick Bong: Ace of Aces" (1960), which described the careers of Paul Gunn and Richard Bong, two of the most prominent airmen under his command. In 1954 he became president of the Air Force Association and in 1958 he appeared as the host of the television anthology series "Flight." He died at the age of 88. Date of Death: August 9, 1977 Place of Death: Bay Harbor Islands, Florida, United States Cemetery: Woodlawn Park North Cemetery & Mausoleum Miami, Miami-Dade County, Florida Grave: Mausoleum, Unit 9 Corridor 3 Section 13 Couch Crypt A He is also memorialised on the headstone at the Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, USA, where his wife Sarah Elizabeth Kenney is interred. Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Kenney http://usafflagranks.com/Major_General_Clements_McMullen.htm findagrave.com
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Lieutenant General George Churchill Kenney