HomeAbout UsBiographiesDisplay

GENERAL GEORGE CHURCHILL KENNEY

PRINT | E-MAIL

General George Churchill Kenney, during his service in the Southwest Pacific in World War II, proved to skeptics the tremendous value of Air Force tactical support of ground and naval forces, demonstrating the new technique of skip bombing, to the pain of the enemy.

Kenney was born in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, in 1889. He attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology intermittently from 1907 to 1911. In June 1917, he enlisted as a flying cadet in the Signal Corps Aviation Section. He was commissioned a first lieutenant in December 1917 and was immediately sent to Advanced Flying Training School in France. Upon successful completion of the course, in February 1918, he was assigned to the 91st Aero Squadron. Kenney flew combat missions for 16 months and was credited with downing two enemy planes.

In March 1919, Kenney was promoted to captain and appointed commanding officer of the 91st Aero Squadron. He remained with the occupation forces in Germany after cessation of hostilities until June 1919 when he was sent to the United States and reassigned to the 8th Aero Squadron at McAllen, Texas.

In 1926, Kenney was sent to the Air Corps Tactical School at Langley Field, Va., completing the course in the middle of that year. He next attended the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Following his successful completion of the course at Fort Leavenworth, Kenney served in a variety of assignments. He was an instructor at the Tactical School at Langley Field; he made a survey of possible airdrome locations in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, selecting sites which are in use today; attended the Army War College in Washington, D.C., graduating in 1933. In March of 1935, Kenney was promoted to lieutenant colonel, skipping over the grade of major.

Kenney's next assignment was as chief of production at Wright Field, Ohio, in 1939. In March 1940, he was promoted to colonel and sent to Paris as assistant attache for air in France. Kenney observed tactical operations on the Franco-German front and studied technical developments made in military aircraft of both nations. As a result of his observations and recommendations, a number of improvements were made in United States military aircraft over a year prior to our entry into World War II.

Kenney was promoted to brigadier general in January 1941 and the following month to major general. He was assigned to the west coast as commanding general of the 4th Air Force, in March 1942 and in July was assigned as commanding general, Allied Air Forces in the Southwest Pacific, and commanding general, Fifth Air Force, joining General Douglas MacArthur as his top air officer. General Kenney was promoted to lieutenant general in October 1942.

General George C. Kenney directed the successful air war against the enemy in the Southwest Pacific during the long haul from Australia to the Philippines over a period of more than three years. In one of the classic engagements of the war, the Battle of the Bismarck Sea in early March 1943, Kenney planned and directed the attack of B-17 bombers which sank 16 Japanese vessels in a convoy, with but minor loss to participating U.S. aircraft. He was promoted to full general March 9, 1945.

After the war, in December 1945, General Kenney was assigned to the Military Staff Committee of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and was sent to London for the duration of the United Nations Conference. He continued with the Military Staff after his return to the United States in March 1946. In April 1946, he was designated commanding general of Strategic Air Command, with headquarters at Andrews Air Force Base, Md.

On Oct. 15, 1948, General Kenney assumed the position of commander, Air University, where he remained until his retirement from the Air Force Aug. 31, 1951. General Kenney has continued to serve military affairs, and the nation, as president of the Air Force Association, in 1954, and as an official with national charities. He also has written several popular books.

Engage

Facebook Twitter
#ICYMI: @388FW employed the GBU-49 for the first time in #F35 combat training @TeamEglin https://t.co/igLxJF5YcZ https://t.co/VpV9etmXEa
#Airmen from the 380th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron pay the rent every Thursday as a tribute to falle… https://t.co/ckxBbnacSD
Service members build tent systems for Yutu survivors. #AirForce #Airmen @PACAF @fema @AndersenAFBGuamhttps://t.co/mbQRdbyKWM
Can I get a ride? A member of the 341st #SecurityForces Group prepares to load a helicopter assigned to the 40th H… https://t.co/4JB91PTIo5
Check out this new edition of #AirForce Week in Photos. https://t.co/3ZKPuQAXgd https://t.co/igZe5MzGl7
#ICYMI: @SecAFOfficial toured @Team_Tinker and announced the expansion to the base's mission. https://t.co/2PtZCOdJr3
RT @388fw: Pilots from the 388th Fighter Wing and @419fw prepare for takeoff as part of a combat power exercise today at @HAFB to prove the…
#ICYMI: @GenDaveGoldfein visits #Colombia, stresses importance of maintaining close ties to key Latin America ally.… https://t.co/wzu0R6AYHF
Help us jump into a new week by captioning this #USAFPhoto! https://t.co/ClULiNzllT
.@DMAFB's Propulsion back shop pushes forward to reach a goal not seen in years. https://t.co/xJXi3rw0FY https://t.co/tEHSGV84JS
Check out this view of a #USAF #F35 from @HAFB after being refueled by a #KC10 Extender from @jointbasemdl, over Te… https://t.co/ovZwFG9Iju
#AirForce Master Sgt. Patrick McKenna loves being able to work with his hands. Learn about this crew chief's story… https://t.co/DNoiYcC2tH
Four hearts, one soul: Family builds bond through love for horse. #Airmen #AirForce @USAF_ACC @JBLEnewshttps://t.co/UCbD4tfIbE
How do you get supplies and aid to remote islands? With an air-bridge of course! @AndersenAFBGuam #Airmen work w/… https://t.co/zEUfMyE4P6
An #F16 receives fuel from a #KC135 assigned to the 28th Expeditionary Aerial Refueling Squadron in support of Oper… https://t.co/CYG4ee8bo1
#ICYMI: #AirForce Vice Chief of Staff delivers remarks during an AFA seminar. https://t.co/gYT3UMPmtr https://t.co/0tr3D1RjfQ
A #USAF aircrew performed airdrop operations from a #C130 Hercules assigned to the 746th Expeditionary Airlift Squa… https://t.co/MfbkuySF8a
.@KunsanAirBase and 38th Fighter Group strengthen alliance through US-ROKAF Friendship Day. https://t.co/tdybfYWs8a https://t.co/IwGAM9yima