P47 Pilots Biographies, Last Name Starting With "K"
DON KANE was assigned to Hawaii
right out of advanced and in adjoining fighter
squadrons there. We had a little feud going on
there with the 333rd. I don't know how the
feud started but it probably got started on the
basis of "Iron Claw". Now you guys may not
recognize the name "iron claw" but probably
had another name for it. It was medicinal
alcohol and any kind of juice handy. Whatever you called it - purple passion or what
Kaplowitz enlisted in service during his
senior year then applied for Aviation Cadet
training. Graduated in class 42G. Ultimately
wound up on Ie Shima in the Pacific with the
464th Squadron, 507 Fighter Group. He
won the Air Medal three times flying P-47's.
The first time for sinking a Japanese destroyer with two 500 lb. bombs. The second and
third for the number of missions flown.
Sylvan L. Kapner
The 86th was
involved in fighter-bomber operations supporting Mark Clark's 5th Army moving up the West Coast of Italy. During these operations, Kapner flew
P47 D23 razorbacks and later P47 D-25 's and D-27 Bubble Canopies.
He ditched two P-47's in the Mediterranean
near the island of Monte Cristo and was
picked up both times by the British Air Sea
Rescue, once in a Walrus, a 1924 vintage
biplane pusher amphibian. After combat he
stayed in Italy and flew C-47's, C-46's and
the squadron's C-45 executive transport
throughout Europe and North Africa.
Russell T. Kaufman
Kaufman was shot down over Bastogne on
January 14, 1945, while strafing tanks and
gun positions. The next 97 days were spent in
POW camps in Gerolstien, Prum, Limburg,
Wetzlar, Frankfurt and Nurembourg, Germany.
While being marched to Mooseburg,
Germany to another camp to avoid being
freed by the Army he escaped and traveled
across country for 3 days and was recaptured
while sleeping on a hillside and returned to
Nurembourg. While marching south of Nurembourg the POW column was strafed by
P-47 s being mistaken for German troops.
John W. Keeler
During a year's duty in Vietnam, Keeler
served on General Westmoreland's staff giving daily press briefings on the air war to 400
war correspondents; also logged 45 combat
missions. Served as Information Officer for
USAF Third Air Force in England. In 1969
became Director of Information, Air Training Command, Randolph AFB, Texas. His
last position with USAF was Director of
Information for the 70,000-man United
States Air Force in Europe (USAFE).
Edmund J. Kendzierski
He enlisted as an aviator cadet Jan. 29,1943 after being turned down by the draft
board for a deferment and by coincidence
recently served 5 years as draft board chairman in Santa Ana, Calif., during the Vietnam
He graduated in the class of 44B and was
commissioned at Craig Field, Selma, Alabama. Aside from his MOS 1055as a fighter
pilot, he also served with A2 intelligence on
an undercover basis, while in service. He flew
mainly P-40 and P-47's, but also piloted A-24's, C-47, B-25, C-46, C-109 and P-51's
John J. Kennedy
Of 39 missions
flown from Y-29 the one most remembered
was New Year's Day of 1945. 8 P-47's had
just taken off when over 60 German Fighters
attacked the field. The 8 P-47 kept the
Germans busy while the 352 Fighter Group
got their P-51 's in the air. A large number of
Jerries went down - however this flier got a
probable while getting the group commander
aircraft all shot up. It was a D-5 the only
Razorback left in the Group.
Earl W. Kenrick, Jr.
EARL W. KENRICK, JR., the elder son of a WW I Flying Jenny crew chief, was born 9 May 1921 in Aurora, Ill. At age eight,
he decided to be an aviator. Following graduation from Onaway (Mich.) High School, he
attended Central Michigan University briefly before enlisting in the USAAC. He began
his military career as a clerk-typist on 17 Jan.
1941, and retired as Aircraft Commander on
31 Dec. 1965 with the rank of lieutenant
William E. Kepner
During the First World
War he commanded a company at Chateau-Thierny. Commanded a battalion and was
engaged in most of the battles where Americans were involved. He remained in the military and acquired a thorough knowledge of
airships. He commanded airship schools in
Langley, Va. and at Scott Field, III. He flew
in four National and International air races.
While in command of the 9th Bombardment
Sqdn. at March Field, CA he completed flying school as an Army Air Corps pilot in
1932. In 1934, he served as pilot and commander of the stratosphere flight "Explorer I" attaining an altitude of 61,000 ft. before
the balloon ripped open, and he had to parachute from a minimum altitidue of 300 ft.
Edwin D. Kettrick
Ed had an early start in the service enlisting in the Texas National Guard at the age of
16, as a cook. He was discharged in 1940
when the National Guard was Federalized.
Upon graduating high school, he enlisted in
the Army Air Force June 3, 1941 and was
stationed at Kelly Air Base, San Antonio,
Texas where he became an aircraft mechanic.
Transferring to Mission Air Base when it was
in its infancy, he became a squadron clerk
before enlisting as an aviation cadet. Ed went
back to S.A.A.C. at Kelly Field, primary
training at Pine Bluff,Arkansas, basic at
Coffeyville, Kansas and back to Mission for
advanced and graduating Class 43-J.
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