P47 Pilots Biographies, Last Name Starting With "K"
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Pilot Name Biography Summary
Don Kane 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 have you.
Ralph Kaplowitz 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 war era. 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 colonel.
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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