Kenney, George C. (George Churchill), 1889-1977

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George Churchill Kenney (6 August 1889 – 9 August 1977) was a United States Army Air Forces general during World War II. He is best known as the commander of the Allied Air Forces in the Southwest Pacific Area (SWPA), a position he held between August 1942 and 1945.

Kenney enlisted as a flying cadet in the Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps in 1917, and served on the Western Front with the 91st Aero Squadron. He was awarded a Silver Star and the Distinguished Service Cross for actions in which he fought off German fighters and shot two down. After hostilities ended he participated in the Occupation of the Rhineland. Returning to the United States, he flew reconnaissance missions along the border between the US and Mexico during the Mexican Revolution. Commissioned into the Regular Army in 1920, he attended the Air Corps Tactical School, and later became an instructor there. He was responsible for the acceptance of Martin NBS-1 bombers built by Curtis, and test flew them. He also developed techniques for mounting .30 caliber machine guns on the wings of an Airco DH.4 aircraft.

In early 1940, Kenney became Assistant Military Attaché for Air in France. As a result of his observations of German and Allied air operations during the early stages of World War II, he recommended significant changes to Air Corps equipment and tactics. In July 1942, he assumed command of the Allied Air Forces and Fifth Air Force in General Douglas MacArthur's Southwest Pacific Area. Under Kenney's command, the Allied Air Forces developed innovative command structures, weapons, and tactics that reflected Kenney's orientation towards attack aviation. The new weapons and tactics won perhaps his greatest victory, the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, in March 1943. Two other significant bombing raids that ultimately led to complete air supremacy in the New Guinea campaign, at Wewak (174 planes destroyed) in August 1943 and at Hollandia (400 planes destroyed) in March to April 1944, also were due to Kenney and his command. In June 1944 he was appointed commander of the Far East Air Forces (FEAF), which came to include the Fifth, Thirteenth, and Seventh Air Forces.

In April 1946, Kenney became the first commander of the newly formed Strategic Air Command (SAC), but his performance in the role was criticized, and he was shifted to become commander of the Air University, a position he held from October 1948 until his retirement from the Air Force in September 1951.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer. 1860 - 1985. Motion Picture Films from the "Combat Bulletin" Program Series. 1944 - 1951. ACTIVITIES IN EUROPEAN THEATRE OF OPERATIONS: R.A.F. SINKS THE quot;TIRPITZquot; [ETC.] National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. MISCELLANEOUS ACTIVITIES OF THE 91ST AERO SQUADRON, WW I National Archives at College Park
creatorOf Kenney, George C., (George Churchill), 1889-1977. John W. Huston - George C. Kenney collection, 1943-1971. US Air Force Academy, McDermott Library
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. GENERAL MACARTHUR ENTERS SEOUL, KOREA National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. ARMY AIR CORPS CLIPS IN 1936 NEWSREELS National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Records of the Army Air Forces. 1902 - 1964. Motion Picture Films from the "Combat Subjects" Program Series. 1939 - 1945. SFP-194 National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. GENERAL KENNEY PARADE National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. ALERT National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. ROUND THE WORLD TRIP BY GENERAL GEORGE C. KENNEY National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Paul Palmer papers, 1929-1960 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
creatorOf Anderson, Orvil A. [Addresses, memoranda, etc. by United States Air Force general officers, et al.]. Muir S. Fairchild Research Information Center, Air University Library
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. AIR RAIDS ON LAE, SALAMUA, NEW BRITAIN AND RABAUL: SWP WWII National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Secretary of War. 1791 - 1948. Motion Picture Films. 1942 - 1946. SAIPAN LANDING, ETC National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. P-38 Aircraft in the Pacific National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. GENERAL KENNY'S RETIREMENT CEREMONIES National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. JOINT ORIENTATION CONFERENCE National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Palmer, Paul, 1900-1983. Paul Palmer papers, 1929-1960 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn Andrews, Frank Maxwell, 1884-1943. Frank Maxwell Andrews papers, 1920-1943 (bulk 1935-1942). Library of Congress
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. GENERALS SPAATZ, DOOLITTLE, KENNEY AND GEORGE National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer. 1860 - 1985. Special Film Reports. 1944 - 1945. ACTIVITIES IN EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (KIEL) [ETC.] National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer. 1860 - 1985. Special Film Reports. 1944 - 1945. CLEAN-UP ON PELELIU AND ANGAUR, ETC National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer. 1860 - 1985. Special Film Reports. 1944 - 1945. REDEPLOYMENT OPERATIONS [ETC.] National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations. 1900 - 2003. Moving Images Relating to Military Aviation Activities. 1947 - 1984. DEDICATION OF McGUIRE AFB National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Arnold, Henry Harley, 1886-1950. John W. Huston - Henry H. Arnold collection, 1944-1945. US Air Force Academy, McDermott Library
referencedIn Frank Maxwell Andrews Papers, 1920-1943, (bulk 1935-1942) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer. 1860 - 1985. War Films. 1942 - 1945. ANGEL IN OVERALLS National Archives at College Park
referencedIn New York Times Company records. Arthur Hays Sulzberger papers, 1823-1999 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Longines Wittnauer Watch Company, Inc. Collection. 1951 - 1955. Motion Picture Films of Television Interviews With Significant Newsmakers of the Early 1950s. 1951 - 1955. LONGINES CHRONOSCOPE [WITH GEN. GEORGE C. KENNEY] National Archives at College Park
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer. 1860 - 1985. Motion Picture Films from the "Combat Bulletin" Program Series. 1944 - 1951. UN OFFENSIVE National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Records of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1789 - ca. 2007. Award Cards, 1942 - 1963. Air Force Award Cards [Legion of Merit]: Hallagan, Fred - Lyster, David. National Archives at St. Louis
referencedIn Records of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1789 - ca. 2007. Award Cards, 1942 - 1963. Air Force Award Cards [Distinguished Service Cross]: Able, Johnnie - Zemke, Hubert. National Archives at St. Louis
referencedIn Records of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1789 - ca. 2007. Award Cards, 1942 - 1963. Air Force Award Cards [Distinguished Flying Cross]: Keller, Carl - Kile, Kenneth. National Archives at St. Louis
referencedIn General Records of the Department of the Navy. 1941 - 2004. Moving Images Relating to Military Activities. 1947 - 1980. V-J DAY PARADE IN SHANGHAI, CHINA National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Records of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1789 - ca. 2007. Award Cards, 1942 - 1963. Air Force Award Cards [Purple Heart]: Jablonski, Chester - Kenroy, Ronald. National Archives at St. Louis
referencedIn Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations, 1900 - 2003. Official Military Personnel Files, 1947 - 1998. Official Military Personnel File for George C. Kenney. National Archives at St. Louis
Relation Name
correspondedWith Andrews, Frank Maxwell, 1884-1943. person
associatedWith Arnold, Henry H., 1886-1950. person
associatedWith Huston, John W., 1925- person
associatedWith MacArthur, Douglas, 1880-1964. person
associatedWith Marshall, George C., 1880-1959. person
associatedWith New York Times Company corporateBody
associatedWith Palmer, Paul, 1900-1983. person
associatedWith Stratemeyer, George E., 1890-1969. person
memberOf United States. Air Force corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Air Force. Strategic Air Command corporateBody
memberOf United States. Army corporateBody
memberOf United States. Army Air Forces person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Brookline MA US
Yarmouth 7 CA
Florida FL US
Subject
World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns
Distinguished Service Cross (U.S.)
Machine guns
Silver Star Medal (U.S.)
General
World War, 1939-1945--Aerial operations
Fighter planes
World War, 1914-1918--Aerial operations
Occupation
Army officers
Generals--United States
Activity

Person

Birth 1889-08-06

Death 1977-08-09

Male

Americans

English

Information

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SNAC ID: 52861609