By Gregory Yerke
Title: Kenneth W. Kennedy World War II Letters, 1905-1945
Primary Creator: Kennedy, Kenneth W.
Extent: 0.5 Linear Feet
Date Acquired: 01/26/2009
This collection is primarily concerned with correspondence from Kenneth Wade Kennedy relating to his World War II service. The collection also includes correspondence from various family members, newspaper clippings relevant to the family, and a small number of musicale programs and wedding invitations.
All letters are arranged chronologically with the exception of a discreet number of letters from various family members which have been arranged alphabetically by author. Newspaper clippings are undated, while programs and wedding invitations have been arranged chronologically.
Brigadier General Kenneth W. Kennedy was born on September 3, 1918 in Nacogdoches, Texas. He attended Stephen F. Austin University prior to his acceptance to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, Military Engineering, and Military History in 1941. In addition he attended the Army Command and General Staff College in 1944, graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Masters in Civil Engineering in 1947, later attending the Armed Forces Staff College in 1957 and the Army War College in 1962, where he would eventually serve on the faculty as Director of the International Relations Course. General Kennedy’s legacy includes military service in World War II, the Greek Civil War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and peacetime engineering projects in the United States as well as Japan and Greece. His brother, Joseph W. Kennedy, Ph.D., was instrumental in the discovery of plutonium and noted for his work on the atomic bomb at the Los Alamos laboratory.
During World War II Kennedy served as a shore party commander in the invasion of Northern Africa, receiving a promotion to major for his efforts. Following World War II he served as an engineering advisor to the Greek government during the Greek Civil War, earning commendations from King Paul of Greece. He served as a Base Section Engineer during the Korean War and Senior Engineer Advisor (later named Theater Engineer) during the Vietnam War. In the United States, Kennedy was instrumental in the maintenance of Mississippi River navigation channels, the pioneering construction for early space launch facilities at Cape Canaveral, Florida, and, later, various public works projects and civic service.
During his 30 years of service in the Army Corps of Engineers, Kennedy received a number of accolades and commendations including the Distinguished Service Medal and the Legion of Merit with Cluster. He died at the age of 90 on June 25, 2009 in Lakeway, Texas.
Access Restrictions: Open for research.
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Acquisition Source: Donated by Tom McKinney
Preferred Citation: Kenneth W. Kennedy World War II Letters. Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries.
Finding Aid Revision History: Revised, February 2013.