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Kenneth W. Kennedy World War II Letters


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Finding Aid/Inventory

Correspondence from Kenneth W. Kennedy

Correspondence from Kennedy Family

Newspaper Clippings

Programs and Invitations

Contact us about this collection

Kenneth W. Kennedy World War II Letters, 1905-1945 | University of Houston Libraries

By Gregory Yerke

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Collection Overview

Title: Kenneth W. Kennedy World War II Letters, 1905-1945

Predominant Dates:1937-1945

ID: 10/2007-019

Primary Creator: Kennedy, Kenneth W.

Extent: 0.5 Linear Feet

Date Acquired: 01/26/2009

Subjects: Kennedy, Joseph W. (Joseph William), 1916-1957, Kennedy, Kenneth W., World War, 1939-1945

Forms of Material: Clippings (information artifacts), Correspondence, Invitations, Programs (documents)

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

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.

Biographical Note

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.

Subject/Index Terms

Kennedy, Joseph W. (Joseph William), 1916-1957
Kennedy, Kenneth W.
World War, 1939-1945

Administrative Information

Repository: University of Houston Libraries

Access Restrictions: Open for research.

Use Restrictions:

Special Collections owns the physical items in our collections, but copyright normally belongs to the creator of the materials or their heirs. The researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, locating copyright holders, and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of Special Collections material in print or electronic form. For more information, consult the appropriate librarian.

Photocopy decisions will be made by Special Collections staff on a case-by-case basis. Patrons are responsible for obtaining permission to publish from copyright holders.

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.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence from Kenneth W. Kennedy, 1926, 1937-1945, undated],
[Series 2: Correspondence from Kennedy Family, 1942-1944, undated],
[Series 3: Newspaper Clippings, undated],
[Series 4: Programs and Invitations, 1905-1912],

Series 1: Correspondence from Kenneth W. Kennedy, 1926, 1937-1945, undated
Letters from Kenneth W. Kennedy are arranged chronologically and include insights into his time spent at West Point and his role in the Northern Africa campaign of World War II.
Box 1
Folder 1: Kenneth W. Kennedy letters, 1926, 1937-1939
Folder 2: Kenneth W. Kennedy letters, 1940-1941
Folder 3: Kenneth W. Kennedy letters, 1942
Folder 4: Kenneth W. Kennedy letters, 1943
Folder 5: Kenneth W. Kennedy letters, January 1944-July 1944
Folder 6: Kenneth W. Kennedy letters, September 1944-August 1945, undated
Series 2: Correspondence from Kennedy Family, 1942-1944, undated
Letters from various members of Kenneth W. Kennedy’s family allow for a look into his relations back in the U.S. during World War II.  Of particular note are letters from his brother, Joseph Kennedy, sent while working on the discovery of plutonium at the University of California, Berkley and while working on the first atomic bomb at Los Alamos. The fourteenth folder, with letters from various family members, has been arranged chronologically.
Box 1
Folder 7: Maddie Baxter Wade Kennedy, 1942-1944, undated
Folder 8: Joseph William Kennedy (father), 1942-1944
Folder 9: Joseph William Kennedy (brother), 1924, 1943-1944, undated
Folder 10: Adrienne Kennedy, 1943-1944
Folder 11: Zeno Cox, 1942-1944
Folder 12: Tissie, 1942-1943, undated
Folder 13: Joan Williams, 1942
Folder 14: Various family members, 1934-1945, undated
Series 3: Newspaper Clippings, undated
Newspaper clippings are undated and relate primarily to various topics of import to the family, but also include references to Kenneth W. Kennedy and his service during World War II.
Box 1
Folder 15: Various newspaper clippings, undated
Series 4: Programs and Invitations, 1905-1912
A small handful of musicale programs and family wedding invitations are arranged chronologically.
Box 1
Folder 16: Programs, invitations, 1905-1912

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence from Kenneth W. Kennedy, 1926, 1937-1945, undated],
[Series 2: Correspondence from Kennedy Family, 1942-1944, undated],
[Series 3: Newspaper Clippings, undated],
[Series 4: Programs and Invitations, 1905-1912],

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