Kinney, John, BGen

Deceased
 
 Service Photo 
 Service Details
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Last Rank
Brigadier General
Last Primary MOS
9967-Billet Designator, Helicopter Pilot
Last MOSGroup
Specific Billet MOS
Primary Unit
1959-1959, MSG Detachment Manilla, Phillipines
Service Years
1941 - 1959

Brigadier General

 
 

 Last Photo 
 Personal Details 


Home State
California
California
Year of Birth
Not Specified
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Cpl David R. Evans (D.R.) to remember Marine BGen John Kinney.

If you knew or served with this Marine and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
 
Contact Info
Home Town
Not Specified
Last Address
Cupertino

Date of Passing
Jun 14, 1997
 
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
General Kinney, then a Second Lieutenant, arrived on Wake Island with a squadron of 12 Grumman Wildcat fighter planes less than a week before the December 7, 1941, attacks on both Pearl Harbor and Wake Island.

The Japanese air raid on Wake Island's tiny airstrip left only four of the squadron's fighters fit to fly. The unit's engineer and all of its plane mechanics were killed in action.

Lieutenant Kinney flew combat attacks against Japanese warships and supervised repairs as the squadron's replacement engineering officer, keeping the four remaining planes in operation by salvaging parts from destroyed aircraft. On December 11, the island's combined air and shore defenses pushed back an amphibious assault, sinking two destroyers.

Following a second assault and the surrender of the Wake Island garrison on December 23, Lieuenant Kinney became a prisoner of war and was transported to Japan and then to Shanghai. He was interned in Kiangwan Prison from December 1942 to May 1945.

On May 10, 1945, as a train was moving prisoners to another camp, Lieutenant Kinney jumped off and escaped through China, a journey that took 47 days. He was reunited with U.S. troops and arrived home in Washington state on July 29.

"He and four other Marines jumped out of a train and were able to make contact with the Chinese communists, who took care of them and led them through the backwoods of China," said his wife, Bonnie (LaVonne) Heinsen Kinney.

In 1946, he was placed in command of the Marine Corps Aviation Technical School, where he and other instructors built the first jet engine test cell in the Navy. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 1949 and attended the Air War College, graduating in 1950.

During the Korean War, he was assigned as operations officer of Marine Air Group 12, which served in Wonsan, Korea, and later in Pusan, Korea. He was instrumental in identifying problems with jet aircraft and flew with his squadron along the Yalu River.

He received the Silver Star for flights in the Yalu River area. He also received the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star for service in World War II, and another Legion of Merit and the Distinguished Flying Cross, among other awards, for service in Korea.

He rose to the rank of Colonel in 1956, and received his helicopter pilot designation the following year. He took command of a helicopter group stationed in Okinawa and the Philippines. In 1959, he retired from the Marine Corps with the rank of Brigadier General.

General Kinney later worked as a test pilot for two aircraft-makers and as an engineer for Lockheed. He retired from Lockheed in 1980.

In 1993, he built his home in Portola Valley, where he lived until 1997. In 1995, he co-wrote a book about his wartime experiences, "Wake Island Pilot: A World War II Memoir."

   
Other Comments:
General John F. Kinney was a Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat pilot assigned to VMF-211 on the pacific outpost of Wake Island in late 1941. He participated in the defense of Wake Island until it fell to Japanese forces in late December. During the defense of Wake Island, then Lt Kinney was responsible for keeping the remaining four F4F-3's operational under very difficult circumstances. Kinney was a prisoner of war for most of World War II until his daring escape and return to allied control in China after 3 years of captivity.

General Kinney flew combat missions during the Korean War. He also participated in the development of Marine Corps jet aviation. Later in his career General Kinney transitioned into helicopters adding to the development of this new aircraft. General Kinney's many awards include the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, thirteen Air Medals, the POW Medal, and the Wake Island Expeditionary Medal.
   
 Photo Album   (More...


  1942-1945, Fleet Marine Force Pacific (FMFPAC)



From Month/Year
- / 1942
To Month/Year
- / 1945
Unit
Fleet Marine Force Pacific (FMFPAC) Unit Page
Rank
Second Lieutenant
MOS
Not Specified
Location
Kiangwan Prison
Country/State
Japan
 
 
 Patch
 Fleet Marine Force Pacific (FMFPAC) Details

Fleet Marine Force Pacific (FMFPAC)
Type
HQ/Command Elements
Existing/Disbanded
Disbanded
Parent Unit
Fleet Marine Force Units
Strength
Schools/Other
Created/Owned By
Not Specified
   

Last Updated: Apr 24, 2008
   
Memories For This Unit

Other Memories
Following a second assault and the surrender of the Wake Island garrison on December 23, Lieuenant Kinney became a prisoner of war and was transported to Japan and then to Shanghai. He was interned in Kiangwan Prison from December 1942 to May 1945.

On May 10, 1945, as a train was moving prisoners to another camp, Lieutenant Kinney jumped off and escaped through China, a journey that took 47 days. He was reunited with U.S. troops and arrived home in Washington state on July 29.

   
My Photos For This Unit
Grumman F4F-3 Wildcat
VMF-211
74 Members Also There at Same Time
Fleet Marine Force Pacific (FMFPAC)

Smith, Julian Constable, LtGen, (1909-1946) Major General
Underhill, James, LtGen, (1913-1946) Major General
Hart, Franklin, Gen, (1917-1954) Brigadier General
Silverthorn, Merwin H, LtGen, (1918-1954) Brigadier General
Craig, Edward, LtGen, (1917-1951) Colonel
Kilmartin, Jr., Robert, BGen, (1917-1949) Colonel
Chapman, Leonard, Gen, (1935-1971) Lieutenant Colonel
Creesy, Andrew, MGen, (1917-1951) Lieutenant Colonel
Robertshaw, Louis, LtGen, (1936-1971) Lieutenant Colonel
Stephens, Walter, BGen, (1937-1959) Lieutenant Colonel
MOREAU, James, Col, (1941-1976) Major
MOREAU, James, Col, (1941-1976) Captain
Specht, Lyle, Col, (1941-1971) Captain
Sitter, Carl, Col, (1940-1970) First Lieutenant
Sitter, Carl, Col, (1940-1970) Second Lieutenant
Stauff, Harold, CWO2, (1936-1957) Gunnery Sergeant
Smith, Tonya Staff Sergeant
Haas, Robert, Sgt, (1943-1946) Sergeant
Brennan, Philip, Cpl, (1943-1946) Corporal
Ciasullo, Anthony Corporal
Hagy, Franklin, 1stSgt, (1943-1967) Corporal
Lash, Gerland B., 1stSgt, (1943-1969) Corporal
Sitter, Carl, Col, (1940-1970) Corporal
Nowak, Stephen, Cpl, (1943-1945) Lance Corporal
Clarke, Chris Private 1st Class
Coates, Clyde P, Cpl, (1942-1951) Private 1st Class
Bean, Donald, Cpl, (1943-1946) Private
Tankersley, Oral L., Pvt, (1943-1945) Private
Larson, Emery, Col, (1917-1945) 99 9906 Colonel
Liversedge, Harry, BGen, (1917-1951) 3 0302 Colonel
Motelewski, Joseph, Col, (1939-1980) 35 3502 Captain
Motelewski, Joseph, Col, (1939-1980) 35 3502 Captain
Torgerson, Harry, LtCol, (1938-1945) 3 0301 Captain
Motelewski, Joseph, Col, (1939-1980) 35 3502 First Lieutenant
Motelewski, Joseph, Col, (1939-1980) 35 3502 First Lieutenant
Motelewski, Joseph, Col, (1939-1980) 35 3502 Second Lieutenant
Wood, Allan Thomas, MGen, (1942-1981) 75 7503 Second Lieutenant
Wilson, Verner Adolf, QmSgt, (1914-1945) 30 3091 Quartermaster Sergeant
Lusche, Carroll George, SSgt, (1939-1943) 18 1814 Staff Sergeant
Monroy, Gearald, SSgt, (1943-1946) 64 6412 Staff Sergeant
Armstrong, Harvey, Sgt, (1943-1946) 3 0332 Sergeant
Brown, Harold, MSgt, (1939-1962) 60 6012 Sergeant
Mauriello, Ugo, Sgt, (1938-1943) 3 0369 Sergeant
McGarrigle, Joseph J, Sgt, (1941-1946) OF 602 Sergeant
Quisenberry, James, Col, (1943-1976) 59 5936 Sergeant
Rico, William, Sgt, (1942-1945) OF 521 Sergeant
CROWLEY, JOSEPH, Sgt, (1942-1951) 35 3531 Corporal
Del Bene, Paul A, Sgt, (1942-1943) 18 1811 Corporal
Engler, David, Cpl, (1942-1946) 6 0621 Corporal
Garde, Sebastian B, Cpl, (1942-1943) OF 736 Corporal
Picarello, John, Cpl 3 0311 Corporal
Prette, Maurice, Cpl, (1942-1946) 3 0311 Corporal
Reynolds, Harold, Cpl, (1943-1946) OF 604 Corporal
Sheehan, William James, PFC, (1941-1945) 1 0143 Corporal
Smith, Kenneth L, Sgt, (1942-1943) 21 2100 Corporal
Smith, Kenneth L, Sgt, (1942-1943) 18 1814 Corporal
Del Bene, Paul A, Sgt, (1942-1943) 18 1811 Private 1st Class
Delaney, James Richard Peter, Cpl, (1942-1945) 1 0121 Private 1st Class

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