AKINS, KENNETH LYLE, Major, # 392729, USAAF
Kenneth L. Akins was born in 1918 in California to Ivan Orson Akins (1893-1968) and Marie Louisa Akins (1897-1950). Siblings included Robert R. Akins (1923-2010).
He enlisted in the USAAF and on 4 April 1940, he was an aviation cadet in flight school at San Antonio, Baxar Co., Texas. He completed his advanced flight training, earned his commission and wings and was rated for multi-engine aircraft, specifically, the B-29 Superfortress. During 15 to 16 June 1944, a 20th Air Force, 58th Bombardment Wing, 468th Bomb Group, 792nd Bomb Squadron, Kharagpur A.A.B., India, a B-29, # 42-6231, departed the airfield at Pengshan, China, and was lost.
The bomber on the Yawata, Japan, raid, crashed into a mountain about 100 miles north of the Pengshan, China. No bombs were found in the wreckage, thus it was returning from its mission when it crashed. The crash occurred at 1450 Zulu, 11 miles northeast of Kiangyu, China, on 15 June 1944. The bomber crashed into a sheer cliff and exploded. There were 19 aircraft in the attack on Yawata; 42-6231 was the 17th bomber to depart on the mission. Departure was normal. Between 1345 Zulu and 1415 Zulu, a series of position plots were received from an unidentified aircraft on the Chinese Warning Net. These placed the aircraft well north of the plotted course. The last report was 115 miles northeast of Pengshan. All these reports were in line with this crash. No attempt to contact the aircraft was made because it was unidentified. On 20 June 1944, a search party reached the crash wreckage; the Chinese found the radio operator’s log which contained the last three digits of the aircraft number “##-#631. Weather was not a factor in the crash. His remains were recovered in China. Indistiguishable from other crewmen remains, they were buried together in a group (ten remains – Aeh, Akins, Barrett, Gilman, Lund, Mann, Munoz, Pack, Robertson & Witcher) three-casket burial in the Fort Smith National Cemetery, Fort Smith, Arkansas, on 15 September 1949 (Sec. 2, Graves 765 & 766).
His brother, Robert Rae Akins, born 23 March 1923, enlisted on 1 January 1943. In 1948, he and Betty were living at 1045 Noel Drv, Redwood City, California. In 1953 he and Betty lived at 1686 Maryland, Redwood City and he worked as an accountant. 1965 he and Betty lived at 1219 Elder Ave., Menlo Park, California, and he was working as an accountant.