KENNARD, MARK SAUNDERS, Flight Officer, # T-192763, USAAF
Mark S. Kennard was born 23 May 1916 in Cleburne, Johnson Co., Texas, to Ranald Reagan Kennard (1894-1964) and Thomas Mills (Saunders) Kennard (1896-1972). Siblings included Eleanor (Kennard) Thompson (1918-1987) Living with them in 1930 was his paternal aunt, Virginia Kennard (1906-1988). In 1917 the family lived in Parker, Texas. In 1942, the family lived on Rte 1, Grandview, Texas. His father retired from Chance Voight Co. He was married to Rue V. (Moore) Kennard (1913-1995).
He enlisted in the USAAF on 21 November 1942. He was trained as an engineer for the B-29 Superfortress, which training included the mechanical and electrical systems. In flight, he monitored an array of sensors, dials, and swtcheswhich relected the status of oil, fuel, and electrical systems of the B-29. He was sent overseas to 20th Air Force in India then to an advance airfield in China. On 20 August 944, a B-29, # 42-6408, “Reddy Teddy,” assigned to 20th Air Force, 468th Bomb Group, 792nd Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Pengshan, China, on a bombing mission of Imperial steel works at Yawata, Japan, and upon dropping their bombs, at 1645 hours at 26,000 feet, was hit by enemy anti-aircraft fire and was lost. Most of the crew survived. B-29 42-608 was seen to received direct hits from enemy anti-aircraft fire over the target and went into a dive. Parachutes were seen. 2ndLt Roberts suffered traumatic amputation of right leg. Kennard and Roberts were dragged through the streets by civilians and beaten. 1stLt Pickett suffered severe burns and was grossly mistreated by the Japanese. Lt. Rewitz suffered burns. SSgt Bishop heard Japanese interrogators questioning SSgt Kazarian. Subsequently discovered that Lt. Pickett, Lt. Rewitz, Lt. Humphrey, F/O Kennard, SSgt Armstrong and SSgt Kazarian were imprisoned in the POW camp in Japan. After liberation as a POW on about 13 September 1945, he received medical care and was honorably discharged as a Master Sergeant from the USAAF on 17 May 1946. He died on 3 September 1976 in Cleburne, TX, and is buried in the Kennard Cemetery, Kennard, TX (Row 4).