KENNER, JOHN WILLIAM, Second Lieutenant, # 0-709399, USAAF
John W. Kenner was born on 14 September 1922 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Charles Park Kenner (1894-1967) and Clara Louise (Cready) Kenner (1899-1973). Siblings included Grace E. Kenner (1924- ) and Richard Cready Kenner (1927-2002). Living with them in 1930 were his paternal grandparents, John Kenner (or Koerner) (1864-1937) (Germany) and Anna Mary (Lesnett) Kenner (1866-1942) (PA). In 1917 his father worked in the Pittsburgh Fire Department.
He registered for the WW II draft on 30 June 1942, resided at 3330 Allendale St., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, employed by the Arlington Apartments, and described himself as 6’1”, 150 lbs, with brown hair and blue eyes. He enlisted in the USAAF in Pennsylvania on 1 February 1943. After enlisting in the USAAF, he trained in the dual roles of navigator and bombardier on the B-25 Mitchell. He earned his commission and wings. He was sent overseas to 10th Air Force and India. On 9 February 1945, a B-25J, “Nina,” # 44-28788, assigned to 10th Air Force, 341st Bomb Group, 490th Bomb Squadron, departed the airfield at Warazup, Burma, on a bombing mission of Kel-His-Mansam. It was seen by 2ndLt John A. Pennington, 0-718926, 2ndLt Duane H. Troup, 0-777270, and Cpl Robert F. Bishop, 42090299, to hit a tree or trees during its bomb run and crash at 1315 hours at coordinates 21º 56’ North & 97º 49’ East (Kehsi, Mansam, Burma). Cpl. Bishop reported that he was tail gunner on #795 when # 788, the lead B-25, crashed. They were circling and waited for # 788 to make his last bomb run. He watched the B-25 come in at about 1,000’ AGL and descend to about 100-200’. He released 2 bombs, then his right wing hit a high tree on a small hill about 100 yards from the target. Part of the wing separated and the B-25 flipped over on its back and hit the ground and exploded. This was confirmed by the other witnesses. After recovery of the remains of the crew (Evenson, Hohner, Kenner, McJury, Martin & Reno), all were buried in a common grave at the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Lemay, Missouri, on 21 August 1950 (Sec. 84, Grave 194).
His brother, Richard C. Kenner, born 1 November 1927, enlisted in the U.S. Army 27 February 1946 and served to 25 February 1947. He died 17 September 2002 and is buried in the Evergreen Cemetery, Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.
His father, born 9 January 1894, was drafted for service in WW I, a Private, # 2665575, on 4 April 1918 and served overseas from 18 May 1918 to 30 May 1919. He was wounded 10 October 1918. He served in the 315th Mechanized Battalion, Company C. He died on 23 January 1967 and is buried in the Hopewell-Hebron Cemetery, Clinton, Pennsylvania.