2/Lt. Robert J. Kenning


(N. Dornette)

2/Lt. Robert J. Kenning

343rd FS - 07 December 1943 - 05 January 1944 (Killed in Action)

Assigned Aircraft

P-38H 42-67084

Mission History

Not Known

Mission List
55th FG Mission # Date Target
31 05 January 1944 Kiel
Air Scores
Destroyed  
Probable  
Damaged  
Ground Scores
Destroyed  
Damaged  
Notes Born 03 November 1919 Cincinnati, OH, son of Herman Henry Kenning & Mary Magdalena Pfeiffer
Graduate of St. Aloysius Gonzaga Grade School & Elder High School - both in Cincinnati, OH
Enlisted in Army Air force - trained at Kelly AFB & Randolph AFB
Entered service from Cincinnati, Ohio.
ASN - O-750612
Callsign - Whiteman 62
07 December 1943 - Joined the 343rd Fighter Squadron
05 January 1944 - Killed in Action
MACR No. 01744
1/Lt. Joseph Fluty reported: "On the morning of January 5, 1944, we were on an escort mission over Kiel, Germany.  Major Shipman was leading the group, and I was flying number four man in White Flight of the 343rd Fighter Squadron.  We had passed over the German coast northwest of Hamburg.  We had made a sweep to the north as far as Flensburg and then made a 180 degree turn to the right and started a sweep back to the south.  I called in a lone enemy fighter which was at our level, at about four o'clock.  The enemy aircraft was approximately 700 to 800 yards to our right.  I called Lt. Barnett and told him to watch the bandit off his right wing.  Lt. Barnett was in the flight on my left, slightly below, and behind.  After calling in the enemy aircraft I heard Lt. Kenning call to Lt. Barnett to slow down to let him catch up.  At about the same time six Me-210s came down in front of the group in a dive heading toward Kiel.  Major Shipman turned into the attack.  This put our tail to the one lone enemy aircraft which had been tailing us.  We formed a lufbery to the left, a moment later I heard Whiteman 62 call and ask for help.  He called several times and the last I heard him say was that he was at 27,000 feet and behind us.  We made at least two more 360 degree turns, but were unable to see Lt. Kenning anywhere.  By this time we were extremely low on gas and started to form and come home.  The last I saw of Lt. Kenning was just before we started the lufbery.  He was behind about 300 to 400 yards. At that time we were in the area due west of Kiel about fifteen miles."
(reproduced with kind permission from Robert M. Littlefield's book, 'Double Nickel - Double Trouble'.)

Apparently 2nd Lt Robert J. Kenning got separated from his flight and headed north up the Jylland (Jutland) peninsula. North of Fliegerhorst Grove, he was attacked at 5000 meters altitude and shot down by a German night fighter JU 88C-6, piloted by Oberleutnant Rudolf Szardenings of II.NJG 3. Kenning bailed out at too low an altitude and fell to his death. The aircraft crashed at 13:00 hours between the villages of Brøndum and Næsborg some seven kilometres south east of Løgstør. The body of Lt. Kenning was found 800 metres away from the wreck. On 14 January he was laid to rest in Frederikshavn cemetery.
His was moved to the American cemetery at Neuville en Condron in Belgium by the US military on 1st May 1948 and reburied there. (Søren C. Flensted)
Buried - 23 February 1949 at St. Aloysius Gonzaga Cemetery - (Bridgetown) Cincinnati, OH Hamilton County
In 1955 the people of Denmark erected a memorial stone on the road between Brøndum and Næsborg some seven kilometres south east of Løgstør. The monument reads (English Translation):
WE PLACED THIS STONE AS A VOICE BY THE
COMMON ROAD - THAT HERE FELL ONE FOR
DENMARK AND FOR YOU - both in Texas

Awards
Memories "He and Joe were extremely close as brothers, they were mischievous and had much fun together. Both were 'hands on' people who enjoyed doing things together. There was a small swimming pool and tennis court on the property which they enjoyed, Bob was an exceptionally good athlete both in football and baseball. He had a wonderful personality and many friends."
Additional Photos In 1955 local people erected a memorial stone for Robert Kenning near the crash site (Søren C. Flensted)
Air war Over Denmark website (opens in new window)

Lt. Kenning in Flight School (N. Dornette)

Lt. Kenning in Flight School (N. Dornette)

(Nb. Photos open in new windows.  Close window to return to this page.)

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