p51 Pilots Biographies, Last Name Starting With "K"
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Pilot Name Biography Summary
Edmund J. Kendzierski He enlisted as an aviator cadet Jan. 29,1943 after being turned down by the draft board for a deferment and by coincidence recently served 5 years as draft board chairman in Santa Ana, Calif., during the Vietnam war era. He graduated in the class of 44B and was commissioned at Craig Field, Selma, Alabama. Aside from his MOS 1055as a fighter pilot, he also served with A2 intelligence on an undercover basis, while in service. He flew mainly P-40 and P-47's, but also piloted A-24's, C-47, B-25, C-46, C-109 and P-51's
John J. Kennedy Of 39 missions flown from Y-29 the one most remembered was New Year's Day of 1945. 8 P-47's had just taken off when over 60 German Fighters attacked the field. The 8 P-47 kept the Germans busy while the 352 Fighter Group got their P-51 's in the air. A large number of Jerries went down - however this flier got a probable while getting the group commander aircraft all shot up. It was a D-5 the only Razorback left in the Group.
William E. Kepner During the First World War he commanded a company at Chateau-Thierny. Commanded a battalion and was engaged in most of the battles where Americans were involved. He remained in the military and acquired a thorough knowledge of airships. He commanded airship schools in Langley, Va. and at Scott Field, III. He flew in four National and International air races. While in command of the 9th Bombardment Sqdn. at March Field, CA he completed flying school as an Army Air Corps pilot in 1932. In 1934, he served as pilot and commander of the stratosphere flight "Explorer I" attaining an altitude of 61,000 ft. before the balloon ripped open, and he had to parachute from a minimum altitidue of 300 ft.
Earl Lehman Kielgass Class 43-K pilot training (Williams AAB, Chandler, Arizona). P-47 RTU at Dover, Delaware. Joined 9th Air Force and 368th Ftr.Gp. at A-3 on Normandy Beach. Stayed with 396th Fighter Squadron (Thunderbums) till end of European war with bases at A-3, Chartres, Laon Athies, Chievre (Belgium), Rheims, Metz, Frankfurt AM, and Nuremburg.

Spent some time flying P-51's with Arizona National Guard. Recalled as regular in 1947 with First Fighter Wing March Field, California. Flew out of Frankfurt on the Berlin Airlift in 1949 then spent several years in Air Training Command training pilots (T-6, T-28, T-33, B-25 etc.)

Frank N. King After combat, transferred to 27th Air Transport Group, Belfast, Ireland. Flew new aircraft to combat bases, including P-47, P-51, P-38, B-26, A-26, B-24, B-17, and C-47. Flew troops and cargo in ETO. Flew spotter cub to Paris. from Scotland. Toured Paris prior to troops entering. Returned to States October 1,1944. Assigned P-47 combat instructor at Richmond, Va.
Claiborne (Clay) Holmes Kinnard, Jr. WWII FIGHTER ACE!
Clay Kinnard graduated with a BSCE at Vanderbilt University and joined the USAAF before WWII. He graduated from flight school in August, 1939 and served with various squadrons until going to war with the 356th FG in August, 1943. He transferred to 354FS/355FG as Squadron CO in November 1943, but was off ops with a severe ear infection until February, 1944.
Peter W. Klaassen He graduated with Class 44A at Eagle Pass, Texas and after fighter transition training was assigned to the 78th Fighter Group, 83rd Sqdn. at Duxford England, flying a total of 355 combat hours in P-47's and P-51 's. Returning to the United States after the war, he worked at reactivating the 127th Fighter Interceptor Group, Michigan Air National Guard, becoming that unit's first Post-War Commander. He continued engineering studies and flew with the Air Guard until 1960, at which time he became a manufacturing engineer with Teer-Wickwire & Company, a large automotive parts manufacturer in Jackson, Michigan.
Walter Joseph Koraleski WWII FIGHTER ACE!
Korky Koraleski attended University of Detroit majoring in Aero Engineering before enlisting in Army November, 1941. He was commissioned as Second Lieutenant following graduation from Foster Field flight school in May, 1942. He was assigned to the 50th FG which became 355th FG and sailed with the Group in July, 1943. By the time he reached the ETO he had nearly 600 hours total time. He shot down his first 109 on the Big B Berlin mission March 6, 1944. and his fifth on April 5, 1944 to become the 354FS first ace and the 355th FG’s third air ace behind Olson and Stewart. Captain Koraleski, then 354FS Operations Officer, lost an engine on the 15th of April and bailed out over Utrecht following a flak barrage to become a POW.
Harry E. Krig Returned to the US in May 1945, total of 72 combat missions in P-47's. Destroyed four enemy aircraft (2 air, 2 ground). Awarded DFC, Purple Heart, Air Medal with 4 oak leaf clusters, distinguished unit emblem. I remained in service with tours in Training Command and Tactical Air Command. Flew F-51's, F-80's, F-84's, F-86's and F-100 Aircraft.
Charles H. Kruger Trained with group and went to England with Group on U.S.S. Thurston in September 1943. Landed in Glasgow, Scotland. Went directly to East Wretham (S.W . of Norwich) and established the 359th Fighter Group (368,369 and 370 F.S.) 8th Air Force. Made our debut in combat on 13 December 1943 equipped with P-47 D-6. E.
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