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General George C. Kenney relaxing at the 3rd Slug bar of the 3rd Bomb Group

George C. Kenney was born in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, on 6 August 1889. He attended M.I.T. At the outbreak of World War 1, he enlisted as a flying cadet. He received his commission as a 1st Lieutenant in the Aviation Section, Signal Corps Reserve on 5 November 1917. He served in France and Germany from 1917 to 1919.

He was credited with knocking down two enemy aircraft.

Captain George C. Kenney was an instructor at the USAAC Air Tactical School at Langley, Virginia from 1926 to 1931. One of Kenney's students was Spencer B. Akin who attended the school in 1926 and 1927. Brigadier General Spencer B. Akin was later General Douglas MacArthur's Chief Signal Officer in GHQ, Southwest Pacific Area in the AMP Building in Brisbane during WWII.

He graduated from the Army War College in June 1933. He was appointed as the Assistant Attache for Air in Paris in 1940.

He was appointed Commanding General of the 4th Air Force in April 1942.

He was then appointed as Commanding General of the Allied Air Forces in the South West Pacific Area replacing Lt-General George H. Brett on 4 August 1942 and then appointed as the Commanding General of the 5th Air Force on 3 September 1942.

When the 5th and the 13th Air Forces were combined to form the Far East Air Force (FEAF), Kenney was appointed as the Commander of this new Air Force.

He was decorated with the DSC with Cluster, DSM, Silver Star, DFC and a Purple Heart.

George Kenney died in 1977.


Lt. General Kenney
Commanding General, 5th Air Force


B-17E Flying Fortress #41-2633 "Sally" of the 93rd Squadron of 19th Bombardment Group, became the "Flying Office" for General Kenney, the Commander-in-Chief of the 5th Air Force, USAAF.  It was nicknamed "Sally" by General Kenney. Master Sergeant Dick Graf was the radio Operator on "Sally". He was also the "official" photographer for the aircraft.


George C. Kenney at the 3rd Slug bar
of the 3rd Bomb Group


George C. Kenney at the 3rd Slug bar
of the 3rd Bomb Group


General Kenney after a flight in "Sally".
That may be Major "Big Jim" Davies of
the 3rd Bomb Group talking with Kenney


Who is the WAC talking to General Kenney?

Can anyone help identify her?

Please e-mail me if you can identify her


A close-up of the WAC talking to General Kenney


Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph
Thursday 14 October 1943


SOMEWHERE IN NEW GUINEA, Oct 12. - (Delayed) - (AP) - Lt. Gen. George C. Kenney rolled his famous good luck dice today before his Fifth Air Force struck a sledgehammer blow at Japan's key base of Rabaul, New Britain.

After he did that he felt better.

Gen. Kenney has carried the tiny dice ever since a Catholic priest in Paris gave them to him in 1917, and told Kenney they would always bring him luck provided he did not use them to make money.

Kenney always has carried them in his watch pocket except once - and that time his plane crashed, almost killing him. He has called on the dice to roll a lucky number a few times but seldom has shown them to any one.

After the armada of planes was in the air, the little man who boasts he has the best air force in the world took out his dice, rattled them and rolled while others in the room held their breath.

The dice bounced over the desk top and stopped. He had shot an eleven.


General Kenney after a flight on his B-17, "Sally"


During one visit to the New Guinea area 
General Kenney ran into his son (far left)


Kenney talking with his son


Did you know that Kenney was probably responsible for the first flushing toilet to ever be installed in New Guinea in November 1942? General Douglas MacArthur left his Headquarters in Brisbane in early November 1942 for a visit to New Guinea. Kenney flew a flushing type water closet from Australia for MacArthur's private use at Government House in Port Moresby.


4 star General George C. Kenney


General Douglas MacArthur personally decorating General
George C. Kenney after his stunning victory against the Lae
Resupply Convoy during the Battle of the Bismarck Sea.


The 336th Service Squadron arrived in Townsville in north Queensland on 8 September 1943. After two days in uncomfortable days at Armstrong's Paddock they started work at No. 2 US Air Depot near Mount Louisa where they set up camp. While at Townsville, the men were visited by Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of the President of the USA, Franklin D. Roosevelt. This visit was apparently on the first day that the men of the 336th Service Squadron worked on the "line" at the Townsville Air Depot. In the following month they had a visit from Lieutenant General George C. Kenney, the Commander of the Fifth Air Force.

The Military Phone book for Brisbane dated May 1944 shows the following entry:-



Room No. Telephone No.
Commanding General:
       Lt. General Kenney, G.C. 
403 AMP 166, 167
       Lt. Stevenson, B.S.
402 AMP 166

On 5 July 1944, General George C. Kenney met with Charles Lindbergh and asked him to help his 5th Air Force achieve more operational radius from their P-38 Lockheed Lightnings.


5th Air Force

V Bomber Command

V Fighter Command



I'd like to thank Bob Livingstone, Paul Breslin  and Lindsay Peet for their assistance with this home page.


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This page first produced 24 April 2000

This page last updated 22 February 2020