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Brigadier General Kenneth N. Walker
U. S. Army Air Force, 5th Air Force, 5th Bomber Command, Headquarters

"General Kenneth N. Walker commanded the new born Fifth Bomber Command and was responsible for much of its success from the very start, inspiring the men under him with his likeable personality and pleasing manner until his untimely disappearance when the B-17 in which he rode was shot down over Rabaul several months later. General Walker was anxious that Rabaul be hit soon and hard and was himself going out on many of these missions returning some times after having some narrow escapes from the terrific amount of flak which the enemy threw up at our formations from guns located at all positions near Rabaul harbor.

The general had a heavy burden of work cast upon himself with supervising the raids and also doing everything in his power to see that the enlisted men as well as the officers were being taken care of. He demanded that the food be improved in the enlisted men's mess and was indeed an ‘enlisted man's general‘. When both officers and men had to wait in the same chow line an incident occurred which the men talked of for many months to follow. The general came to the chow line when it was about a block or more long and took his place last in line. A corporal offered him his place, one step closer to the food. The general refused saying he could wait his turn behind the corporal. About that time a young, arrogant second lieutenant, with head overcome by the "commissioned drug," walked ahead of the whole line, edged his way to the food counter. General Walker, standing at the end of the line, stepped up, took the upstart by the arm and led him to the rear of the line to wait his turn, demonstrating to the offender that it sometimes takes more than an act of congress to make a gentleman."
- Maj. Bernhardt L. Morternson, Historical Officer, V Bomber Command, 1942-1944

Walker posthumously earned the Medal of Honor G.O. No.: 13 on March 11, 1943.
After his loss, Brigadier General Howard K. Ramey replaced him as Commanding Officer (C.O.) of 5th Air Force, 5th Bomber Command.

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(Right to left) General Walker and
Lt. Faulkner in New Guinea

5th Air Force Medal of Honor

Born July 18, 1898
Died January 5, 1943

Silver Star
(August 1942)

Congressional Medal of Honor
(posthumously, March 1943)

Legion of Merit

(posthumously, Sept 1943)


Purple Heart

(posthumously)



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References

Last Updated
May 3, 2016

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