New England Air Museum
John Hudson Kirkland, Jr., D.M.D.
John H. Kirkland Jr - 1943
John H. Kirkland Jr - 1943

 

Recent Address: 145 Rutledge Rd., Forest Hills, Greenwood, SC 29649
Email:
Family Information: Parents: John and Wilma; Wife: Wilma; Children: Vickie, John H. III, Christopher, Lacy, Sarah; Sibling: James
Hometown: Rock Hill, SC
Date Entered Service:
Service Number: 34516575
Bomb Group: 468th
Squadron: 792nd
Location of Unit: Salina, KS - September 18 1943
Missions Flown: 32
Hump Missions Flown: About 20
Targets: Yawata, Bangkok (2), Mukden, Singapore (3), Kuala Lumpur, Rangoon, Nagoya, Tokyo (2), Yokohama, Osaka (5), Kobe, Tomioka, Omuta, Kure (2), Chiba, Utsonomiya, Namazu, Fukui, Aomori, Hachiogi, Saga
Awards/Decorations: Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medals (4), Good Conduct Medal, Battle Stars (7), WWII Victory Medal, Distinguished Unit Citations (3), Medals from China including Wings Air Combat, Air Offensive Japan, India-Burma Campaign, Central Burma Campaign, China Campaign
Service Schools Attended: Radio Mechanics and Operation-Madison, WI Feb-May 1943; Radar Operation-Boca Raton, FL May-Sep 1943
Military Specialty(ies): MOS 2867-Radar Observer Mechanic Bombardment
Rank Upon Discharge: Staff Sergeant
Crew Type: Flight crew
Airplane Serial No.& Name:
Were you a POW? No
Were you interned? No
Date Transferred from the 58th:
Date Discharged from the 58th: October 2, 1945
Post-WWII Military Service:
Post-WWII Civilian Occupation(s):
Dentist (DMD) in Greenwood, SC
Thoughts on the 58th Bomb Wing:
Before I entered the service, I read lots of books about the USA and foreign countries. After I entered service in January 1943, I met many young men and realized that America was really a melting pot for people of all countries in the world. I had friends whose parents had come to America from several foreign countries and they were just as much American as I was. My forefathers had come from Scotland and I am considered Scots-Irish. Some of my best friends were from Jewish countries and my best friend was a descendant of Hungarian Pollock. Some were from German descent and others from all parts of the world. It did not matter to anyone where one's family had originated. We were all free Americans willing to fight for our country. We all flew the B-29 and many gave their life so that America would remain free. We are a nation of individuals of many countries and will continue to fight and die for the freedom of future generations.
Comments:

America has always been the greatest country in the world and my travels in WWII only reinforced my feelings. People here are allowed to protest anything they have on their minds and much to my dismay, even the current war with Iraq. This can be done without fear of any punishment. We come to the aid of any country that needs us if the reason is necessary to protect them, fight for them, feed them or give monetary aid. Even though thousands of our service men and women have died on foreign soil, some of those countries will not help us when we need them. We continue to share our resources when they are needed. God blessed America during WWII and we will continue to be blessed, under God!

Dr. Kirkland passed away October 19, 2005. He is buried at Greenwood Memorial Gardens in Hodges, SC.

 

John H. Kirkland Jr., DMD, 2003
John H. Kirkland Jr., DMD, 2003

 


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