John E. Kennedy
U. S. Army
WWII US Military
Dates of Service: 1942 - 12/05/1947
3rd Army Chief Engineer, Seventh Armored Division

"I spearheaded the engineer reconnaissance all the way across north France, into Belgium and Holland, literally riding at the head of the Third Army in a jeep behind the lead tank," recalls John Kennedy. Born in Shreveport, he graduated in 1942 near the top of his class at United States Military Academy at West Point. John left on June 6, 1944 aboard the Queen Mary for Europe, where he served as head of engineer reconnaissance with the Seventh Armored Division of the Third Army under Lieutenant General George S. Patton, Jr. When a bridge was needed for a river crossing, he estimated the required bridging material and ordered it forward. John found the crossing over the Seine for the Third Army in its drive on Paris. He also pointed out to Patton an existing bridge where the army could cross the Meuse at Verdun. John's division was transferred to the Ninth Army, then to the British Second Army, in which he commanded a company of engineers during the battle of Antwerp. By December of 1945 he was serving as assistant operations officer for division G-3 headquarters, where he worked nearly twenty-four hours a day during the Battle of the Bulge. His last combat assignment was as S-3 Operations Officer of Combat Command A of the Seventh Armored Division. After the war John was assigned to the Chief Engineer's Office in Paris, and then in Frankfurt. He returned to the states in the summer of 1947, and left active duty that year on December 5 as a major. He remained in the reserves for thirty years. John earned a Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, and a Purple Heart, among other medals and decorations. In civilian life he joined the family business in wholesale lumber and automobile parts.