Lt. Paul E. Kenney, His Story

A display in the Escape and Evasion exhibit of The Mighty 8th Air Force Heritage Center Museum near Savannah, Georgia had this to say about Lt. Paul E. Kenney:

Lt. Paul E. Kenney

“Lieutenant Paul E. Kenney flew his 12th mission on 11 February 1944 as a bombardier in the 384th Bomb Group.  Flak severely damaged the aircraft forcing the pilot to lose altitude.  German fighters bore in for the kill, raking Kenney’s aircraft, the Salvage Queen, with cannon fire.  The pilot, Lt. Clifford Moore, crash landed Salvage Queen in an open field en route to the English Channel.

As he escaped from the plane, Kenney had a feeling of elation since he and crew had survived the numerous enemy attacks along with the crash landing.  Paul and two other crew members ran to a nearby barn and stayed there until it became dark, then sought refuge at a school house.  The school’s teacher cleaned their wounds, gave them bread and wine, and told them where they could hide out.

The engineer became delirious the next day, and had to be left behind.  Paul and the pilot Cliff Moore stuck out down a highway which they thought led to Spain.   Kenney remembered that …’then the highway ended abruptly and a string of lights went on…we were on the runway of a German airbase and that definitely did not lead to Spain.’  Luckily, the two hid on a nearby farm where the French underground contacted Paul and Cliff.  The French underground transferred Paul to Catenieres where he stayed huddled in front of the heater, cold and depressed, for two weeks in a windowless attic.  Fortunately, Paul was moved to Auby, where Elise Dennetiere and her husband hid Paul for five weeks since further movement was very difficult with additional German troops stationed in the area.  Steadily, the French resistance pushed Paul and Cliff along to Paris where an escape line would take over.  Paul stayed on a huge farm outside of Paris waiting for a guide to take him into the city.  Finally, on May 3, 1944, a car pulled up outside the house.  Paul and Cliff said goodbye to the family and made their way to the car bound for Paris.  The driver set down the road toward Paris.  After several miles, the driver stopped at a German road block and turned the two airmen over to the Luftwaffe.  ‘When I realized that it was all over for us, at the moment, I felt shock, anger, hatred for the Nazis, fear of the unknown which lay ahead and remorse for the brave people who were being betrayed,’ Kenney recalled.  The driver was a Gestapo agent who had infiltrated the resistance.

After four weeks of interrogation, the Germans sent Paul to a prisoner of war camp.  The Germans evacuated the camp, forcing the prisoners to march south to Munich.  During the march, Paul and another man slipped away.  Paul remained in hiding until May.  Paul returned home on June 15, 1945.”

The following pdf file reproduces a book by Paul E. Kenney, Adjutants Call, about his experiences in WWII, including being shot down, evading the Germans, his betrayal and capture, and his time as a POW.  It includes family photos, news stories, Air Force records and correspondence, etc.  To view the book, click on the pdf file below.  It should open quickly.

Adjutants Call by Paul E. Kenneyadjutants-call

To watch an interview of Paul Kenney’s experiences, click here.

 

 

 

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