Kenneth Walker

United States Air Force Medal of Honor Recipient
Born Jul 17, 1898

Brigadier General Kenneth Newton Walker was a United States Army aviator and a United States Army Air Forces general who had a significant influence on the development of airpower doctrine. He posthumously received the Medal of Honor in World War II. Walker joined the United States Army in 1917, after the American entry into World War I. He trained as an aviator and became a flying instructor.… Read More

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1898 Birth Walker was born in Los Cerrillos, New Mexico, on 17 July 1898 to Wallace Walker and his wife Emma née Overturf. … Read More
1905 6 Years Old Kenneth began his education at the Maria Mitchell School in Denver, Colorado, from 1905 to 1908, and then attended the Columbian School there from 1908 to 1912.


1913 14 Years Old He went to Central High School for a time until 1913 when he started at the Omaha High School of Commerce, from which he graduated in 1915.
1917 18 Years Old From January to June 1917 he took a course at the YMCA Night School in Denver. … Read More
1918 19 Years Old 1 More Event
He was awarded his Aircrew Badge and commissioned as a temporary second lieutenant in the United States Army Air Service on 2 November 1918. … Read More


1920 21 Years Old Walker became one of many officers holding wartime commissions to receive a commission in the Regular Army, into which he was commissioned as a first lieutenant on 1 July 1920, but was subsequently reduced in rank to second lieutenant on 15 December 1922, another common occurrence in the aftermath of World War I when the wartime army was demobilized.
1922 23 Years Old Already a command pilot, he also qualified as a combat observer in 1922.
He was promoted to first lieutenant again on 24 July 1924. Walker courted Marguerite Potter, a sorority member and sociology graduate at the Norman campus of the University of Oklahoma. The two were married in September 1922. … Read More
1925 26 Years Old Walker returned to the United States in February 1925 and was posted to Langley Field, where he became a member of the Air Service Board. … Read More


1929 30 Years Old In June 1929 he graduated from the Air Corps Tactical School, where he studied under Captain Robert Olds, a former aide to air power pioneer Billy Mitchell and a passionate advocate of strategic bombing. … Read More
1930 31 Years Old In his article "Driving Home the Bombardment Attack", published in the Coast Artillery Journal in October 1930, he argued that fighters could not prevent a bombing attack and that "the most efficacious method of stopping a bombardment attack would appear to be an offensive against the bombardment airdrome." … Read More
1934 35 Years Old Walker's marriage ended in divorce in 1934, after he had an affair. He remarried and had a son named John, but his second marriage also ended in divorce. Walker graduated from the Command and General Staff School in June 1935 and was posted to Hamilton Field, first as Intelligence and Operations Officer of the 7th Bombardment Group, and then as commander of the 9th Bombardment Squadron. … Read More
1935 36 Years Old 1 More Event
After fifteen years in the rank, jokes circulated about his being the most senior first lieutenant in the Air Corps, but he was finally promoted to captain on 1 August 1935.
1937 38 Years Old He had another accident in 1937, when he crashed a B-17 on take off from Denver Municipal Airport but this time his flying skills were credited with saving the entire crew of nine from injury.
1938 39 Years Old In 1938 Walker began a three-year tour in Hawaii, where he was operations officer of the 5th Bombardment Group at Luke Field, executive officer at Hickam Field, and then commander of the 18th Pursuit Group at Wheeler Field. … Read More


Walker returned to the United States in January 1941 and joined the Air War Plans Division in the Office of the Chief of the United States Army Air Corps in Washington, D.C., as an assistant chief of staff. … Read More
1942 43 Years Old In April 1942 Walker joined the Operations Division (OPD) of the War Department General Staff as executive officer of Brigadier General St. Clair Streett's Theater Group. … Read More
…  On 5 January 1943, he was shot down and killed leading a daylight bombing raid over Rabaul, for which he was awarded the Medal of Honor.
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