Kenneth Walker

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Kenneth Newton Walker

Brigadier General Kenneth N. Walker
Nickname Ken
Born 17 July 1898(1898-07-17)
Cerrillos, New Mexico
Died 5 January 1943(1943-01-05) (aged 44)
Rabaul, New Britain
Places of Burial
(markers only)
Arlington National Cemetery
Manila American Cemetery, Philippines
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg United States Army Air Corps
Years of service 1917–1943
Rank US-O7 insignia.svg Brigadier General
Service number 0-12510
Commands held V Bomber Command
18th Pursuit Group
9th Bombardment Squadron
11th Bombardment Squadron
Battles/wars

World War II

Awards Medal of Honor
Distinguished Service Cross
Silver Star
Legion of Merit
Purple Heart

Brigadier General Kenneth Newton Walker (17 July 1898 – 5 January 1943) was a United States Army aviator. He was also 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. It was after the American entry into World War I. He trained as an aviator and became a flying instructor. In 1920 and after the end of the war, he received a commission in the Regular Army. After service in various capacities he graduated from the Air Corps Tactical School in 1929. Then he served as an instructor there. He supported the creation of a separate air organization for strategic bombardment. He published articles on the subject and becoming part of a clique known as the "Bomber Mafia". They argued for bombers over other forms of military aviation.

Even after he was promoted to Brigadier General, Walker frequently flew combat missions over New Guinea. For this he received the Silver Star. On 5 January 1943, he was shot down and killed leading a daylight bombing raid over Rabaul. It was for this action he was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Legacy[change | change source]

In January 1948, Roswell Army Air Field in Roswell, New Mexico, was renamed Walker Air Force Base in honor of Walker.[1] The base was closed on 30 June 1967.[2] Walker Hall and its Walker Air Power Room are at Maxwell Air Force Base. They are also named after him. It is the home of the Air Force Doctrine Development and Education Center.[1] The Walker Papers is an Air Force Fellows program. It annually honors the top three research papers produced by Air Force Fellows with the Walker Series award. The Walker Series recognizes the contributions each Fellow has made to research supporting air and space power and its use in the implementation of US strategic policy.[3]

Related pages[change | change source]

Notes[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Byrd 1997, p. 135
  2. "History of Walker Air Force Base". Walker Aviation Museum. http://www.wafbmuseum.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=44&Itemid=53. Retrieved January 3, 2012.
  3. "Air Force Fellows". United States Air Force. http://afri.au.af.mil/aff/. Retrieved January 3, 2012.

References[change | change source]