Skip to main content

Kenneth W. Kennedy World War II Letters

Identifier: 2007-019

This collection is primarily concerned with correspondence from Kenneth Wade Kennedy relating to his World War II service. The collection also includes correspondence from various family members, newspaper clippings relevant to the family, and a small number of musical programs and wedding invitations.

All letters are arranged chronologically with the exception of a discreet number of letters from various family members which have been arranged alphabetically by author. Newspaper clippings are undated, while programs and wedding invitations have been arranged chronologically.


  • 1905-1945
  • Majority of material found in 1937-1945


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access:

Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use:

Special Collections owns the physical items in our collections, but copyright normally belongs to the creator of the materials or their heirs. The researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, obtaining permission to publish from copyright holders, and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of Special Collections material in print or electronic form. For more information, consult the appropriate librarian. Reproduction decisions will be made by Special Collections staff on a case-by-case basis.


0.50 linear feet

Biographical Information:

Brigadier General Kenneth W. Kennedy was born on September 3, 1918, in Nacogdoches, Texas. He attended Stephen F. Austin University prior to his acceptance to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, Military Engineering, and Military History in 1941. In addition he attended the Army Command and General Staff College in 1944 and graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Masters in Civil Engineering in 1947. He later attended the Armed Forces Staff College in 1957 and the Army War College in 1962, where he would eventually serve on the faculty as Director of the International Relations Course. General Kennedy's legacy includes military service in World War II, the Greek Civil War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and peacetime engineering projects in the United States as well as Japan and Greece. His brother, Joseph W. Kennedy, Ph.D., was instrumental in the discovery of plutonium and noted for his work on the atomic bomb at the Los Alamos laboratory.

During World War II Kennedy served as a shore party commander in the invasion of Northern Africa, receiving a promotion to major for his efforts. Following World War II he served as an engineering advisor to the Greek government during the Greek Civil War, earning commendations from King Paul of Greece. He served as a Base Section Engineer during the Korean War and Senior Engineer Advisor (later named Theater Engineer) during the Vietnam War. In the United States, Kennedy was instrumental in the maintenance of Mississippi River navigation channels, the pioneering construction for early space launch facilities at Cape Canaveral, Florida, and, later, various public works projects and civic service.

During his 30 years of service in the Army Corps of Engineers, Kennedy received a number of accolades and commendations including the Distinguished Service Medal and the Legion of Merit with Cluster. He died at the age of 90 on June 25, 2009, in Lakeway, Texas.

Acquisition Information:

Donated by Tom McKinney, January 26, 2009

Guide to the Kenneth W. Kennedy World War II Letters
Gregory Yerke
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University of Houston Libraries Special Collections Repository

University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
MD Anderson Library
4333 University Drive
Houston TX 77204-2000 USA