John Connolly KENNEDY


KENNEDY, John Connolly

Service Number: 40052
Enlisted: 10 January 1936
Last Rank: Flight Lieutenant
Last Unit: No. 238 Squadron (RAF)
Born: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia , 29 May 1917
Home Town: Sydney, City of Sydney, New South Wales
Schooling: Christian Brothers College Waverly Sydney
Occupation: Professional Air Force Officer
Died: Air Combat - Battle of Britain, Southdown, United Kingdom, Southdown, Cornwall, England, United Kingdom, 13 July 1940, aged 23 years
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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Non Warlike Service

10 Jan 1936: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Air Cadet, 1 Service Flying Training School
10 Aug 1937: Transferred Royal Air Force (WW2), Pilot Officer, Royal Air Force

World War 2 Service

3 Sep 1939: Involvement Royal Air Force (WW2), Flight Lieutenant, SN 40052, No. 238 Squadron (RAF), Air War NW Europe 1939-45

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Biography contributed by Steve Larkins

John Connolly KENNEDY RAF - Battle of Britain pilot (1917-1940)

John Connelly Kennedy was among the many young men who had joined the RAAF, and on graduation as a pilot,  had been offered the opportunity of a short service commission in the RAF.  Born in Sydney, Australia on 29th May 1917, he had been educated at St Charles College, Waverley before joining the RAAF in 1936.
Kennedy was posted to No.1 FTS Leuchars for a short flying course after which he joined 65 Squadron at Hornchurch on 19th December 1937.
Promoted to Acting Flight Lieutenant, Kennedy was posted to 238 Squadron at Middle Wallop as a Flight Commander on 31st May 1940.  They and t heir Hawker Hurricanes would soon be on the front line.

On 13th July Kennedy had attacked a Dornier 17 bomber,  on England’s south coast near Weymouth.  He in turn was attacked by German fighters, which damaged his aircraft.  He dived away towards the coast to make a forced landing at RAF Warmwell, but on approach he stalled and crashed at Southdown, Littlemore trying to avoid high tension cables.

Kennedy, who may have been wounded, was killed in the crash. He was 23 years old, and is buried in Holy Trinity Churchyard, Warmwell.

Thanks to the Battle of Britain London Monument for these notes.