Sunday, May 13, 2018

WW2 Fallen - B-24 engineer Gordon Kinney and the tragic Freckleton Disaster

Sgt. Gordon Kinney was the flight engineer in the B-24 that tragically crashed into the village of Freckleton.
Gordon W. Kinney never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on May 13, 1918 in Oklahoma. His parents Isaac and Maude were born in Oklahoma and Texas, respectively. His father worked as a farmer. Gordon had one younger brother. By 1940 Gordon had completed two years of college and was working as a laborer while living with his parents.

He was drafted into the army on November 4, 1941. He volunteered for the Army Air Forces and became a crew chief with the rank of sergeant. He was stationed at Base Air Depot #2, Station 582 at Warton Aerodrome, part of the 8th Air Force.

On August 23, 1944 Sgt. Kinney was the flight engineer for a three man test flight of the B-24 Classy Chassis II to see how it flew after being repaired. The plane was flying in a thunderstorm and it is probable that it was hit by lightning after aborting a landing and circling around to try again. 

Classy Chassis II crashed into the small village of Freckleton. It destroyed three homes, a cafe, and, most tragically, the infant wing of Freckleton Trinity School. All three of the crew were killed along with 58 people on the ground that included 38 children.

War tragedies such as this are one reason we can be thankful that the victory of American and its allies in WW2 has helped us avoid another world scale war with repeated civilian losses.

Sgt Kinney's grave is at Tipton Cemetery in Tipton, Oklahoma.

Thank you Gordon for your sacrifice. Let's Earn It for Gordon.

Last year on this date I profiled paratrooper Duane Larsen. You can read about Duane here.

On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!

I created this video to explain why I started this project:

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WW2 Fallen 100 is supported by

The Greatest GENERATIONS Foundation

“Where Every Day is Memorial Day”

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