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Patrick Francis Kerns Jr

Military

Patrick Francis Kerns was the eldest son of Patrick and Minnie Kerns. Patrick enlisted for military service in Philadelphia, Pa. on Jan.5, 1942 at the age of 19. He had completed his H.S. Education and probably had some form of employment but job prospects were likely to be meager at best. On his military application he had listed his occupation as an actor, which makes me believe that he was just joking around and having some fun with it. He joined up what was then called the Army Air Corps (before the actual creation of the Air Force). Growing up my grandmother would rummage around in her tiny attic and dig up some of the drawings and sketches my Uncle Pat had made of Dick Tracy and other characters of that era. She liked to say that was where my own artistic flair came from and that always made me beam with pride because it pleased her to remember him in that way.

I didn't know my uncle at all, he was long gone before I came around but his presence was always felt in my grandmothers cozy, simple home. His handsome military portrait was prominently displayed on the mantelpiece in the front room and all of us kids would be in awe of the stories my father would tell of their very humble but loving upbringing together such as huckleberry picking, gathering around the radio together to listen to the voice of "The Shadow" and taking baths out back in a barrel even in winter! They walked to school about a mile each day in bare feet to save their shoes and their early education was in a one room schoolhouse up the road. According to my dad, Patrick used to have an old, battered bicycle and would tear down the hill at warp speed after school let out. He had one sister Rosemary (now deceased), and brothers Jackie, James (now deceased), Tommy, Donald (my father) and the youngest was Bobby. His father worked on the railroad and later in the local Anthracite coal mines; my grandmother for a time had her own homemade pie business: "Minnie's Pies" and they were exceptional. The day her son was killed, Minnie had a terrible premonition that something had happened to him. Mother and son had a very close bond that remained even after his untimely death.

Uncle Pat was awarded an Air medal and a Purple Heart for his service, which we still cherish in his honor.

Killed in Action (KIA). B24 42-40598 failed to return to St. Eval from 'Musketry' patrol. An SOS was received but searchers couldn't find crew or plane. The crew was assigned to an antisubmarine group.

AM, PH

Service

Units served with

Aircraft

Associated Place

  • St Eval

    Military site : airfield
    USAAF and US Navy lodger units operated from the base from 1942.

Events

Event Location Date
Born St. Louis, Missouri 11 September 23
Enlisted Philadelphia, PA USA 5 January 42
Died Bay of Biscay, off the coast of France 20 July 1943

Engaged with a surfaced German U Boat. All hands lost. The date I was given here in the States was July 20 but in Carl Owens photo above it mentions July 23.

Buried

Tablets of the Missing at CAC (body never recovered)

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
02 January 2018 02:53:27 Colleen Kerns Changes to biography
Sources

Added 1/1/18 by Colleen Kerns (Paternal niece).

Date Contributor Update
12 December 2016 03:25:22 Colleen Kerns Changes to biography and events
Sources

Colleen Kerns ( Paternal niece)

Date Contributor Update
30 November 2016 18:51:45 Colleen Kerns Changes to biography
Sources

Colleen Kerns NY,NY
(Paternal niece of deceased)

Date Contributor Update
29 November 2016 21:14:50 Colleen Kerns Changes to events
Sources

Source: Colleen Kerns NY, NY
Paternal niece of deceased.

Date Contributor Update
29 November 2016 21:01:00 Colleen Kerns Changes to awards
Sources

Source: Colleen Kerns , NY,NY (paternal niece of deceased)

Date Contributor Update
29 November 2016 14:22:34 Colleen Kerns Changes to biography
Sources

Source: Colleen Kerns (paternal niece of the deceased). Currently residing in New York City and married with two sons Matthew and Emmett Garber.

Date Contributor Update
29 November 2016 14:15:01 Colleen Kerns Changes to events
Sources

Source: Colleen Kerns (niece of the above deceased). My paternal grandmother is Patrick F.'s mother. I currently reside in New York City with my husband David Garber and we have two sons Matthew and Emmett.

Date Contributor Update
29 November 2016 14:02:05 Colleen Kerns Changes to middlename, nickname, biography and events
Sources

Source: Colleen Kerns (niece of the above deceased). My paternal grandmother is Patrick F.'s mother. I currently reside in New York City with my husband David Garber and we have two sons Matthew and Emmett.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:21:02 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Losses of the 8th & 9th AFs Vol. I by Bishop & Hey p.186 ABMC, MACR 0136

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