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Thomas E. Kearney

U.S. Signal Corps

First Lieutenant, U.S. Army

Entered the Service from:




Grave Location:

Plot A, Row 1, Grave 6

1st Lt. Thomas Emmett Kearney served with the U.S. Army Signal Corps during World War I. He was born on July 1, 1895 in Paducah, Ky., and he had two brothers and two sisters. He excelled in academics and received a college education. After he graduated, he worked for a company in the cotton trade.

Kearney volunteered for service in May 1917, but was rejected from being a pilot on physical grounds. Determined to fly, he went to Canada and joined the Canadian forces. On December 16, 1917 he received his wings. He then traveled back to the United States to join the U.S. Air Service. He was accepted on January 13, 1918. He was then sent to Europe and joined the British 22nd Aero Squadron until August 12, when he was assigned to the 18th Squadron.

On the evening of August 14, Kearney and his observer, Sgt. John Harvey Hammond of the Royal Air Force, were on a bombing raid. Anti-aircraft shells hit the aircraft and it took a vertical dive towards the ground. Both men were killed. Kearney was buried along the road of Estevelles near Meurchin in Pont á Vendin, department Pas-de-Calais, France and reinterred at Flanders Field American Cemetery. Hammond’s remains were never found.

Thomas E. Kearney is buried in Normandy American Cemetery Plot A, Row 1, Grave 6.