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Kennedy, Patrick Ascension

Date of birth:
May 15th, 1917 (Cooke/Tipperary, Ireland)
Date of death:
May 2nd, 2010
Service number:
British (1801-present, Kingdom)


Patrick Kennedy, born on Ascension Day, joined the Ulster Rifles in February 1938 and sailed with the Battalion to France in October 1939 as part of the BEF. He took part in fighting in Belgium before retreating to Dunkirk, where he and some others found a rowing boat and rowed out to a destroyer which returned them to Folkstone. Stuck on guard duties in the UK, he became restless and applied for a transfer to the RAF. Following training in Canada he was posted to No 123 Squadron in Iraq and later Persia and Egypt.
He moved to India in October 1943 and joined No 4 Squadron RIAF as a flight commander six months later. He served with the unit throughout the Burma campaign until the squadron was rested in March 1945. Taking command of No 81 Squadron shortly afterwards he took part in operations in Java as part of No 904 Wing, assisting in the location and repatriation of PoWs from the area.

He was station commander at Marham during the period which saw all RAF Valiants grounded and scrapped following the discovery of metal fatigue in their wings. At the end of his tour at Marham he was promoted to Air Commodore, but decided to take voluntary retirement and joined BAC to work on an air defence project in Libya on behalf of King Idris. However, in 1969 a military coup took place and despite being confined to his hotel room he managed to make his way to the airport and acquire passage on an aircraft bound for the UK. He later worked for BAC at Stevenage and later Warton before retiring to the Lake District, where he and his wife ran a country hotel.

7 March, 1942: Pilot Officer (emergency)
1 October, 1942: FLying Officer (war sub)
7 March, 1944: Flight Lieutenant (war sub)
1945: Acting Squadron Leader
1 July, 1950: Squadron Leader
1 July, 1956: Wing Commander
1 July, 1961: Group Captain
1 July, 1967: Air Commodore
15 december 1967: retirement

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Second World War (1939-1945)
Acting Squadron Leader
No. 4 Squadron, Royal Indian Air Force
Awarded on:
April 17th, 1945
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Second World War (1939-1945)
Acting Squadron Leader
No. 81 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on:
November 5th, 1946
Citation (partial):
"He had a prolonged and excellent record of gallantry and devotion to duty."
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)


  • - Fourth Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 37036 published on the 13 April 1945
    - Second Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 37776 published on the 1 November 1946
    - Air of Authority
    - Fly Past Magazine, May 2011, p 20-26