John Thomas Kennedy

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John Thomas Kennedy
Born (1885-07-22)July 22, 1885
Hendersonville, South Carolina
Died September 22, 1969(1969-09-22) (aged 84)
Columbia, South Carolina
Place of burial Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1908 - 1946
Rank Brigadier General
Unit 6th U.S. Cavalry
Battles/wars Philippine–American War
World War I
World War II
Awards Medal of Honor
Silver Star

John Thomas Kennedy (July 22, 1885 - September 22, 1969) was a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army who received the Medal of Honor for actions during the Philippine–American War and the last surviving US veteran of the war to receive the medal.


John Kennedy was born in Hendersonville, South Carolina; he attended The Citadel for one year and graduated from West Point in 1908. Upon graduation he was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the 6th Cavalry Regiment.

He served in the Philippines in 1909 and was awarded the Medal of Honor after being wounded leading an attack into a cave occupied by hostile Moro insurgents.

He transferred from the Cavalry to the Field Artillery in January 1917. In World War I he served as a field artillery officer and rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel in the National Army. After the war, he reverted to his Regular Army rank of captain but was promoted to rank of major in June 1920.

He graduated from the Command and General Staff College in 1924 and from the Army War College in 1932.[1]

Duriing World War II he commanded a provisional field artillery brigade from 1942 to 1945 with the rank of brigadier general.

He retired from the Army on 31 January 1946.

General John T. Kennedy is buried in Arlington National Cemetery and his grave is located in Section 7, Lot 10076.


Medal of Honor citation[edit]

Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, 6th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Patian Island, Philippine Islands, July 4, 1909. Entered service at: Orangeburg, S.C. Birth: Hendersonville, S.C. Date of issue: Unknown.


While in action against hostile Moros, he entered with a few enlisted men the mouth of a cave occupied by a desperate enemy, this act having been ordered after he had volunteered several times. In this action 2d Lt. Kennedy was severely wounded.

Dates of rank[edit]

  • Cadet, USMA - 16 June 1904
  • 2nd Lieutenant - 14 February 1908
  • 1st Lieutenant - 18 December 1914
  • Captain - 26 February 1917
  • Major (National Army) - 5 August 1917
  • Lieutenant Colonel (National Army) - 25 June 1918
  • Discharged from National Army - 15 February 1920
  • Major - 20 June 1920
  • Lieutenant Colonel - 1 March 1932
  • Colonel - 1 January 1937
  • Brigadier General (Army of the United States) - 21 May 1942
  • Retired (with rank of brigadier general) - 31 January 1946

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Official Army Register. 1948. pg. 2281.