William L. Kenly
|William Lacy Kenly|
Kenly circa 1918
|Born||February 18, 1865
|Died||January 10, 1928 (aged 62)
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1889–1919|
|Battles/wars||World War I|
|Awards||Distinguished Service Medal
Silver Star (2)
William Lacy Kenly (February 18, 1865 – January 10, 1928) was a major general in the United States Army. During World War I, he was a leader of a progenitor of the United States Air Force, the United States Army Air Service.
William L. Kenly was born on February 18, 1864, in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Major William L. Kenly and Marion Hook. His father participated in the United States Civil War. His immigrant ancestor was his great great grandfather Rev. Daniel Kenly who emigrated from Scotland to Maryland in the 1700s.
He was a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, 12 June 1889, in field artillery and took part on August 16, 1899 in the Battle of Angeles, in the Pampanga Province during the Philippine–American War.
On September 3, 1917, Brigadier General Kenly became the first Chief of Air Service of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) in France, effectively taking control away from the Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps. Previously a field artillery commander, he did not have experience leading an air force, and Billy Mitchell wielded a large amount of influence in the AEF's operational decisions. Kenly was replaced a short time later by Brig. Gen. Benjamin Foulois.
Kenly then returned to the United States to become Director of Military Aeronautics from May 20, 1918 to August 28, 1918. During this period, he was the titular head of the newly established United States Army Air Service. He retired in 1919 and King George of Great Britain awarded Kenly the honor of Companion of the Order of the Bath.
- "Col. Kenly Dies Of Heart Attack. Former Chief of Air Service of American Forces in France Stricken in Washington. Won Three Decorations. Veteran Served As Director Of Military Aeronautics Before His Retirement In 1919". New York Times. January 12, 1928. Retrieved 2012-10-23.
Colonel William L. Kenly, first chief of the Air Service of the American Expeditionary Forces in France and later director of military aeronautics for the duration of the war, died suddenly ...
- Davis, Jr., Henry Blaine (1998). Generals in Khaki. Pentland Press, Inc. pp. 209–210. ISBN 1571970886. OCLC 40298151.
- Philippine-American War, 1899–1902 by Arnaldo Dumindin
- The Los Angeles Times, KING GEORGE HONORS OFFICER WE OUSTED, Apr 17, 1919, page 1.
|Chief of Air Service, AEF
September 3 – November 27, 1917