Col. George H. Kneen
COL. GEORGE H. KNEEN, JR
George H. Kneen was born in Derby on May 30, 1916. He began his distinguished military career in 1940 when he enlisted as an aviation cadet in in the Army Air Corps (The Air Force as a separate branch of the armed forces did not exist at that time.). He earned his pilot wings and flew the famous B-26 bomber (some called it the "Widowmaker") on missions in Africa and Europe. He flew 35 combat missions totaling 185 combat hours.
He participated in the Allied invasion of North Africa as a pilot and squadron commander. He was also engaged in missions over Tunisia and Sicily. For his efforts in leading a bombing run on the airdrome at Patricia di Mare in Italy, he was presented the Distinguished Flying Cross for "extraordinary achievement in aerial flight as a pilot".
He stayed in the Air Force for 30 years holding numerous command positions including a stint as Base Commander at Dobbins Air Force Base in Georgia as well as numerous bomber, air refueling and troop carriers around the world.
During the Korean War, he flew a total of 30 more combat missions flying the Douglass B-26.
Knnen received many decorations for his serive including the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flyaing Cross, the Bronze Star and nine separate Air Medals. He was also a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College and the Air War College.
He retired from the Air Force and lived in Marietta, GA. He was the first director of the Cobb County Youth Museum. He died on August 23, 2012.