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History » Who was Field Kindley?

Who was Field Kindley?

The son of George C. and Ella Kindley, Field Eugene Kindley was a motion picture operator living in Coffeyville, Kansas when he joined the Kansas National Guard in May 1917. Transferring to the U.S. Army's Signal Corps, he attended the School of Military Aeronautics at the University of Illinois before going to England for advanced flight training at Oxford. To gain combat experience he was assigned to the Royal Air Force's 65 Squadron on the Western Front on 22 May 1918. Flying the Sopwith Camel, Kindley scored his first victory on 26 June 1918, shooting down a Pfalz D. III flown by the commanding officer of Jasta 5, Wilhelm Lehmann. 
 
Promoted to Captain on 24 February 1919, Kindley assumed command of the 94th Aero Squadron at Kelly Field in Texas in January 1920. Less than a month later, in preparation for a visit by General John J. Pershing, he was severely injured and badly burned during a practice flight when a control cable broke and the S.E.5a he was flying crashed to the ground. He died that evening at the post hospital. 
   
Field Kindley High School in Coffeyville, Kansas, the Captain Field Kindley Memorial Park in Gravette, Arkansas, Kindley Field in Bermuda and Kindley Field at Fort Mills on Corregidor Island in the Philippines were all named in his honor. The Kindley home was acquired by the Gravette City Museum and Field Kindley's personal effects are on display at the Arkansas Air Museum in Fayetteville, Arkansas.