News: Neillsville – Am. Legion Honor Local Vet (Jennings - 2018)
Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon
----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark, Co) 8/29/2018
American Legion to Honor Local Veteran (Jennings - 2018)
Jennings to be Honored by Neillsville Legion
Ken Jennings will be one of three local veterans honored by the Neillsville American Legion Sept. 3. (Submitted photo)
Ken Jennings will be one of three honorees recognized by the American Legion Post 73.
Jennings was born in Racine, but his family moved to Chili when he was young. He attended Cozy Corner grade school, and later graduated from Granton High School in 1955.
Jennings joined the Air Force in January 1956 and attended basic training at Parks Air Force Base in San Francisco, CA.
He had advanced training at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, MS, to become a radar operator. His first assignment was to the 646th AC&W Squadron at Highland Air Force Station in Highlands, NJ. His job was to track all aircraft coming into the county, ensuring that they were complying with the flight plans as filed. If there was a doubt, fighters scrambled to check them out.
An hour would be spent watching the scope and another hour would be spent behind a Plexiglass board plotting aircraft movement. Jennings said he became proficient writing backwards on plotting boards.
In 1957, Jennings was sent to the 914 AC&W Squad at Armstrong, Ontario, Canada, with a stop at Selfridge Air Force Base in Detroit, MI for dental and health checks, as there were no doctors or dentists at Armstrong. There were no roads in or out. There were only planes that went there by air or trains that went there by railroad.
Jennings final duty was with the AC&W Squad at Empire, MI. He completed active duty in January 1960 and was discharged from inactive reserve duty in 1962. He returned to Wisconsin and for work, he hauled canned milk, did construction and worked at Roddis Plywood.
Jennings moved back to Michigan and worked various jobs. He then moved back to Wisconsin and purchased a farm and worked for York Dairy. He drove a semi for various companies. He sold his farm in 1980 and purchased his own semi and trailers. He sold his tractors and drove for TRAC, Inc. There he received the One Million Miles Safe Driving Award. He retired in 2006.
Jennings and his wife Wanda have seven children together, as well as 15 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. He enjoys bowling, golf, deer hunting and traveling. Jennings volunteers at The Highground and serves on the reunion planning committee for the Air Force Radar Station Veterans Worldwide Group, which has meetings annually.
Jennings will be honored with Burnett “Barney” Adams and Donald Bremer at a potluck Monday, Sept. 3 at the Legion, 6 Boon Boulevard, Neillsville, at 5:30 p.m. There will be a social hour at 4:30 p.m.
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