Irving Farmer KennedyDFC (2) MD was born at Cumberland Ontario son of Mr. and Mrs. R.J. Kennedy. In October 1940, when Irving Kennedy enlisted in the RCAF, his father was Clerk-Treasurer for the township of Cumberland. Furthermore, his father was a veteran of WW1, who had fought at Vimy Ridge, Ypres, and the Somme and was badly wounded in August 1917 during the Battle of Loos. His father was "Mentioned in Despatches" in April 1917 when the Canadian Army finally captured Vimy Ridge.
Irving Kennedy received air crew instruction at various training schools in Canada and on June 21st 1941 graduated from No. 10 Service Flying Training School at Dauphin Manitoba. After arrival overseas, in 1941 Kennedy, in early 1942 was posted to 263 Fighter Squadron RAF, flying twin engine Whirlwinds, a poor match for the German ME 109s. Fortunately, in June 1942 Kennedy was transferred to 421 Fighter Squadron RCAF, flying Spitfires. Soon, he tired of the endless convoy patrols and the odd sweep over France and he put in for a posting to Malta. Kennedy arrived there in December 1942 and was assigned to 249 Squadron RAF.
On February 7th 1943, he shared in the destruction of a Junkers 52 transport over Sicily. By June 10th he had shot down 7 and a half enemy aircraft and was awarded his firstDistinguished Flying Cross (DFC). At the end of July he was sent to 111 Squadron RAF based in Sicily. By mid-October he had added to his score and was transferred to 93 Squadron RAF as a Flight Commander. In December 1943 when his first tour ended he had flown 365 operational hours and had ten aircraft to his credit and was posted back to England.
By June 1944 the invasion and breakout from Normandy had begun. Only a week after D-Day, Kennedy was posted to 401 Fighter Squadron RCAF at Tangmere. Soon after he was flying his spitfire from an air strip in France at Beny-sur-Mer. On June 25th the squadron lost a flight commander and Squadron Leader Kennedy was named to take over. On July 2nd they lost their Commanding Officer and Kennedy took his place.
On July 26, Kennedy was shot down himself over the airfield at Dreux France. With help from the French underground he evaded capture for almost a month and was liberated by the advancing Americans. By this time he was credited with destroying 11 enemy aircraft and was awarded a secondDFC. A tragic part of Squadron Leader Kennedy's wartime career was the loss of his younger brother, Flying Officer Carlton Kennedy, in September 1944, in the crash of an aircraft where all crew members were killed.
After WW2 Kennedy graduated in Medicine in 1956 from the University of Toronto and established a medical practice in his home town of Cumberland Ont. At the urging of his wife Fern and his two daughters Ann and Carol, Dr. Kennedy put together the story of his wartime experiences in an interesting book entitled"Black Crosses on my Wingtip".