Section: News

Hal Grace ’43 honored for service in Air Force

On Saturday, Oct. 27, the College memorialized Lt. Hal Grace ’43 in the Kenyon College Cemetery with a 21-gun salute and a grave marker. Grace left Kenyon to volunteer for service in the United States Air Force shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

He was trained as a bombardier, and flew in a B-24 Liberator heavy bomber. After being shot down over the Celebes Sea, south of the Philippines, on Sep. 11, 1943, he and his entire crew were declared missing in action. The Air Force decorated him with the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Purple Heart and the Air Medal.

President Sean Decatur said that Grace was one of over 900 Kenyon graduates and students who were in the war. He also noted that there were only around 3,000 living alumni and students at that time, meaning that almost a third of Kenyon’s students and alumni had been involved in the war. Of those 900, Decatur said, there were three who went missing in action, including Grace. Grace is memorialized on the Walls of the Missing in Taguig City in the Philippines, but his new marker in the Kenyon College Cemetery is the only memorial to him in the United States.

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