My grandfather, Chester Aloysious Kenney, was an engineer in the Corps of Engineers in WWII. According to his handwritten records, his service included:
- October 1936 - March 1944 - US Army, Corps of Engineers, Providence R.I. - Engineering Aid - Hydrographic Surveys - Chief of Survey Party - Inspector of dredging and dock construction - Chief Inspector of dredging
- March 1944 - January 1946 - U.S. Armed Forces - Pacific Theatre - 2821 Engineer Topographic Battalion - Airial (sic) Photo Multiplex Operator
- January 1946 - July 1946 - U.S. Army, Corps of Engineers - Providence, R.I., District Hydrographic Surveys
When I think of my grandparents Chet & Dolly, images of the creaky house in Worcester, MA and the old Maine farm fill my memories. How vibrant they looked on their snow mobiles during the winters on that old farm, and how cool to have grandparents that actually rode snow mobiles to get around town. Though we didn’t see them often, growing up in a military family as we did, we always knew they were up north in New England.
Grampa Kenney was a soft spoken engineer with a gentle presence. And like so many from his generation, he proudly served his time in WWII, as an Engineer in the Corps of Engineers.
During a recent renovation at the Kenney Worcester two story colonial, now owned by my Aunt Helene and Uncle Eddie, Grampa’s slide rule resurfaced and found it’s way into my Dad’s possession. How precious to have such an important piece of family history. How many people actually know how to use one of these instruments anymore?
I also ran across a WWII pamphlet explaining the role of the Corps of Engineers, with great phrases such as:
- “THE CORPS OF ENGINEERS KEEPS ‘EM MOVING”
- “The Engineers can go under, over or through anything, or get it out of the way”
- “Fighting the enemy, space or fire - just another job for the Engineers”
- “Engineers destroy or build"