Air Force Badge
  • Name: Donald "Don" Ramone Kent
  • Location of Birth: Calumet, Minnesota
  • Date of Birth: October 27, 1925
  • Date of Death: February 25, 2011
  • Parents: Charles Kent & Karen (Sonsteng) Kent
  • High School and Class: 1943 Greenway High School, Coleraine, Minnesota
  • College:
  • Highest Rank: SMSGT (Senior Master Sergeant)
  • Branch: Air Force
  • Other Branch: Air Force
  • Date Sworn In: December 10, 1943
  • Place Sworn In: Sheppard Field, Wichita Falls, Texas
  • Date of Discharge: 1966
  • Place of Discharge: Wurtsmith Air Force Base, Michigan
  • Units and Locations:
    Start Date End Date Unit(s) and Location(s) Served
    December 10, 1943 Sheppard Field, Wichita Falls, TX
  • Military Awards:
    Presidential Citation
    Oak Leaf Cluster

  • Military Highlights:
    World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946
    Name: Donald R. Kent
    Birth Year: 1925
    Race: White, citizen
    Nativity State or Country: Minnesota
    State of Residence: Minnesota
    County or City: St. Louis
    Enlistment Date: December 10, 1943
    Enlistment State: Texas
    Enlistment City: Sheppard Field, Wichita Falls
    Branch: Air Corps
    Branch Code: Air Corps
    Grade: Private
    Grade Code: Private
    Terms of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law
    Component: Reserves – exclusive of Regular Army Reserve and Officers of the Officers Reserve Corps on active duty under the Thomason Act (Officers and Enlisted Men – O.R.C. and E.R.C., and Nurses-Reserve Status)
    Source: Enlisted Reserve or Medical Administrative Corps (MAC) Officer
    Education: 4 years of high school
    Marital status: Single, without dependents
    Height: 00
    Weight: 000

    WW II Draft Registration Cards – 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947
    State: Minnesota
    Name: Donald Ramone Kent
    Race: White
    Age: 19
    Birth Date: October 27, 1925
    Birth Place: Calumet, Minnesota, USA
    Residence Place: Duluth, St. Louis, Minnesota, USA
    Registration Date: October 23, 1945
    Employer: Just discharged from U.S. Army
    Weight: 155
    Height: 5-4
    Complexion: Dark
    Eye Color: Green
    Hair Color: Brown
    Other characteristic: Scar on left thumb
    Next of Kin: Mrs. Charles W. Kent, mother, Duluth, MN

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota – January 28, 1944 – “December 9, 1943. Bovey Service Club: I received your lovely Christmas card and the Legion Hospitality card the other day, and I want to write a few lines of thanks. I think that it was a very nice card. I sure appreciate your sending the Readers Digest, too. I think that it is about as good a Christmas gift as any. You can be assured that it will be read and re-read, over and over. A few lines about this camp. It’s a classification center and basic training center. I’m taking basic before being classified as either a pilot, navigator, bombardier or aerial gunner. I hope to make pilot. It sure isn’t as nice a place as Bovey. In one day we can either freeze or bake here. And the water’s punk too. Otherwise it’s a pretty fair place. I still prefer Minnesota to Texas though. My flight is composed of Minnesota boys. That makes it a pretty good deal, too. I can’t think of any more to write so I’ll close. Thanks again for the card and Readers Digest. Sincerely, Pvt. Donald R. Kent”

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota – February 11, 1944 – “January 28, 1944 – Dear Mr. Barnes: Just dropping a few lines to tell you I have had a change in address. I have moved from Sheppard Field, Texas, to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where I shall soon start radio school. The paper should get here just about right off the press now. But anyway, it comes, it’s still news from the best little town in the world and that’s what counts. The people that I’ve encountered here, so far, seem to be very nice people. And from what I hear from guys that have been here longer, they’re all like that. Well, I have to close now. So say hello to the folks around for me and goodbye. Sincerely, Donald (Kent)”

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota – February 9, 1945 – “England – January 23, 1945. Dear Ann: Well, I made the team. I must have or else there’s been a mistake. Anyway, here I am in jolly old England, ready to do battle with the flying Jerry and his gang. I haven’t gotten around as yet to see if I’ll like the plane or not. But one thing for sure, I didn’t like this rotten weather. The British can keep it. By the way, I ran into Artie Jacobson the other day. We spent quite a spell together, shooting the breeze about Bovey and our pre-induction days. We’re separated now and most likely will be till the war’s end, but it was sure nice to run into someone from the best l’il ol’ town on earth, way over here on the opposite side of the globe. Will you please give Mr. Barnes my new address so that I’ll be able to get the Press again. I’ve been moving around so much in the last couple of months that I haven’t been receiving it and I sure miss it. Well, I guess that’s all I can squeeze in this little space, so I’ll close for now. Sincerely, Donald Kent.”

    Newspaper article: March 1945 – An orientation course designed to bridge the gap between training in the states and combat soldiering in Europe was recently completed by Cpl. Donald R. Kent, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles W. Kent.

    Newspaper article: April 1945 – Sgt. Donald R. Kent, formerly of Bovey, has received the medal for exceptionally meritorious achievement while participating in a number of combat bombardment missions over Germany. He is a B-17 Flying Fortress radio operator in the 401st bombardment group. Sgt. Kent’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Kent of Duluth, are moving back to Bovey.

    Newspaper article: August 1945 – Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Booth entertained Sunday in honor of their two nephews, Technical Sergeant Donald R. Kent, home recently from the European Theatre, a radio operator on a B-17 Flying Fortress, recipient of the Presidential Citation and Oak Leaf Cluster, and Ted Demarais, son of Mr. and Mrs. Leo Demarais of LaPrairie, who is stationed at the Schick General Hospital in Clinton, Iowa.

    (Biography information from Don Kent on Find A Grave site) Donald R. Kent served in the U.S. Army Air Corps with the 614th Bomb Squadron/401st Bomb Group of the 8th Air Force in World War II as a radio operator/gunner aboard B-17 bombers flying combat missions over occupied Europe until the end of the war. After the war he remained in the service and in 1948 he flew missions into Berlin during the Berlin Airlift. During the Korean War he was stationed in Japan flying supply missions into Korea. He met and married Madeline Ina (nee Stephenson) Knotts in Oct 1954 while stationed at Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina. He remained in the service operating a ground communications at various posts until he retired as a Senior Master Sergeant from the U.S. Air Force at Wurtsmith AFB, Michigan in 1966.

  • Wars Involved:
    World War II
    Korean War

  • MIA / POW:

  • Civilian Life:
    Donald Kent worked in various sales and electronics jobs after leaving military service, retiring in 1990.

    Don died in Coon Rapids, Minnesota and is buried in Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis, Minnesota (grave #9397). He is survived by his children: Don, (Jill) Kent and Deborah (Dave) Vollmer; seven grandchildren; ten great-grandchildren; sister, Virginia; his special partner, Rose Marie Menetas and her family; and his friends with the 8th Air Force Wednesday lunches. He was preceded in death by his wife, Madeline; daughter Pat; and brothers, Willis, Bob & Gene.

  • Tribal Affiliation(s):