Kinard, Harry, born 07-05-1915, grew up in Dallas, Texas. the son of Harry William Osborne Kinnard (1882–1945) and his wife Cynthia, born Peabody Kinnard (1884–1973) and he had one sister Florence Kinnard Wagner (1920–2000). Harry was married with Corrie “Libby” Elizabeth, born Boney Kinnard (1923–2019 (they married in 1983).
After graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1939, he entered military service. He was a champion tennis player as a young man. He played golf into his 80s and shot his age at 82, 85 and 86. In 1944, then Colonel Kinnard, was a 29-year-old assistant Chief of Staff to General Anthony McAuliffe
, Commander of the 101st Airborne “Screaming Eagle” Division (Richard “Dick” Winters). When the German army launched a last-ditch attack in the Ardennes Forest on 16-12-1944, the 101st was rushed into the Belgian town of Bastogne to defend the intersection of five strategic roads. Two days later, the division, outnumbered by more than 4 to 1, found itself surrounded by German tanks and infantry. The Americans were unprepared for fighting in the bitter cold and were pounded relentlessly by artillery.
Their situation seemed hopeless. On 22-12, the Germans sent two officers and two non-commissioned officers into Bastogne with a white flag and Lieutenant General der Panzertruppe, Heinrich von Luttwitz´s typewritten demand that U.S. forces surrender, the “one possibility” of saving American troops from “total annihilation.” McAuliffe’s instinctive response was to laugh and exclaim, “Us surrender? Aw, nuts!” He told his staff that he wasn’t sure how to respond officially and asked for suggestions. “That first remark of yours would be hard to beat,” Colonel Kinnard told him, and other staff members enthusiastically agreed. McAuliffe then called in a typist and dictated: “To the German Commander: Nuts!” and signed it, “The American Commander.” The American soldiers who escorted the German emissaries back to their lines had to explain that “Nuts!” was the equivalent of “Go to hell.” In the early morning of Christmas Day, the 101stDivision repulsed a German assault.
The siege of Bastogne ended when U.S. forces attacking from the south joined the 101st
. Harry William Osborn Kinnard II was born in Dallas and was raised in an Army family. He was a member of the Hawaiian Division
under command of Major General Maxwell Murray
when the Japanese attacked
Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
Generalfeldmarschall der Luftwaffe, Albert “Smiling Albert” Kesselring (center, Oberbefehlshaber Heeresgruppe Süd) poses with Major General Maxwell D. Taylor (right, Commander of 101st Airborne Division) and Brigadier General Gerald J. Higgins (left, Assistant Commander 101st Airborne Division) at Berchtesgaden, May 10, 1945.
Higgins retired from the army in 1955, and settled in California. He then worked as an assistant on military matters for the president of the American Latex Products Corporation of Hawthorne, California, and the Dayton Rubber Co., Dayton, Ohio. He also later worked in the management of Piasecki Aircraft.
Major General Gerald Joseph Higgins died on 20-12-1996, aged 87, in Riverside, California. He was married to Mary Elizabeth Roach of Chicago, and together they had two children: Robert and Patricia.
As a platoon leader in the 27th Infantry “Wolfhound” Regiment, Kinnard commanded a machine gun nest on Waikiki Beach in anticipation of a Japanese land assault. He parachuted into Normandy overnight on June 5-6,1944, with Commanding General Maxwell Taylor and took command of the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment . General Don Forrest Pratt was the first General to die in Normandy, as his glider crashed. Pratt was first buried, wrapped in a parachute, in Normandy until the end of the war, then re-interred at Arlington National Cemetery (Section 11) 26-07-1948.Don was succeeded by Gerald Joseph Higgins,
making Higgins the youngest General officer in the Ground Forces during World War II.
The 101 Airborne Division had the next losses during their campaign in Europe; In Normandy D-Day, killed/died of wounds 868, wounded in action 2.303, missing/captured 665. In Holland, Operation Market Garden, killed 752, wounded 2.151 and missing 398. In the battle of the Bulge in Belgium, killed 482, wounded 2.449 and missing 527, in total killed 2.043, wounded 2.782 and missed 1590. Kinnard was Battalion Commander of the 501st
Parachute Infantry Regiment during the Airborne invasion of Holland later in the year, Operation Market Garden. In Holland he landed with his Company around the castle in Heeswijk Dinther, where father Francis Leon Sampson
dropped in the moat and Kinnard’s Company liberated the town of Veghel close by. In Veghel my mother was born (see Jan Ackermans
) and the aunt a non, of my wife Mieke was killed
in the nunnery of Veghel (see Aunt Peters
Another Colonel and Commander of the 101st
Easy Company, Robert Sink
liberated my hometown, Eindhoven.
Death and burial ground of Kinnard, Harry William Osborn.
General Kinnard, who visited Holland many times, (see About) gave me a signed photo and was a charming man. Harry Kinnard, who had six children, three sons, Bruce, Robert, Harry and three daughters Susan, Kathleen and Cynthia, died at the very old age of 93 on 05-01-2009, of complications of Parkinson’s disease and is buried on the National Cemetery of Arlington, Section 12. I was glad to find his grave on Arlington Cemetery.