Memorial Day Reflections: Staff Sgt. Bob Kinney

A veteran and resident of Buckner Villas in Austin looks back on finishing his officer school interview while in the middle of appendicitis.

By Haley Howle & Hannah McBrideMay 27, 2015 8:41 am

The Texas Standard collected the memories of veterans across the state for Memorial Day 2015.

Robert Kinney, a 93-year-old known as Mr. Bob, enlisted in 1942. While taking the IQ test for enlisting, he had a case of appendicitis.

“So I rushed through it and I had the interview and they put me in the hospital and took out my appendix,” he says.

He scored high enough to become an officer, so he got a job as a flight engineer – a gunner on a B-17. On missions, they flew over icebergs.

“We would go down close and watch a polar bear jump off,” he says.

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