Incredible discovery of OP’s dog tag
A dog tag belonging to World War II airman and Old Paradian Edward “Ted” Kenealy has been found in a field in Derbyshire, 70 years to the day after Kenealy and fellow crewmembers were blown out of the skies over Stuttgart.
Seventy year-old Englishman Jim Davies discovered the Flight Sergeant’s tag on the site of an old airfield in Foston, on October 19, 2014. Flight Sergeant Kenealy, of the RAAF’s 460 Squadron, lost his life at the age of 19 when the Lancaster bomber in which he was aboard as a rear gunner, went down on what was his third operation over Stuttgart, on the afternoon of October 19, 1944.
Those who also lost their lives aboard the bomber with Flight Sergeant Kenealy were Pilot Officer Captain Peter Fontaine, Bomb Aimer Flight Officer Charles Middleton, Air Wireless Operator Flight Sergeant George Newman, Flight Engineer Sergeant Arthur Chisman and Mid Upper Gunner Reginald Krutli.
Navigator Reginald Bain, who managed to evacuate the aircraft and was later captured as a Prisoner of War, reported that the Lancaster, carrying an 11,000-pound bombload for a raid on the city and railway station, had been hit by a night fighter at 15,000 feet.
It is thought that Flight Sergeant Kenealy may have misplaced the dog tag whilst flight training in England.
News of the discovery of the precious item – which features Flight Sergeant Kenealy’s service number, his name, and the initials “RC” for “Roman Catholic” - was published in the Herald Sun and broadcast on 3AW’s Breakfast Program this morning, prompting Edward’s nephew Bryan Kenealy to contact the radio station.
The program’s producers then arranged for Bryan and Jim to correspond with eachother in an on-air hook-up.
“Wow, how fantastic! This is wonderful," Davies said when he learned the tag would find Flight Sergeant Kenealy’s family.
"I'm just so pleased, because when I found it I was filled with quite a lot of sadness.
"When it came out of the ground it was like new, a little shiny disk. To think that maybe this little piece of metal can go back to someone who it means an awful lot to is going to make a really happy conclusion for me."
Edward Joseph Kenealy, whose family lived resided at a home on St Gothard’s Road Alphington, was born on March 6, 1925. He completed his schooling at Parade in 1941.
The youngest of four Kenealy brothers, he followed Francis and John from St Anthony’s Alphington to Parade East Melbourne and, like them, later enlisted.
Francis served with the RAAF as a Leading Aircraftman and John with the Army as a Private.
Both survived the war, but youngest brother Ted wasn’t so lucky.
Flight Sergeant Kenealy was laid to rest with members of his crew in Durnbach War Cemetery in Bayern, Germany.
He is amongst more than 1100 Old Paradians who served in World War II, and whose names appear in the Quick Links section of the Association’s website. Their names will appear on a World War II honor board commissioned by the Old Paradians’ Association with the support of the College, to be unveiled in 2015 – on or about the 70th anniversary of the Japanese surrender.
To learn more of this incredible story, and to hear the conversation between Jim Davies and Bryan Kenealy as broadcast on 3AW’s Breakfast Program with Ross Stevenson and John Burns, click on the following link - http://audioboom.com/boos/2705883-family-united-with-killed-airman-s-dog-tags - then click on the play icon.