About Us

Arthur J. Hebert John A. Kennedy Wallace E. Kennedy
Arthur J. Hebert John A. Kennedy Wallace E. Kennedy

Arthur J. Hebert

Captain Arthur J. Hebert piloted the bomber named for the city (Klo-Kay) on its first raid over Germany.

Captain Arthur J. Hebert earned three decorations before his death in WWII.


John A. Kennedy

John A. (Hack) Kennedy entered the Army in September 1942 and was stationed at: Sheppard Field, Wichita Falls, Texas; Harlingen Field, Texas (Aerial – Gunnery School - 1942), Boise, Idaho; Salt Lake City, Utah; Walla Walla, Washington; Ainsworth, Nebraska; Salina, Kansas; Morrison Field, Florida and was last seen on Ascension Island in May 1943.

SSgt Kennedy was the tail gunner of an American bomber such as the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. During WWI, many a pilot bailed out or was killed because the enemy “got on his tail”. It was a totally unprotected blind spot. Now the tail gunner of the big bomber wields a mighty twin-stinger in the shape of two machine guns.

According to a letter received, these are the facts surrounding his disappearance, “On 25 May 1943, SSgt John A. Kennedy, together with 9 others, departed from North Africa on a bombing mission to Messina, Sicily. While over the target area, the aircraft sustained damage from enemy flak and caught fire. The damaged aircraft then headed out over the sea and was seen to plunge into the water and explode. Three parachutes were seen to emerge from the disabled aircraft before it crashed; however, other planes in the formation made no attempt at rescue, due to the proximity of the enemy, and no report was ever received that any of the crew had been taken prisoner of war. In view of this, it is logical to conclude that all the crew perished." The records reflect that SSgt Kennedy was killed in action on 25 May 1943 in the Mediterranean Sea in the vicinity of Messina, Sicily.

SSgt John A. Kennedy was awarded the Purple Heart posthumously for wounds received in action resulting in his death.


Wallace E. Kennedy

Wallace E. Kennedy was born in Ladysmith, Wisconsin and graduated from Cloquet High School on June 2, 1938, later attending the Duluth Junior College. Wallace enlisted in the US Army Air Corps in the spring of 1941, took his basic training at Chico, California and his advanced training at Luke Field, Phoenix, Arizona. He received his wings in December of 1942 and went overseas during the following February and was sent to North Africa early in the summer.

2nd Lt Wallace E. (Bud) Kennedy, piloted a P-38 fighter plane and was killed in action on July 9, 1943 while on a mission to Sicily and was posthumously awarded the Air Medal and two Oak-leaf Clusters for meritorious achievement. The Air Medal and the two Oak-leaf Clusters, indicate the second and third award of the same decoration. The Air Medal was awarded “For meritorious achievement while participating in five sorties against the enemy” and the Oak-leaf Clusters for Air Medal was awarded “For participating in 10 sorties against the enemy”.

2nd Lt Wallace E. Kennedy was awarded the Purple Heart posthumously for wounds received in action resulting in his death.

2nd Lt Wallace E. Kennedy was interred in the American Cemetery in Tunis Tunisia and is under the constant care and supervision of the United States military personnel.


** Information for John and Wallace Kennedy provided by family.
More information on Arthur Hebert is being gathered.
If you have relevant information you would like to share, please let me know.


Hebert-Kennedy VFW Post 3979

January 7, 1945

Hebert-Kennedy VFW Post 3979 was named in honor of Arthur Hebert, son of Mr. and Mrs. Allyre Hebert, and Wallace and John Kennedy, sons of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Kennedy, who died heroically in World War II as members of the US Air Force.
The Hebert-Kennedy Post received its charter on January 7, 1945. The first meeting was held in the Eagles Hall. Ed Fulton served as the Post's first Commander. Ed Fulton had previously served 2 years as Commander of the Nicholson-Sellgren Post 2962 in Carlton.

The first charter members of Hebert-Kennedy Post 3979 are Loyden Anderson, William Blomster, Louis Charon, Louis Caron, Henry Chillen, Harry Demers, Elwood Ferguson, John Flack, Edward A. Fulton, John R. Johnson, John LaFave, Fred LaTulip, Edward LeMay, Carl G. Norman, Frank L. O'Grady, Marvin O'Hern, Merrill P. Purcell, John D. Rogentine, Dr Albert B. Stuart, Carl V. Sundeen, Ralph W. Thompson, Raynold O. Johnson.

January 9, 1947

The current building (which used to be Ted's Sporting Goods Gamble Store) was purchased January 9, 1947 with Charles (50 Cal) Kuitu as Post Commander. Through the combined efforts of most members, friends, and non-members, the building was completely renovated and the interior remodeled with ETO and Pacific battle motif carried out as a border with Spanish and World War I background. This was designed and installed by Edward A. Fulton.

July 10, 1947

The Auxiliary to the Hebert-Kennedy Post, Veterans of Foreign Wars was instituted on July 10, 1947 with Mrs. Rudy Kotka serving as the first Auxilary President. There were 29 original Charter members. They are: Doris Angell, Joyce Borgfelt, Frances Boyer, Ida Marie Clark, Mildred Clough, Adeline Dietz, Bertha Elmer, Perdeta Engebritson, Harriet Everson, Alice Freeman, Florence Freeman, Mary Harrington, Emily Hillock, Dorothy Kortie, Jean Kotka, Florence Kuitu, Angeline Kulus, Helen Medes, Ella Parenteau, Caroline Pastika, Esther Pastika, Margaret Pastika, Hazel Patnode, Emily Rock, Eva Roy, Violet Roy, Irene Rudd, Mary Alyce Singpiel and Lorraine Slayter.

September 17, 1953

A parade and a welcoming ceremony were held in honor of Sgt Tony Jurek and Cpl Jimmy Arntson, sons of Mr. and Mrs. Steve Jurek and Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Arntson of Cloquet. As the parade formed on Cloquet Avenue near 14th Street, jet fighter planes of the Duluth's Air Force Interceptor Squadron (one of which was a late model F-86 Sabrejet) roared overhead in an aerial salute to the two Korean War Veterans. A crowd estimated at 4,000 people lined both sides of Cloquet Avenue as the parade went by. The two soldiers had been captured by the Red Chinese forces in North Korea in late November 1950 and were held in prison camps near the Yalu River. Arntson was taken prisoner shortly after being returned to duty after convalescing from a wound suffered in action earlier in the autumn of 1950. Both were released after nearly three years of captivity by the Reds in North Korea. Ceremonial Keys To The City were presented to both soldiers by Mayor Roy W. Ranun at Pinehurst Park during the ceremony at the conclusion of the parade.

September 19, 1953

On Saturday, September 19, 1953, the VFW held a historic meeting and banquet entitled "Past Commanders and Past Presidents Mortgage Burning Banquet" The burning of the Mortgage was the climax of the banquet by past Commanders Cal Kuitu and Gordon Slayter. Kuitu was the Post Commander at the time the building was purchased. Slaytor was the Commander and conducted the first meeting at the new home.

September 1953 - A new Post remodeled with ETO and Pacific battle motif carried out as a border with Spanish and World War I background.