Kuykendall, Mathew W. "Kirk"

Last Name:   
Kuykendall
Picture

First Name: 
Mathew W.
Nickname:  
Kirk or Dub
Born/Died  
10/9/18 to 9/21/74
Hometown:
San Saba, TX
Squadron:
1st Squadron "Adam & Eves"
Position: 
Flight Leader
Victories
1 AVG
Decorations:
Distinguished Flying Cross, Presidential Unit Citation
Pre AVG:
His schooling began in San Saba and Cherokee, TX.  He attended his senior year at Brownwood High School, graduating in 1936.  He enrolled at Texas A&M and obtained his private pilots license while in college.  He paid for part of his flying lessons by telling his parents that his "Aggie" boots had been stolen.  The replacement money went to finishing his license.  He joined the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1938 and entered flight training in San Antonio, TX.  He earned his wings and became a flight instructor at Barksdale Airfield, LA.
AVG Service:

Matt signed up with the CAMCO organization In the summer of 1941 and was accepted by the recruiter while in Louisiana.  He was now a member of the American Volunteer Group.  He posed as a traveling salesman aboard the Jagersfontein, a Dutch ship, and made the trip to Rangoon, Burma. Kirk was a member of the Adam & Eves Squadron as a Flight Leader and participated in the defense of Rangoon in December 1941.  He was wounded by a Japanese fighter pilot's bullet that shattered the canopy glass and creased his forehead before entering the instrument panel.  When the Flying Tigers were officially disbanded on July 4, 1942, he volunteered to stay an additional two weeks to help Chennault train the new Army Air Corps pilot replacements.

Post AVG, WWII:
Upon arrival back in the States, a big celebration and parade was held in San Saba for the town's returning hero.  He resumed his flying career as a pilot for American Export Airlines and later worked for Consolidated Aircraft (Convair) in Fort Worth, TX.
Post War Career:
He returned to San Saba to manage the family ranch until his death on 21 August, 1974
-Contributed by Matt's (Dub's) twin sister, Ms. Ida Jeane Bryant

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