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Col Kenneth Reusser
Birth: Jan. 27, 1920
Cloverdale (Tillamook County)
Tillamook County
Oregon, USA
Death: Jun. 20, 2009
Clackamas
Clackamas County
Oregon, USA

US Marine Corps Aviator. He flew 253 combat missions, was the only man to survive being "downed" in three wars, and is considered the most decorated pilot in Marine Corps history. Raised in coastal Oregon, the child of a minister, he raced motorcycles to earn money for college, and held a pilot's license prior to WWII. Reusser joined the Navy Reserve on August 23, 1941, was sent to flight school, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in April, 1942. Sent to the South Pacific, he participated in the battle for Guadalcanal, and recorded a "kill" on his first mission. Subsequently shot down, he was hospitalized for six months, but returned to duty...in 1945, over Okinawa, Reusser was flying his F4U-4 Corsair off the USS Hollandia. Trailing a Japanese reconnaissance plane at 40,000 feet, he was closing in for the kill when his guns froze; he used his propeller to cut the tail off the "Dragon Killer", sending it into a crash. For this, Reusser and his wingman were each awarded the Navy Cross. In 1950, during the Korean War, he was assigned to VMA 214, Pappy Boyington's "Black Sheep" Squadron, on the USS Sicily. Leading a formation over Inchon, he descended to window level, under heavy fire, to observe a well-secured enemy factory; Reusser returned to the Sicily for rockets and napalm, flew back, destroyed the facility, and earned his second Navy Cross. In Viet Nam, he commanded a helicopter squadron, was severely burned when shot down for the final time, and took medical retirement in July 1968. He later worked for Lockheed Aircraft, and Piasecki Helicopter, and was active in veteran's groups. The Colonel's 59 awards include two Navy Crosses, five Purple Hearts, two Legions of Merit, and eighteen Air Medals. (bio by: Bob Hufford) 
 
Burial:
Willamette National Cemetery
Portland
Multnomah County
Oregon, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
Record added: Jul 13, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 39421565
Col Kenneth Reusser
Added by: Bob Hufford
 
Col Kenneth Reusser
Added by: William Tatum
 
Col Kenneth Reusser
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Jim Walls from Oregon
 
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