In 1950, his family moved to Evanston, Kentucky (near Salyersville), where his dad was the General Mine Foreman with the Pond Creek, later Island Creek Coal Company. During grades 5-6 in Evanston, the school was one room, but expanded to two rooms when Kenny began the 7thgrade.
In 1962, Kenny received a BA degree with a major in English and a minor in Math from Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate,Tennessee (near Cumberland Gap). While at LMU, Kenny married Shirley Jean Garrett, an LMU cheerleader and former Lynn View High School valedictorian from Kingsport, Tennessee. She is 2nd from the left in the photo....
After graduation from LMU, Kenny reported for sixteen weeks of "pre-flight training" at the Navy Aviation Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Florida---the same as depicted in the movie, 'Officer and a Gentleman'. Eight months after receiving his officer's commission as an Ensign, he earned his 'wings' as a Bombardier/Navigator in the A-3B 'Skywarrior', shown at right. He made two extended deployments from NAS Sanford, Florida, in 1964 and '65 aboard the aircraft carriers USS FDR (Roosevelt), and USS Forrestal with the "Checkertails" squadron, VAH-11.
After receiving his pilot wings, Kenny reported to the first east coast operational A-7A 'Corsair' squadron---the VA-82 'Marauders' at NAS Cecil Field near Jacksonville, Florida.
Following his two combat cruises, Kenny received training which certified him to be an aviation accident investigator and aviation safety officer. Afterward, he served one tour ('70-'72) in VT-7 (Nas Meridian) as a jet flight instructor in T-2s and the TA-4J shown at right.
Commander Fields retired from the Navy in 1984 after 22 years service, 3,350 flight hours, and 475 carrier landings: after that, he successfully piloted two small business companies through start-up and maturation. Kenny and his wife, Shirley, now reside in Winchester, Virginia.
Kenny humbly accepted an invitation from the U.S. Air Force 'Air Command & Staff College' at Maxwell AFB, Alabama to be one of 14 "Eagles" honored at the 2010 "Gathering of Eagles" event. You can view a list of Kenny's fellow Eagles and also all past honorees at the Eagle website: http://www.au.af.mil/au/goe/
Or, you can read the military press release about that event at:http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123207793
To learn more about Kenny and why he took this path in life, read his most recent book.....
Seasons of Triumph
Kenny Wayne Fields, 'Streetcar 304', was born in Lex, West Virginia in 1940 to Kennard (a coal miner) and Elizabeth Akers Fields. Lex is a small coal mining community named after Kenny's great grandfather and has a population of less than 100. It lies in the southern most portion of W.Va., between Bradshaw and Iaeger in McDowell County, with Welch as the county seat. During grades 1-4, he attended school in Bartley, W.Va.
Pond Creek #1 coal mine tipple in Evanston, KY, 1950
During the 9th grade, Kenny "boarded" with an aunt in the Cincinnati surburban village of Lockland, Ohio and attended Lockland High School .
Grades 10-12 were spent at Big Creek High School in War, West Virginia, where he was a schoolmate of Homer Hickam, the author of the best sellers, Torpedo Junction' and 'Rocket Boys' (the movie,'October Skies'). He graduated in 1958.
The baseball team at Lincoln Memorial University, Kenny's junior year. He is fourth from left, front row.
In 1966, Kenny commenced pilot training in T-34s, T-28s, and F-9s, and he is shown at left, just prior to his solo flight in a F-9 'Cougar'. He earned his U.S. Navy pilot 'Wings of Gold' in 1967.
Kenny's wife, Shirley,
pinning on his pilot wings in 1967
The squadron deployed to Yankee Station in the Gulf of Tonkin in early 1968 aboard USS America and again in late 1969 aboard USS Coral Sea. During two combat cruises, Kenny flew 139 combat missions over North and South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos and was awarded the Bronze Star with combat "V", Purple Heart, two Air Medals, four Navy Commendation Medals (two with "V"), and 12 Strike Flight Air Medals.
From 1972-1976, Kenny was the Operations Officer, and then Officer-in-Charge of VA-205 at NAS Atlanta, flying A-4Ls, then A-7Bs. Following that, he was the Aviation Safety Officer on the Chief, Naval Air Reserve staff ('76-'79) in New Orleans and the Commander, Naval Air Systems Command staff in Washington, DC (''80-'82). His final assignment was as the Navy Liason Officer to the FAA administrator in Washington, DC. Kenny was awarded two Navy Commendation Medals for staff duty.
The Naval Institute Press published Kenny's first book, The Rescue of Streetcar 304, and awarded him their "2008 Distinguished Author Award" (2nd Place) for that work. Soon after, Kenny's alma mater, Lincoln Memorial University, inducted him into its "Literary Hall of Fame" for that same work.
Follow Kenny on Facebook @Kenny Wayne Fields and on Twitter, Kenny Wayne Fields@Streetcar304
Use this area to add footer content. The footer will be displayed on every page.