Kelly, Lawrence Bertrand (P2, C3, L8)
First Lieutenant Lawrence Bertrand Kelly, 26, of Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, died in Korea while serving on active duty. First Lieutenant Kelly was the pilot of a F-80C Shooting Star fighter interceptor (Aircraft Number: 49-1832) with the 80th Fighter Bomber Squadron, 8th Fighter Bomber Group. On December 16, 1951, while on a combat mission in the Kunu-ri North Korea area, as his aircraft was making a bomb run it received a direct hit by anti-aircraft fire, crashed and burst into flames.
Kelly has previously served as a Second Lieutenant liaison pilot with the 138th Field Artillery Group's 452nd Field Artillery Battalion in April 1948 with the Kentucky Army National Guard. Kelly likely moved to the Kentucky Air National Guard which was formed about this time and was called to active duty from the Kentucky Air National Guard. Research is ongoing to find more details of the KYNG service.
He was declared missing on 16 December 1951 and his status was changed from Missing in Action (MIA) to Killed in Action (KIA) Remains not Recovered on 31 December 1953. His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial.
Born: 22 January 1925, Louisville, Kentucky.
Death: 16 December 1951, North Korea
First Lieutenant, U. S. Air Force
Service Number: AO959473
For his leadership and valor, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Purple Heart, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal. Also listed on the Korean War Memorial in Dayton, Ohio. Kentucky panel 5.