Kennie Varney was born January 12, 1930, at Ransom, Kentucky, the eldest of two children born to William and Bettie Smith Varney. His father died when Kennie was still an infant, and his mother later remarried and moved to Mingo County in West Virginia.
|Kennie attended Williamson High School, where he played football, basketball and baseball. In 1948, the baseball team won the state championship, and Kennie, who played first base, won honorable mention on the all-state team.|
|Following graduation in 1949, Kennie received a four-year scholarship to West Virginia Tech, which he attended for two years prior to entering the Air Force. Because of his love of flying, Kennie went to flight school and became a specialist in large bombers. He also received jet training. At the same time, Kennie remained active in sports and, while stationed at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas, was selected outstanding baseball player.|
Sgt. Kennie Varney was sent to England and assigned crew chief of a B43 Stratojet bomber. On August 6, 1954, the bomber crashed on take-off from Fairford, England, and Kennie and three other airmen were killed.
Kennie’s body was returned to the United States and buried in Montgomery Memorial Park in London. In addition to his mother and several siblings, Kennie Varney was survived by his wife Juanita, formerly of Montgomery.
West Virginia Archives and History welcomes any additional information that can be provided about these veterans, including photographs, family names, letters and other relevant personal history. For more information contact Constance Baston at (304) 558-0230.
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