Kenneth E. Wiley (1945/03/15)

The war began for Ken on a remote Hawaiian island and ended on a motorcycle in South Carolina.

Kenneth Eugene Wiley was born on December 23, 1919, in Washington State to the Reverend and Mrs. Clyde H. Wiley. Reverend Wiley accepted a call to serve a church in Santa Cruz and the Wiley family, consisting of sons Kenneth, Howard and Paul, and daughters Helen and Ella Marie, joined their parents in the move. Kenneth attended local grammar schools and enrolled in Santa Cruz High School, from which he graduated in 1937. From 1936 to 1941 he worked for the Lane Frozen Custard Company at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.

In the fall of 1941, the US Government hired Wiley as a carpenter on Johnson Island in the Hawaiian Island chain. When the Japanese attacked Hawaii, he volunteered to assist a US Marine Corps detachment stationed there in the event of a Japanese invasion.

On April 7, 1943, Wiley enlisted in the US Army Air Force, which accepted him into the Army Air Force cadet program and assigned him to a special training course at the University of Montana. Additional instruction at Santa Ana, Oxnard, Stockton and Mather Field in Sacramento, California, followed.

Kenneth Wiley graduated from the air cadet program on November 20, 1944 and was commissioned a second lieutenant at Douglas Army Airfield, Arizona. The following March he completed advanced training in South Carolina and was recommended for unlimited flying service in B-25 bombers.

On March 15, 1945, Second Lieutenant Kenneth Eugene Wiley was riding his motorcycle about three miles from Greenville, South Carolina when he was involved in an accident that claimed his life. His body was returned to California and buried in the Liberty Veterans cemetery in Fresno, California.

(SCHSC Pg. 20, SCSn March 21, 1945, SCR March 23, 1945 -1)

Creator: Nelson, Robert L.
Source: Remembering our own: the Santa Cruz County military roll of honor 1861-2010. Santa Cruz, CA: The Museum of Art & History, c2010.
Date: Undated
Type: OBIT
Coverage: 1940s
Rights: Reproduced by permission of Robert L. Nelson and The Museum of Art & History.
Identifier: RO-WILEY

Citation

Nelson, Robert L. “Kenneth E. Wiley (1945/03/15).” Remembering our own: the Santa Cruz County military roll of honor 1861-2010. Santa Cruz, CA: The Museum of Art & History, c2010. SCPL Local History. https://history.santacruzpl.org/omeka/items/show/4574. Accessed 19 May 2024.