KERNAN, JOSEPH EUGENE
Name: Joseph Eugene Kernan Branch/Rank: UNITED STATES NAVY/O2 Unit: RECON ATTACK SQUADRON 7 Date of Birth: Home City of Record: WASHINGTON DC Date of Loss: 07 May 72 Country of Loss: NORTH VIETNAM Loss Coordinates: 195900 North 1055100 East Status (in 1973): Returnee Category: Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: RA5C Missions: Other Personnel in Incident: CLARENCE POLFER, returnee Refno:
Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews and CACCF = Combined Action Combat Casualty File, information from Indiana's Lt. Governor's Home page. Updated 2010.
REMARKS: 730328 RELEASED BY DRV
Synopsis: Joe Kernan, the oldest of nine children, graduated from St. Joseph's High School in South Bend. He was a catcher on the baseball team at the University of Notre Dame, and graduated from there in 1968 with a degree in Government. He was the commencement speaker and received an honorary doctorate from his alma mater in 1998.
Kernan entered the United States Navy in 1969 and served as a naval flight officer aboard the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk. In May of 1972, Kernan was shot down by the enemy while on a reconnaissance mission over North Viet Nam. He was held as a prisoner of war for 11 months. Kernan was repatriated in 1973 and continued on active duty with the Navy until December of 1974. For his service, Kernan received numerous awards, including the Navy Commendation Medal, two Purple Hearts and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
After completing his Naval service, Kernan worked for Procter and Gamble in Cincinnati in 1975. He then returned to South Bend, where he worked for both the Schwarz Paper Company and the MacWilliams Corporation. He was South Bend's city controller from 1980 to 1984.
Joe Kernan was elected mayor of South Bend in 1987. He served as the city's mayor for nine years, longer than any other mayor in the city's history.
In 1996, Lt. Governor Joe Kernan and Governor Frank O'Bannon were elected to the top two positions in Indiana government. As lieutenant governor of Indiana, Kernan serves as the president of the Indiana Senate, the director of the Indiana Department of Commerce and as the commissioner of Agriculture.
Joe and his wife, Maggie, were married in 1974. They have a home in South Bend, where Maggie works for 1st Source Bank. She is a Purdue University graduate, who is now a senior vice-president and the director of marketing at the bank. Maggie is also active in community service, and has been mentoring a child for five years through a South Bend Community Schools program.
Associated Press Newswires Friday, May 3, 2002
Thirty years later, Kernan reflects on POW days By MIKE SMITH
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - This Tuesday, Lt. Gov. Joe Kernan will do what he has done nearly every May 7th for 29 years.
He will play some golf, eat a pizza and drink some beer.....