Re­view of “Fly­ing with the Flak Pak” by Kenny Kemp

Serve Daily - - CITIZEN OF YEAR - By Deb­bie Bal­zotti

When I went to in­ter­view awa rd wi n ni ng au­tho r, lawyer and pi lot Kenny Kemp, I don’t know what I ex­pected, but I left af­ter an hour of great con­ver­sa­tion with a new ap­pre­ci­a­tion for those who are pre­serv­ing the sto­ries of WWII. I love books about his­tor y and “Fly­ing with the Flak Pak: A Pacif ic War Scrap­book” is a great one.

Kemp has wr it ten a Pacif ic War Scrap­book f i l led with more t han 1,000 pho­tos and illust ra­tions in a read­able for­mat. The 266 page book is a trib­ute to his fa­ther’s ser­vice as a pi­lot f ly­ing 15 bomb­ing mis­sions. His fa­ther’s story is also the story of so many young men who en­listed and served coura­geously.

The au­thor writes, “Tens of thou­sands of boys across Amer ica rush to enl i s t , in­clud­ing O. C. Kemp. So des­per at e i s the Army’s need for pi­lots that within months he is given com­mand of the worlds’ most ad­vanced bomber: the B- 24 Lib­er­a­tor, an air­craft with just one pur­pose: take the war to the Ja­panese home­land.”

Kemp wrote the book af­ter in­herit ing an overwhelming amount of WWII me­mora­bilia af­ter his mother passed away. His fa­ther had been gone for more than 20 years.

Kemp re­called, “My sis­ters were i nteres ted i n t he fam­ily chi n a , paint­ings and fur­ni­ture but I only wanted dad’s WWII things.”

He s p r ead out a c ol lect ion of mus t y pape r s , s e r vice p a t ches , f l ight gear, Ja­panese money, and a container of pi­lot’s wings on the t able and con­templ a ted the t ask of cat­a­loging so much stuf f. His dad had been a “pack rat” and had saved ever ything f rom his pa s t . What star ted as an idea to build a shadow box be­came a book project that took more than a year to f in­ish.

Like many vet­er­ans of “The Great­est Gen­erat ion”, O. C. Kemp had not shared much with his fami ly about be­ing in the Army Ai r Force. One of the rea­sons his son Kenny has felt so strongly that this book needed to be pub­lished, was a de­sire to tell the story these air­men have been re­luc­tant to share.

“I also knew people of my gen­er­a­tion knew lit tle about the Pacif ic War be­tween the land­mark events of Pearl Har­bor and Hiroshima. Our fa­thers may have talked about the War- mos t didn’t- but we hal f- l is­tened with one ear. The TV was on and dad was dron­ing on again about the Japs.”

Kenny Kemp wi l l speak at the Spr in­gvi l le/ Span­ish Fork Ai rpor t on Wed­nes­day, Apr i l 9th at 7: 00 pm in the Di­a­mond Flight Cen­ter Hangar 49. He will show a movie he made with pho­tos from the book and be avail­able to sign copies of “Fly­ing with the Flak Pak”. For more in­for­ma­tion on the f ree event call Di­a­mond Flight Cen­ter 801471- 1304. Au­thor Kenny Kemp can be reached at www. ken­nykemp. com or www. f ly­ing­with­thef lak­pak. com.

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