Henry Kinnison file photo [32838]

Henry Kinnison

Given NameHenry
CountryUnited States


ww2dbaseHenry Lee Kinnison, Jr. was born to Henry Kinnison, Sr. and Nettie Kinnison (née Danforth) in Colorado, United States in 1899. He joined the US Army upon graduating from the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, New Mexico, United States. During WW2, at the rank of colonel, he was a staff officer serving under Joseph Stilwell in Asia. In mid-Apr 1944, he joined the US 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional), which was also known by the unit's unofficial nickname "Merrill's Marauders", currently operating in the vicinity of Nhpum Ga, Burma. He was made the commanding officer of K Force, consisted of the 5307th's 3rd Battalion, the Chinese 88th Regiment, and two howitzer guns as the Allies headed toward Japanese-held Myitkyina in Burma. Contracting mite typhus a few weeks into his arrival in the Burmese jungles, he was ultimately evacuated to the rear in late May 1944. He would nevertheless pass away from the disease shortly after. He was awarded the Silver Star medal for his WW2 service.

ww2dbaseSource: Gavin Mortimer, Merrill's Marauders

Last Major Revision: Dec 2023

Henry Kinnison Timeline

26 Apr 1944 Troops of the 3rd Battalion of US 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional) arrived at Naubum, Burma. Joseph Stilwell, already there by aircraft, revealed to the soldiers that Myitkyina was to be the next objective. Frank Merrill told Charles Hunter that Hunter would have tactical command of the operation, with Marauders, US 150th Infantry Regiment, Chinese 50th Division, and the 88th Regiment of the Chinese 30th Division under him, totalling 6,000 men. Hunter divided the troops into three forces. He was to personally lead H Force, consisted of the 1st Battalion of US 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional), the Chinese 150th Regiment, and a howitzer battery. Colonel Henry Kinnison was to lead the K Force, consisted of 3rd Battlion of US 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional), the Chinese 88th Regiment, and two howitzer guns. Finally, Lieutenant Colonel George McGee, Jr. was to lead M Force, consisted of 2nd Battalion of US 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional) and 300 Kachin guides and guerrilla fighters.
13 May 1944 Colonel Henry Kinnison ordered K Force of US 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional) to fall back and then to move toward Myitkyina, Burma.
24 May 1944 Colonel Henry Kinnison received orders to pull back K Force of US 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional) two miles southward behind Chinese-held lines in northern Burma.

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Event(s) Participated:
» Battle of Myitkyina

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