McKinney, John Newton (P2, C3, L25)
Private John N. McKinney, 20, of Dycusburg, Crittenden County, enlisted in Company I, 149th Infantry at Marion, Kentucky on 7 August 1940. He was inducted into federal service with his unit on 20 January 1941.
McKinney died 6 December 1944 of wounds sustained in battle. He is buried in the Frances Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Frances, Crittenden County, Kentucky.
No documentation has been found to detail the circumstances or nature of his injuries. However it would seem likely that he was injured in the kamikaze attack on the S. S. Marcus Daly on December 5, 1944.
On October 20, 1944 U.S. forces landed on east coast beaches of Leyte as part of the Allied invasion of Leyte. The 38th Infantry Division including the 149th Regiment moved from New Guinea to Leyte in a convoy of ships. There were frequent aerial attacks by Japanese aircraft including kamikaze attacks.
On December 5, 1944, the convoy was north-east of Mindanao when they were attacked by Japanese aircraft again. Around 3 p.m., the SS Marcus Daly, a liberty cargo ship converted to troop transport duties, was struck by a kamikaze. The dive bomber crashed through the deck into the forepeak area and a 500 pound bomb it was carrying exploded. The explosion made a hole on the sides of the ship described as "large enough to drive a train through". A significant fire was started by the aircraft impact which was not brought under control until midnight.
AT RIGHT: Photo of S.S. Marcus Daly bow damage. Date and location of photo unknown.
Some 200 of the 3-149th troops aboard were reported as killed, wounded or missing. The ship continued to Leyte arriving on the 6th of December 1944. No list of casualties from that attack has been found.