Walsh, Kenneth (P2, C4, L38)
Private First Class Kenneth “Kenny” Walsh, 22, of Fort Thomas, Campbell County, was killed on 1 October 1941 when a fuel stove in a mobile field kitchen exploded near Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Walsh, a member of Battery C, 103rd Coast Artillery, was traveling in the back of a truck with a mobile field kitchen in a convoy with his unit from the Louisiana war games to their home station in Fort Sheridan, Ill.
Private First Class Marlon Combs, 22, of Carrollton, Carroll County, formerly of Covington, was also critically injured in the incident. They were both transported to the Army and Navy General Hospital in Hot Springs, Arkansas where Walsh died of his injuries.
According to newspaper accounts, the men were refueling the stove in a mobile army kitchen unit on United States Highway 67 while the convoy was moving. It is believed that the fumes from the fuel ignited and the men were unable to get out of the cage in the back of the truck. The driver continued for some distance before he became aware of what had happened. Other members of the convoy and Arkansas State Patrolman R. E. Brown who witnessed the event were able to remove them from the truck and rolled them in blankets. The state patrolman may have been accompanying the convoy. Brown rushed the two men to the nearest hospital, Townsend Hospital in Arkadelphia in his patrol car approximately two miles from the scene of the incident. Combs was able to walk into the hospital under his own power. Walsh who was much more severely burned had to be treated before he could even be moved from the patrol car but was conscious. After receiving first aid at the hospital they were moved by Army ambulance to the Army and Navy General Hospital in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
In October 1940, the 123rd Cavalry Regiment was officially disbanded and redesignated into two Coast Artillery battalions. Half of the Regiment became the 103rd Separate Battalion, Coast Artillery (Anti-Aircraft) while the other half was converted to the 106th Separate Battalion, Coast Artillery (Anti-Aircraft).
Before going on active duty, Walsh worked at the Cloverleaf Dairy Company in Newport. He was a graduate of Highlands High School in Fort Thomas. One of his five brothers, Ones C. Walsh, Jr., was also a member of Battery C, 103rd Coast Artillery at the time of the event.
Walsh Highlands HS_Yrbk_1938 2
KY Post Oct 2 1941_p1
Kentucky Edition, The Cincinnati Enquirer, 2 October 1941, p. 1.