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Kenneth Laney

  • Ken Laney poses for a photo in the Pacific, possibly on Bougainville. Source: Laney family.
  • Ken Laney (at left) poses with two other unidentified soldiers in front of a Company G sign. The fact that there is a formal sign and headquarters building for the company makes it likely this photo was taken during occupation duty in Japan. Source: Laney family.
  • A pass entitling Staff Sergeant Ken Laney to visit Tokyo during occupation duty of Japan. Source: Laney family.
  • Ken Laney was notified in 1946 of his award of the Purple Heart and Oak Leaf Cluster for wounds received on Leyte and Cebu in the Philippines. Source: Laney family.

Charles Kenneth Laney (who was known as Ken or Kenneth) was born in Arkansas in 1920. He was inducted into the U.S. Army in the summer of 1943, and after basic training he shipped out for the Pacific. He was assigned to the Americal Division, and joined Company G of the 182nd Infantry Regiment on Bougainville in April 1944, as one of the replacements assigned to the unit in the aftermath of the bloody battle for Hill 260. He was promoted to Private First Class shortly after his arrival on Bougainville. He saw his first serious combat action during the late 1944 offensive actions on Bougainville. Armed with a Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) Laney dispatched several enemy soldiers and assisted in the American advance through arduous jungle mountains, an action for which he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. He fought with the 182nd on Leyte in the Philippines, where he was promoted to Sergeant, and in the amphibious assault on Cebu. Laney was twice slightly wounded in action in the Philippines, on 5 March 1945 on Leyte, and 1 April 1945 on Cebu, and was awarded the Purple Heart with an Oak Leaf Cluster for these wounds. Just days after landing on Cebu he was promoted to Staff Sergeant. He remained with the unit through the occupation of Japan, and there was promoted to Technical Sergeant. He was discharged from the Army in December 1945. Of note, he was not formally informed of his Purple Heart and Oak Leaf Cluster officially until 1946. He passed away in 1974 and is buried in Washington County, Arkansas.