The 35th Infantry Regiment Association salutes our fallen brother, SGT Robert Wayne Kenny, who died in the service of his country on January 24th, 1967 in Binh Dinh Province, Vietnam. The cause of death was listed as Small Arms/AW. At the time of his death Robert was 24 years of age. Robert is honored on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Panel 14E, Line 74.
The decorations earned by SGT Robert Wayne Kenny include: the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Unit Citation.
Robert is buried in Lillys Cemetery, Seeley Bay, Ontario
(A Remembrance of Robert by fellow Canadian Barry Blake)
Bob from all accounts and correspondence I received was an outstanding soldier and friend of those that served with him in the U.S. and Vietnam. In order to better understand Bob well step back in time. Bob grew up in Rainy River Ont. Canada and when he became old enough followed in his brothers footsteps and joined the Canadian Army ( The Royal Canadian Guards) I think it was the early 60s. His brother Garnet and I were in the Princess Patricias Canadian Light Infantry and often these 2 Regiments would train together and this is subsequently how I met Bob. The conflict in Vietnam from what we could tell at the time was just starting to hatch and we both gave some thought of coming south to enlist. As things were still relatively quiet Bob remained in Canada and I headed to Germany with my unit for a 3 year tour of duty. In the spring of 1966 Garnet told me Bob had enlisted in the U.S. Army and I think he did his some of his training at Ft Polk "Tiger Land" for sure as all others did before heading to "Nam". Once this was finished he was sent on leave and decided to come to Germany to see Garnet and I before being shipped out. It was a pleasant surprise to see this "Bear" of a man I called a friend and certainly called for a little celebration before he walked the trail of the unknown. As I too had some leave it was decided wed head to Amsterdam to party as all young soldiers would do in those days (the ones I knew anyway). I wont go into detail but it would be suffice to say he had a great send off from the world. There were times mind you when we did discuss his reason(s)for heading south to enlist and simply put he was tired of a government in Canada at the time who did little to stem the flow of Hippys, Tree Huggers and Draft Dodgers arriving in Canada in large numbers to evade going to Vietnam. I think it was his way of balancing the books.
Once the party was over it was now time for my Friend to depart on his journey. He arrived in Nam in June 1966 and was assigned to the 1st/35th Infantry Regt. Im not sure when he went to Recon HHC, but Ed Hill, Chuck Norris and Ron Ray may be able to fill in the blanks.
In Nov 1966 I had returned from duty in Germany and went on leave until Jan 1967. When I got back to my unit I asked Garnet if he had heard from Bob recently and he said no but that wasnt unusual given where he was. By this time he had 7 months into his tour and we were confident he would make home as all family and friends thought of their loved ones who had gone to war. On a cold wintry January day Garnet called me and said Bob had been KIA and that news jolted me like a bolt of lightning! I think for 3 days I had a celebration of his life and relived those memories of us as young Soldiers. Sgt Bob Kenny was a soldiers soldier as those that served with him will tell you, as for me well I think he was more than that, he was my friend and for 37 years I still carry his memory with me and always will. God Bless you Bob, Gone but not Forgotten.
From fellow Recon member Chuck Norris:
I am sorry to hear that Barry Blake has passed away.
Bob Kenny and I were both in the Recon Platoon HHC 1/35 in 1966. We were very close friends and had a lot of good times together at base camp when we there for a stand down. He used to talk about Barry Blake all the time and said he was really a great guy. I got shot on Nov 4, 1966 and was sent to the hospital in Japan and was staying in touch with Bob until just about the time he got killed. I thought something was wrong when he stopped writing back to me right after Christmas, 1966. I got a letter from Bill Carpenter sometime in January and he said Bob had been killed in a fire fight. It really broke my heart and I still grieve for him to this day. I wrote to Bobs sister in Kingston, Ontario Canada and told her how brave her brother was in combat. She wrote back to me and said Bob had talked about us being close friends in Vietnam. His sister said their mother died of a broken heart after Bob got killed. There were more casualties outside of Nam with the families than a lot of people know about.
Chuck Norris 12/06/12