Tuesday, January 16, 2018

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COL John T. Keneally
from Summit, New Jersey


COL Keneally served with: HHC 3_75_Ranger_Bn


Born in 1949, Ranger Keneally was 43 years old at the time of his death in 1992.


Complete biography is below the photo gallery

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COL John T. Keneally 's Biography

Just looking at the photos of this outstanding Ranger infantry commander will show you that he was an exemplary person and Ranger.
He was voted into the Ranger Hall of Fame in 2005


John Keneally was born in Summit NJ in February 1949, and had one older sister and two younger brothers. They were an Air Force family that grew up travelling all over the USA, Europe, and Africa.

He loved boating, skiing and cycling, and was always an active athlete who played high school baseball and football.
He met his future wife Barbara, also the child of an Air Force family, in high school.
They were married in 1969, and their daughter Jennifer was born in 1970.

John graduated from Seton Hall University in 1971.
Daughter Kathleen was born in 1972.

His fist duty station in the US Army was Fort Hood Texas.


We wish to thank Mrs. Barbara Keneally for her gracious contributions to COL Keneally's biography. God Bless you ma'am !

Rangers Lead the Way !

Here is the Ranger Hall of Fame citation from
Colonel John T. Keneally is inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame in recognition of his distinguished career in command of Army Rangers from Lieutenant to Lieutenant Colonel. He was selected for instructor duty in the Florida Ranger Division following his initial assignments with both Ranger and mechanized units in the 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

In 1980, he was selected to command "Hardrock Charlie" Company, 1st / 75th Ranger Battalion. This unit had participated three months earlier in the aborted "Desert One" operation to free American hostages in Iran. His company continued the planning and intensified training in preparation for possible future attempts to free the hostages.

Following a series of key assignments as an operations officer in Washington, D.C., he was selected to command the 6th Ranger Training Battalion at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Following that command and a brief assignment as Director of Ranger Special Operations Forces in the Pentagon, he was designated for a second battalion command, assuming command of the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, Georgia. In September 1992, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, deployed with a full combat load, jumped into Great Britain and conducted live fire exercises for three days receiving high praise from senior commanders.

In late October 1992, Colonel Keneally volunteered to be the chief evaluator for 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment conducting contingency missions in Utah. He realized the sensitivity of the evaluations since the Ranger Commander being evaluated was taking 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment through a real world training exercise.

Both Ranger Commanders met their ultimate death when the helicopter they were in crashed near Salt Lake City. This was the last time that Colonel Keneally would demonstrate that Ranger Commanders truly Lead the Way.

Here is the citation engraved on the Antelope Island Memorial.
We show this first to illustrate the impact that this disaster had on so many families.
THE LORD'S PRAYER (inscribed in granite) 3 Brass plaques above: GREAT SALT LAKE, UTAH In 1967, the State of Utah purchased the northern 2,000 acres of Antelope Island. The remaining 26,000 acres was purchased in 1981. A causeway was completed in 1969 and Antelope Island State Park opened to the public.

In 1983, the rising Great Salt Lake inundated the causeway closing the park. With State appropriations, Davis county rebuilt the causeway in 1992 and Antelope Island State Park reopened in 1993.
Crash Site Readings
United States Air Force exact crash site readings are: latitude 41 04.48 (minutes) longitude 112 13.90 (minutes) From where you are standing at the inscription stone, by facing and sighting across the flag pole, the crash site is approximately 9/10 of a mile.

The Causeway to Antelope Island

The MH 60G Pave Hawk is the newest helicopter in the USAF. They were flying in the lead and trail positions. (Call Sign) Merit 81 and 84. Merit 82 and 83 were highly modified MH70L Black Hawks assigned to the U.S. Army. Designed for special operations missions including combat rescue, it is equipped for transport of personnel and litter patients. The USAF uses the Pave Hawk to conduct peacetime, contingency and wartime special operations missions to infiltrate, resupply and withdraw American and Allied Special Operations Forces. It is also equipped for transport of personnel and litter patients.

Weather conditions for the evening of 29 Oct. 1992
The mishap aircrew received a weather update brief from a team at Hill Air Force Base. The surface weather conditions briefed to the mishap crew were overcast skies at 3400 feet, 7 miles visibility in rain, winds from the east (090 degrees) at 03 knots. Weather radar indicated thunderstorms and rain showers 95 miles west. Weather radar indicated thunderstorms and rain showers 95 miles west. Weather radar indicated cells moving from the southwest at 10 knots and Max Tops 20,000 feet. West northwest at 29 miles. There had been no weather alerts/warnings issued.

Although the weather forecast predicted VFR conditions, witnesses experienced intermittent rain and scud, coupled with zero moon illumination and low ambient light levels over and to the west of the Great Salt Lake which resulted in no visible horizon and unfavorable night vision goggle flying conditions.


May we remind each other that these men who died doing what they loved best will not fade away. We will remember and we will pray for them forever.
SGT Blain A. Mishak ....... Clearlake, La.
LTC. Kenneth W. Staus.......Belton, MD
SGT Harvey E. Moore, Jr......La Grange, CA
SPC. Jeremy B. Bird.........Amery, WI
Col. John T. Keneally.........South Orange NJ

These were men who heard the call of freedom, liberty and justice. Men who heard a call to discipline and valor. These were men of the ranger creed.

Cpt. Steven Berry, Army Chaplin US AIR FORCE
Lt. Col. Roland E. Peixotto, Jr. ..........West Torsham, VT
Sgt. Steven W. Kelley.....................Ocean Springs, MS
Sgt. Phillip A Kesler.....................Ona, WY
Sr. Airman Kerek C. Hughes............... Angels Camp, CA
Cpt. Michael L. Nazionale.................Dennison, OH
Sgt. Mark G. Lee.........................Jerome, ID Tsgt.
Mark Scholl........................Sunbury, PA


Antelope Island Memorial Rededicated in 2012 - 20th Anniversary of the disaster





# Kent 2016-05-23 12:08
We just published COL Keneally's biography.
Please post your memories and comments here, and help us to remember a great Ranger !
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# Barbara Keneally 2016-05-23 13:13
Thank you, Kent, for your work on this. It is greatly appreciated! John loved being a Ranger!
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# Denise Nichols 2016-05-23 15:44
What an awesome tribute to these fine men John was a true American,a fine gentlemen & amazing father/husband..Thank you Denise
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# Ron Durham 2017-01-13 10:43
I had the honor to serve under Col Keneally in C Co, 1/75 and again in A Co, 3/75. He was a remarkable leader and gentleman. I remember playing golf with him... just lots of fun. A great Ranger.
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# Parker Manley 2017-04-04 09:30
All though I wasn't lucky enough to meet my grandfather, I have come to realize how truly remarkable John T. Keneally was and the lasting impact he had only some many lives. Thank you Mr. Kent for helping me see the amazing man he was.
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# Steven Salvatoriello 2018-01-15 12:20
I was lucky enough to call John my cousin and although I didn't spend much time with him he left a lasting memory. I know he loved being a Ranger and he loved his family very much. This is a great way for people to get to know a little about him. Thank you John!
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