Baseball in Wartime

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice

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World War II Hero of the Minor Leagues 

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Air Medal

Jack McKinney


Date and Place of Birth: Unknown

Baseball Experience: Minor League
Second Lieutenant
Military Unit:
350th Bomb Squadron, 100th Bomb Group USAAF

Area Served: European Theater of Operations


Jack L McKinney, a former Georgia Tech athlete, pitched for Idaho Falls of the Pioneer League in 1941. He was with Norfolk of the Piedmont League in 1942 and had a 7-9 record and 3.31 ERA in 20 games.


McKinney entered military service after the 1942 season and served in Europe as a B-17 co-pilot with the 350th Bomb Squadron of the 100th Bomb Group. Second Lieutenant McKinney flew 35 missions. His plane “Ramblin’ Rebel” was shot down on his day off after he had been on six missions that week. He was awarded the Air Medal and five clusters.


McKinney was discharged from service in June 1945 and was back pitching with Norfolk that summer. He continued to pitch in the minors until the late 1940s with Beaumont, Chattanooga and Little Rock.




Created March 18, 2008.

Minor League Baseball


Copyright © 2008 Gary Bedingfield (Baseball in Wartime). All Rights Reserved.