Date of enlistment: August 31, 1943
Rank at time of death: Kennedy was a Hospital Apprentice First Class in the US Naval Reserve. He would have cared for injured sailors in the sick bay of the ship, as well as overseeing medications, treatment for diseases, vaccinations, physical therapy, and even dental care.
Induction Location: US Naval Reserve Center, Pittsburgh, PA
Training: He began his training at the US Navy Training Center in Great Lakes, Illinois, and was later transferred to Bainbridge, Maryland to train to be a hospital corpsman.
Service: Kennedy began service in the US Naval Hospital in Philadelphia.
Unit history: Kennedy's final assignment was on the USS LST 314, one of the landing craft at D-Day. This was a landing craft, responsible for depositing troops and tanks onto enemy soil. It was commissioned as part of the Atlantic Fleet in 1942, and joined the war effort when it was sent to Algeria in 1943. Its commanding officer was Lieutenant Commander Alvin Tutt for its entire history. The LST 314 helped land troops and carry supplies during the allied invasion of Sicily and the Italian Peninsula throughout the year 1943. In 1944, this craft was selected as one of 1,500 Allied landing craft during the D-Day invasion. On May 1, 1944, Kennedy was received aboard. While the craft successfully deposited the troops on D-Day, it was surrounded by German torpedo boats on the return trip. It was torpedoed, and the ship sunk. While most of the crew escaped the wreck, Kennedy was not so lucky, and was declared missing in action. He was declared to be dead on June 10, 1945, one year after going MIA. The LST 314 was awarded three battle stars by the Navy for its role in the war.
General Equipment: A Hospital Apprentice would not have carried the same weapons as the soldiers and sailors. Kennedy would have been supplied with medical gear from the sick bay on the ship. A naval HA would seldom have to leave the ship, so he would not have had many supplies he carried with him.
Date of Death: Donald Kennedy died on July 9, 1944. However, because his body was not recovered, he was listed as missing in action. Therefore, his official date of death in Navy records is June 10, 1945, as that was the day he was presumed dead.
Place of internment: Since his body was never recovered, his name is listed on the Tablets of the Missing in the Normandy American Cemetery.
The LST 314 being loaded with cargo for D-Day; last picture taken before sinking
US Navy Training Station, Great Lakes, Illinois
Bainbridge Naval Training Station
US Naval Hospital, Philadelphia
Tablets of the Missing, including Kennedy's name in bottom left hand corner