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George Kenmore

Ballplayers Decorated in Combat


Date and Place of Birth: March 10, 1915 Americus, GA
Date and Place of Death:    June 1, 1994 Montgomery, AL
Baseball Experience: Minor League
Position: Outfield
Rank: Major
Military Unit: 17th Field Artillery, US Army
Area Served: Mediterranean Theater of Operations

George V. Kenmore, the son of William (who ran a barbershop) and Lonie Kenmore, was born in Americus, Georgia, on March 10, 1915. He attended Sidney Lanier High School in Montgomery, Alabama, and went on to become a successful athlete at Auburn. In 1937, he was the star halfback in Orange Bowl game against Michigan State in 1937, and played varsity baseball thru 1940. Kenmore also played baseball in the local textile league with the Lanett team.

With the outbreak of World War II, Kenmore entered military service with the army in 1940. He was a first lieutenant at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, with the 17th Field Artillery, and rose to the rank of captain. In December 1942, Captain Kenmore was in North Africa and in the thick of the battle against Rommel’s Afrika Korps. In March 1943, the artillery officer was awarded the Silver Star for his part in the Battle of El Guettar. His citation stated:

“On three separate occasions during a period of 11 hours – March, 1943 – Tunisia, the command post from which major Kenmore was directing fire was bombed and on one occasion a hand grenade, thrown from a plane, destroyed a vehicle in the command post. Many times during the day communications were disrupted by enemy bombs and shells, but Major Kenmore kept communication open with radio and messengers. He massed the fire of the battalion during the day stopping three tank attacks and one infantry attack. His coolness in action and devotion to duty are an inspiration to all, worthy of the finest traditions of the armed forces and deserving the highest praise.”

Kenmore was a major when he returned to the United States in 1944, and was stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. With the war over, Kenmore returned home. In February 1946, he was signed by former Auburn football All-America Jimmy Hitchcock, who was the new baseball manager of the Opelika Owls in the Class D Georgia-Florida League. Hitchcock had been the backfield coach when Kenmore was at Auburn, and George wasn’t the only former Auburn player that was signed. Bobby Day, Dick Swindell and Charlie Rollo also signed for the Owls.

Kenmore’s minor league career was short-lived, making just a handful of appearances for the Owls, before being released in July. In 1947 he was assistant football coach at Opelika High School, and began a veterinary practice in Montgomery in 1949. He was a long-time member of the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners and served at one point as their chairman.

Dr. Kenmore passed away on June 1, 1994, aged 79. He is buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Montgomery, Alabama. His wife, June, who was the first female cheerleader at Auburn, passed away in June 2003.

Date Added December 19, 2019

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