Lt-Col Russell Kennedy, MC, CD (Ret'd)

    • Lt-Col Russell Kennedy, MC, CD (Ret'd)
    • RCE GVIRI Badge
    • Lt-Col Russell Kennedy, MC, CD (Ret'd)

    We regret to advise of the death of Lieutenant-Colonel Russell Kennedy, MC (Ret'd) who passed away on 4 June 2010 at Kingston General Hospital.

    Born and raised in the farming community of Dunrobin, ON in 1917, Russ studied engineering at Queen's University where he was a member Canadian Officers Training Corps and graduated in 1941 with a BSc. After working in northern Ontario on a dam construction project for the summer, he enlisted in the Canadian Army in October 1941. Undertaking his training in Brockville and Petawawa, Russ joined the 23rd Field Company, Royal Canadian Engineers in New Brunswick and sailed to England in July 1943 as a Platoon Commander. Soon after the arrival of his unit in France and throughout the Northwest Europe campaign, Lt Kennedy served as the Company Reconnaissance Officer, returning home in 1946.

    A highlight of Lt Kennedy's WW II actions was his leadership in Operation BERLIN, the rescue mission at Arnhem, Holland, after the failed Operation MARKET GARDEN. As part of the 1st Canadian Army Troops, 20th and 23rd Field Companies helped withdraw some 2,500 British and Polish airborne troopers across the Neder Rijn River under heavy and continuous enemy fire during the night of 25/26 September 1944. Russ was the company reconnaissance officer and worked closely with the CO and Corps HQ in the planning and execution of the mission.  The stormboat operation saved more than 2,000 of the 10,000 members of the British 1st Airborne Division and Lt Russ Kennedy won a Military Cross for exceptional bravery in action. He was presented the medal by King George VI at Buckingham Palace after the war.

    On returning to Canada, Russ Kennedy became a lecturer and later a Professor in Civil Engineering at Queen's University. Russ also commanded the Canadian Training Officer Corps contingent at Queen's from 1951 to 1958, retiring as a lieutenant-colonel. Over the span of 40 years, he served Queen's in many capacities including Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, Vice-Principal (Administration), and Executive Director of the Alumni Association. He was one of the first post-war faculty members to become deeply involved in industrial research in hydraulics and his outstanding work led directly to the establishment of a Coastal Engineering Laboratory at Queen's. He retired in 1983. A nationally honoured specialist in hydraulics and coastal engineering, in 1993 Russ Kennedy received an honorary doctorate of science from Queen's for his pioneering post-war research links with industry and for helping to reorganize both graduate studies and alumni affairs.

    A memorial service in celebration of Dr. Kennedy's life will be held Saturday, June 12 at 2:00 pm in the Ban Righ Fireside Room. In lieu of flowers, In Memoriam donations to the charity of your choice would be appreciated.{khJan2016dc}

    See: Russ's role during Operation Berlin are described in more detail here.