Capt. Knefler McGinnis served in the U.S. Navy from 1912 to 1946, having been trained as a naval aviator and serving aboard several naval destroyers and making several flight records.
Captain Knefler McGinnis was born on July 21, 1892 in Indianapolis, Indiana and moved to Washington, D. C. with his family as a child. He became a page in the United States Senate prior to receiving his appointment to the Naval Academy in 1912.
After he graduated from the Naval Academy in 1916, he served aboard several naval destroyers. He was stationed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in the 1920’s. He entered the Bureau of Aeronautics to complete his training as a naval aviator. There are several articles and notices of his flying expertise in the collection.
He set world records for flight times and distances throughout his naval career. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross as commanding officer for a record-setting 1935 flight from Norfolk, VA, to Coco Solo, Canal Zone, and finally to San Francisco, CA, in which he led a flight of Consolidated XP3Ys of VP-10. He was commander of a squadron at Pearl Harbor at the time of the Japanese attack. No personnel under his command were lost during the attack.
He was commander of Naval Station Terminal Island commissioning three ships during before his retirement in 1946. He moved to La Jolla, CA with his wife, Roberta, and worked with Consolidated (an aircraft manufacturer) after World War II. Roberta passed away in December 1979. Captain Knefler McGinnis passed away a few weeks later on January 3, 1980.
The collection consists of one box 15” x 5”x 10.5”, containing newspaper clippings, letters, orders from the military, procedures for commissioning ships, personal photographs and official military photographs.
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