Rosa Sowell Kennington and Van Arthur Kennington lost three sons to wars.
Their oldest child, Lloyd, was killed in France in 1918 during World War I.
Two of their youngest, Charles Cecil and Milton Homer, were killed at the start of World War II in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
The morning after he received the news that Charles Cecil and Milton Homer were dead their father told a newspaper reporter “I would give all of my boys and I too would fight to put down such sneaking and deadly enemies as the Japs, Hitler and Mussolini.”
He had four more sons and at least one of them, Marvin, served on a Navy gun crew on a merchant ship in the war.
The father, V.A., as he was known, was a farmer, and the mother, Rosa, was a homemaker. They had 15 children and resided in Humboldt, a town of about 5,000 in western Tennessee.
Charles Cecil, their third youngest, was born March 10, 1920, and enlisted in the Navy on Dec. 5, 1939. Milton Homer was born Jan. 11, 1922, and enlisted on March 5, 1940. Both brothers were seamen first class on the U.S.S. Arizona when they were killed, Dec. 7, 1941.
Sources: the Jackson (Tennessee) Sun; The Tennessean of Nashville; the Knoxville (Tennessee) Journal; the Nashville Banner; the Union City (Tennessee) Daily Messenger; Census; Navy muster rolls; Department of Defense. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.