Coyote Heritage ~ November 2008

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt Bill Gilliland
  • 190th ARW Historian

Pictured here is Chief Master Sergent Kenneth Horner shortly before he retired in January of 1979, with 35 years of service. He was one of 13 men who came to Hutchinson from the 127th at Wichita, and thus, one of the original members of the 117th. These 13 were to be the core of the new unit, with enough experience to help with the establishment of the brand new unit, and provide background for the many new recruits that would make up the untested unit. 

Chief Horner had originally enlisted in the Army Air Corp in 1943 and was a veteran of World War II. He joined the Kansas Air National Guard in 1946, when the 127th Fighter Squadron became part of the National Guard. 

By the time he made the move to the 117th at Hutchinson, he was already a Master Sergeant with more than ten years experience in the Guard and several more in the Army Air Corp. He would go on to become the 1st E-8, and later the 1st E-9 in the Kansas Air National Guard once those grades were established. He had served as crew chief, flight chief, line chief, field maintenance chief, and was chief of quality control at the time of his retirement.