Fred E. McKinsey, Jr. was born on November 21, 1919 to Fred and Teresa McKinsey. He was an only child. The McKinseys moved to Coatesville prior to 1930.
After graduating from high school, Fred helped out at his father’s store, Mac’s Men’s Shop in Coatesville. (Mac’s was sold to Mosteller’s in November, 1944.) Fred was well known in Coatesville.
Although Fred was deaf in his right ear due to a mastoid operation, he was able to enlist in the Army Air Forces on April 9, 1943. He received training for several months at Fargo, North Dakota, then received additional training to become a flight surgeon’s assistant in the Air Transport Command.
Fred was transferred to Hawaii on January 29, 1944. From there he wrote a number of letters home. Fred wrote of an expected transfer to Australia, but the trip had been postponed a couple of times, but he expected to leave any day.
Private First Class Fred E. McKinsey Died Non Battle on May 9th, 1944 in an aircraft crash on the way to Australia. One source states he died near or on Christmas Island. If this was accurate, then he arrived in Australia and from there flew to Christmas Island.
His parents received the telegram on the morning of May 17th:
The secretary of War asks that I assure you of his deep sympathy in the loss of your son Pfc. Fred E. McKinsey. The report received states he was killed May 9 in the Central pacific area in an airplane crash.
Signed by Dunlop, Acting Adjutant General
When the news broke a steady stream of friends visited his parents. Fred was buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.