Mac McKennon was born on November 30, 1919, in Clarksville, Arkansas. He enlisted in the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Army Air Forces on February 10, 1941, but washed out of flight training two months later and was discharged from the Army Air Forces. McKennon then went to Canada and enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force on May 9, 1941, and again attended flight training, earning his pilot wings on December 14, 1941. Sgt McKennon deployed to England in January 1942, and trained with No 61 Operational Training Unit and with an Eagle Squadron flying Spitfires before resigning his commission with the Royal Canadian Air Force on November 23, 1942. He was then commissioned a 2d Lt in the U.S. Army Air Forces on November 25, 1942, and he joined the 335th Fighter Squadron of the 4th Fighter Group in England flying Spitfires, P-47 Thunderbolts, and later P-51 Mustangs, in February 1943. Maj McKennon was credited with the destruction of 11 enemy aircraft in aerial combat, 2.5 damaged in the air, and 9.68 destroyed on the ground while strafing enemy airfields between July 1943 and April 1945. During this time he was shot down by flak on two different occasions and made it back to friendly lines. After the war in Europe ended, Maj McKennon joined the 368th Fighter Group on Occupation Duty in Germany until he returned to the United States in May 1946. His next assignment was as an instructor pilot at Williams Field, Arizona, and then at Randolph Field, Texas, where he was killed in a flight training accident on June 18, 1947. Mac McKennon was buried at the Forest Park Cemetery in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.