Kevin McManus was born on September 19, 1942, in New York City, New York, and was raised in Babylon, New York. He entered the U.S. Air Force Academy on June 27, 1960, and graduated with a commission as a 2d Lt on June 3, 1964. Lt McManus next completed Undergraduate Pilot Training, earning his pilot wings at Vance AFB, Oklahoma, in September 1965. This was followed by Survival Training and Pilot/Systems Operator Training to be a "backseater" on the F-4 Phantom II fighter. His first assignment was to the 92nd Tactical Fighter Squadron at RAF Bentwaters, England, where he served from April to November 1966. Lt McManus began flying combat missions in Southeast Asia with the 390th Tactical Fighter Squadron at DaNang AB in the Republic of Vietnam in November 1966. He and his other crew member were forced to eject from their F-4 over North Vietnam on June 14, 1967, and were both captured and taken as Prisoners of War. After spending 2,076 days in captivity, he was released during Operation Homecoming on February 18, 1973. He was briefly hospitalized to recover from his injuries at Andrews AFB, Maryland, and then received an Air Force Institute of Technology assignment to Duke University, where he received his Master's Degree in Business Administration in May 1975. From June 1975 to November 1978, McManus worked in the Air Force Contract Management Division of Air Force Systems Command. This was followed by a series of assignments at Headquarters U.S. Air Force and in the Department of Defense at the Pentagon, where he served from November 1978 until his retirement from the Air Force on September 30, 1984. After his retirement, Kevin worked for the program management firm Robbins-Gioia for ten years, followed by AT&T for another five years. After retiring from AT&T in 1999, Kevin became an acquisitions consultant. Kevin McManus died on July 31, 2008, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. His 15 year old son, Kevin R. "Rory" McManus, preceded him in death in 1999. Kevin and his wife Mary Jane also had six other children together-Katherine, Bryan, Marie, John, Mary, and Margaret.
His 1st (of 2) Silver Star Citation reads:
First Lieutenant Kevin J. McManus distinguished himself by gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force over North Vietnam on 14 June 1967. On that date, Lieutenant McManus flew in a flight of four F-4C tactical fighters against a railroad yard in a highly defended area. The attack inflicted heavy damage on the target. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Lieutenant McManus has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.
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