Leo Howard Kerns was born on June 23, 1924 in Plano, Illinois. He
was one of six children, having three brothers and two sisters.
Kerns went to high school in Illinois and received his BSBA
from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in 1947,
continuing on to receive LLB/Juris Doctor Degree from Georgetown
Law School in 1950.
He entered the military as a Cadet in 1943, receiving his
wings and commission in Jackson, Mississippi in January of
1944. Making Flight Commander by the age of 20, Kerns
flew numerous combat missions using the P-51, escorting bombers
and conducting strafing missions. He also performed
a number of Air-Sea Rescue Missions and Photo-Recon Missions
out of King’s Cliffe, England.
Kerns is credited with two German aircraft destroyed and
was decorated, receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross twice
and the Air Medal seven times. He mustered out of the service
in November 1945.
Kerns went back to the United States, where he practced law in Illinois and the District of Columbia.
He is currently retired and living in Annapolis,
Maryland, and has two children.