Kenneth A. Jernstedt
|Member of the Oregon Senate|
from the 18th and 28th district
|Preceded by||Ben Musa|
|Succeeded by||Wayne Fawbush|
|Constituency||Gilliam, Hood River, Morrow, Sherman, Wasco, and Wheeler counties (18th District); Gilliam, Hood River, Jefferson, Sherman, Wasco, Wheeler, and Deschutes counties (28th District)|
|Member of the Oregon House of Representatives|
from the 22nd district
|Preceded by||Katherine Musa|
|Succeeded by||William H.Dielschneider|
|Constituency||Hood River and Wasco counties|
|Born||July 20, 1917|
Yamhill County, Oregon
|Died||February 5, 2013 (aged 95)|
Hood River, Oregon
|Spouse(s)||Laura Elliot; Genevieve Weder Carl|
Jernstedt was born in Yamhill County, Oregon, to Fred and Mae Jernstedt, and grew up on a farm in Carlton. He graduated from Yamhill High School in 1935 and from Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon, in January 1939.
In 1941, Jernstedt was recruited to join the Flying Tigers to fight the Japanese in China, resigning his Marine Corps commission (with the secret approval of the US government). He became a flight leader of the 3rd Squadron, flying the Curtiss P-40. On one mission, he and fellow flight leader William Reed strafed two airfields and were credited with destroying 15 enemy aircraft on the ground; they split the bonus of $7,500 ($500 per aircraft). In his Flying Tigers career, Jernstedt was credited with an additional three victories, for a total of 10.5. In a 1999 interview, he stated that the figure should have been 12.5, but two could not be confirmed. Because he was ill, he received permission to leave the Flying Tigers several weeks before the unit was disbanded in early July 1942 (after the United States had entered the war).
Post-war life and deathEdit
He also entered politics, serving first as mayor of Hood River from 1959 to 1960. He was then elected to the Oregon State Legislature for one term in 1966 and the first of five terms in the Oregon State Senate in 1968. Following his last term as senator, he was again elected mayor of Hood River, from 1989 to 1990.
He married college sweetheart Laura Elliott in 1942; they had a son and three daughters. After her death in 1960, he married Genevieve Weder Carl in 1962, adopting her son and two daughters. Gen was a politician as well, and supported her husband's work, serving as his legislative aide.
Ken Jernstedt died on February 5, 2013, at the age of 95.
In 2010, Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs public affairs officer Mike Allegre, who grew up with Jernstedt's children, wrote of him in the state-published book 150 Years of Oregon Veterans.
- "Senate Concurrent Resolution 13" (PDF). Oregon State Legislature. May 24, 2013. Retrieved June 24, 2014.
- Mike Francis (February 5, 2013). "Ace pilot, father, ex-mayor and legislator Kenneth A. Jernstedt dies at 95". The Oregonian. Retrieved June 21, 2014.
- Kirby Neumann-Rea (February 5, 2013). "Ace Ken Jernstedt dies at 95". Hood River News.
- "Ken Jernstedt Interview 1/16/99". usshawkbill.com. Retrieved June 21, 2014.
- Congressional Record: Proceedings and Debates of the 107th Congress, First Session Vol. 147 Part 12. Government Printing Office. p. 16606. Retrieved June 21, 2014. "Tribute to Kenneth Jernstedt / Hon. Greg Walden of Oregon in the House of Representatives / Thursday, September 6, 2001"
- "The Oregon Aviation Hall of Honor". Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum.