November 30, 1919
Pierce Winningham “Mac” McKennon, a talented musician more widely remembered as a famous World War II flying ace, was born in Clarksville (Johnson County). After graduation from high school in Fort Smith (Sebastian County), he attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville (Washington County) but left because of poor academic performance. He later left the U.S. Air Corps because of lack of aptitude. In Canada as a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force, he excelled as a pilot and later became a member of the Eagle Squadron in Shropshire, England. After transferring to the U.S. Air Force as a second lieutenant, he was shot down behind enemy lines in France and Germany. In both instances, he made spectacular escapes.