Paul Joseph Kilday – Sergeant, United States Air Force, Member of Congress Judge – Court of Military Appeals


WASHINGTON, October 15, 1968 – President Johnson attended a funeral service at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia today for former Representative Paul J. Kilday of Texas.

Army officials said the granting of permission to have Representative Kilday buried at Arlington was the first exception that they knew of in the 20 months since civilian burials at the cemetery were ordered stopped because space was running out.

Mr. Kilday, a Democrat, died Saturday at the age of 68.  He represented the San Antonio district in the Congress for 22 years.  President Kennedy named him a Judge of the United States Court of Military Appeals here in 1961.

The President arrives at the Cemetery just before the funeral cortege drove up from St. Ann’s Roman Catholic Church in Washington.  He offered condolences to the family at the end of the service.

Judge of the United States Court of Military Appeals

Paul Joseph Kilday was born in Sabinal, in Uvalde County, Texas, on 29 March 1900, the son of Patrick Kilday and Mary Tallant Kilday. He went to school in San Antonio, Texas, where he graduated from high school in 1918. Subsequently, he attended St. Mary’s College in San Antonio. He received his LL.B. degree from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., in 1922.

Judge Kilday is survived by his widow and two daughters, Mary Catherine Kilday and Betty Ann Drogula, and two grandchildren.

From 1918 to 1921, Judge Kilday served as Clerk to the United States Civil Service in Washington, D. C. The following year he served as Clerk to the United States Shipping Board, Emergency Fleet Corporation, also in Washington.

In 1922, Judge Kilday was admitted to the Texas Bar and entered private practice in his home city of San Antonio. He was appointed first assistant District Attorney for Bexar County, Texas, which includes San Antonio, in 1935, and served in that capacity from 1936 until 1938, when he was elected to Congress.

Judge Kilday represented the Twentieth Congressional District in Texas, in the House of Representatives, beginning with the 76th Congress in 1939, until the 87th Congress, in 1961. During that time he served on the House Armed Services Committee from 1946 until 1961, and also on the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy for over ten years. As a Congressman and a Chairman of various House Armed Service Subcommittees, Judge Kilday played a significant part in the drafting of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the creation of an independent Air Force, and the sponsoring of continued pay raises for service members.

Judge Kilday resigned from Congress in 1961, when he was appointed by President Kennedy as a Judge of the United States Court of Military Appeals. He served in that capacity until his death on 12 October 1968. In addition to being a member of the Texas Bar, Judge Kilday also belonged to the American, Texas, and San Antonio Bar Associations, as well as the Democratic Party and the Knights of Columbus.

It is with great sorrow and a keen sense of loss that the Judge Advocate General’s Corps and the Armed Forces learned of Judge Kilday’s death at the age of 68. A lifelong friend of the individual serviceman throughout his career as both a Congressman and a Judge, he will probably be best remembered for liberal interpretations of military law, equating the constitutional rights of service members with those of civilians.

Courtesy of the U.S. House of Representatives

Representative from Texas; born in Sabinal, Uvalde County, Tex., March 29, 1900; moved with his parents to San Antonio, Tex., in 1904; attended the public and parochial schools and St. Mary’s College, San Antonio, Tex.; employed as a clerk, United States Air Force, Washington, D.C., 1918-1921 and as a law clerk, United States Shipping Board Emergency Fleet Corporation, in 1921 and 1922; was graduated from the law department of Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., in 1922; was admitted to the bar the same year and commenced practice in San Antonio, Tex.; served as first assistant district attorney of Bexar County, Tex., 1935-1938; elected as a Democrat to the Seventy-sixth and to the eleven succeeding Congresses and served from January 3, 1939, until his resignation September 24, 1961, having been appointed a judge of the Court of Military Appeals and served in this capacity until his death in Washington, D.C., October 12, 1968; interment in Arlington National Cemetery, Fort Myer, Virginia.

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