William R. Kane – Captain, United States Navy

A well-known Navy Ace, he was apparently on the short-list for command of the new-construction, first nuclear carrier, Forrestal, and many felt he had a good shot at becoming Chief of Naval Operations. He died in 1957 in a jet crash. His friends called him Bill, but he was known throughout the service as “Killer Kane.” His tombstone is embedded among the thousands of markers at Arlington National Cemetery.

Killer Kane graduated from the Naval Academy in 1933. He was tall, handsome and athletic and knew he was going to fly. The Navy had just combined the concept of Air Power with Sea Power and starting with the Langley–a freighter with a wooden runway nailed to the superstructure–it had begun to develop the art and science of launching, landing and fighting Navy airplanes from “carriers”. Before he was eventually assigned to fight and then command a fighter squadron from a carrier christened Enterprise, “Killer Kane” was stationed at Ford Island, the Navy’s Air Station resting in the middle of Pearl Harbor.

His pretty, young naval wife, Madeline, lived with their two young children next to a runway in a bungalow placed in a row of houses several hundred feet from the USS Arizona on Ford Island. The Arizona was a battleship parked in two rows of ships that lined one edge of the island (one of the many blunders that would culminate in the disaster then flying low and fast, and undetected, through Hawaii's morning mist).

Bill was a toddler and Judith was still a baby on this bright Sunday morning of December 7th. They were asleep in the small bungalow, and Honolulu woke slowly as usual. Their father, Lieutenant Commander William R. Kane, whose handle “Killer” had been borne from his football and wrestling days at Annapolis, drove over to the Air Station. He was Officer of the Day (OOD).

Captain Kane was a fighter pilot in the Pacific Theater of Operations in World War II and was designated an “Ace” after shooting down a number of Japanese airplanes.

He was a 1933 graduate of the United States Naval Academy and for his service in World War II was awarded the Navy Cross and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Research continues regarding his career.  Should you have such information that you are willing to share, kindly forward it via e-mail to the Webmaster.

Madeline Kane Hurlburt, Bill's wife and mother of two babies while stationed on Ford Island when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor (Dad was just being relieved as officer of the day at Ford Island) died Tuesday, October 24, 2006, at age 94.  We plan to have graveside services at Arlington on November 30, 2006, at 2pm, unless we can retain the Chapel for a proper military service on another day. We'll let you know the definite date.

Incidentally, I have photos of mom serving cookies to the young army soldiers setting up machine gun nests in our front yard trying to protect the battleships. Amazing women in that era!

just thought I'd let you know sisnce you have information about my father.
Take Care,
Chris Andrews

Hi Michael:

I'm not sure who I should inform. Thank you for informing friends of my mother's passing. I just wanted to let you know that the arrangements at Arlinton have been finalized.

My mom, Madeline Kane Hurlburt will be buried with her husband, Captain William “Killer” Richard Kane, USN on Friday, December 15, 2006.  Service to be held at Ft. Myer Chapel at 3PM.

I'm sending your bio of dad to Chaplain Raymond Houk at Ft. Myers Chapel.

As the youngest child (born after the Korean War) of Bill and Madeline, I found it difficult to relate to the Chaplain how much the NAVY and it standards were my mother's law and life, even after my father was killed in a jet accident in 1957, we always behaved as if the Admiral was watching!

Every month I'm contacted by WW II warriors who fought and flew with my dad, or played football with him (or against him) in the 30's and 40's.They write about how they'd show up unannounced for dinner, and Madeline would make a four course meals out of rationed ingredients!

Anyway, just wanted to let you know that the service for Madeline is December 15, 2006 (not November 30th) at Ft. Myers Chapel, burial with her husband, William R. Kane, at Arlington.

Courtesy of Michael Stein:

Captain William Richard Kane, USN
Born June 4, 1911 in San Rafael, California
Killed in in Air Crash, February 5, 1957 near Augusta, Georgia

Cadet U.S.Naval Academy 1929-33
Commissioned Ensign, June 1, 1933
Lieutenant, April 1, 1941
Lieutenant Commander, October 1, 1942
Commander, January 1, 1944

Served on board USS New York 1933-
Served on board USS Wichita
Executive Officer VF-10 (Fighting Squadron 10) 1942
Shot down October 26, 1942 at Santa Cruz
Commanding Officer VF-10 (Fighting Squadron 10) “Grim Reapers”, USS. Enterprise 1943-44
Shot down June 16, 1944 (by U.S. Anti-Aircraft Artillery)
Head, Physical & Military Training Section 1944-45
Commanding Officer, USS Saipan 1956-57
Navy Cross – DFC (2)
February 17, 1944, two kills
March 30, 1944, one kill
June 11, 1944, two kills
June 20, 1944, three kills



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