Correctional Officer Henry M. Kenaga

Correctional Officer Henry M. Kenaga

Kansas Department of Corrections, Kansas

End of Watch Sunday, June 20, 1954

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Henry M. Kenaga

Officer Henry Kenaga was shot and killed while attempting to prevent a prison escape.

Several inmates had stormed the visitor's room with guns and knives and taken six hostages. As they attempted to cross the prison yard, they were confronted by Officer Kenaga. As Officer Kenaga attempted to stop them, he was shot. The suspects were stopped by other officers and were returned to their cells. Six inmates, 22, 24, 24, 24, 27, and 34, were charged with first-degree murder. The oldest was identified as Officer Kenaga's killer.

The guns the inmates used were .22 caliber pistols that they made themselves. A girlfriend of one of the inmates smuggled him the bullets. Five inmates were convicted of first-degree murder and got a life term added to their sentences. On May 30, 1968, one of those inmates, the youngest, was burned to death when two inmates set him on fire after dousing him with a flammable liquid.

Officer Kenaga was a United States World War I Army veteran and served with the Kansas Department of Corrections for 25 years. He was survived by his wife and two sons.


  • Age 58
  • Tour 25 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .22 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to life

correctional Facility, escape attempt, prisoner custody

Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Kenaga,
On today, the 70th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just as a Law Enforcement Officer but for our Country as well when you served with the U.S. Army during World War I. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

BPA Mike Casey
United States Border Patrol(Retired)

June 20, 2024

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