Private First Class Robert J. McKenna

Private First Class Robert J. McKenna

United States Army Military Police Corps, U.S. Government

End of Watch Tuesday, February 22, 1966

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Robert J. McKenna

PFC Robert McKenna was shot and killed while attempting to stop two men from leaving Fort Gordon, Georgia.

Unbeknownst to PFC McKenna, the two suspects had robbed a local bar and fired shots earlier in the night. The two men entered the installation to buy ice and when they attempted to exit through the gate PFC McKenna noticed handguns inside the vehicle. One of the suspects exited the vehicle and shot him in the face. One of the suspects was sentenced to life and the other was sentenced to 25 years.

The gate where PFC McKenna was murdered was later renamed the McKenna Gate.

PFC McKenna served with the U.S. Army for one year and was assigned to the 140th MP Company at Fort Gordon, Georgia. He was survived by his parents and 16 brothers and sisters.


  • Age 23
  • Tour 1 year
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Georgia
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

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I remember that night on February 22, 1966. I was an MP on duty with Pfc. McKenna as we were both assigned to the same relief. There were only about seven or eight of us on that relief because of the buildup of the forces
in Vietnam. McKenna was on duty at what was then Gate 1 and I was at Gate 3, up the Gordon Hwy. I was shipped out in Sept 1966 and did not know until today that the two tried with the murder of Pfc. McKenna
received a life sentence and the other, 25 years. We who served alongside Pfc. Robert McKenna at Ft. Gordon
know that the decision to rename Gate 1 to McKenna Gate was a well deserved and honorable act for this
young soldier. Rest in peace Bob and know that your sacriface is not forgotten.

David Beasley
Dept. of Homeland Security, Retired 2005

August 5, 2020

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