Thomas McKinley, a Cynthiana native who won the Silver Star for capturing a high-ranking Nazi official in World War II, died Saturday. He was 87.
Mr. McKinley attended the Kentucky Military Academy before joining the Army's 101st Airborne Division. During World War II, he fought in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, including the Battle of the Bulge, and was awarded the Bronze Star.
The Silver Star was awarded after McKinley and four others forced the surrender of 100 German soldiers, including Franz von Papen, who had served as chancellor of Germany under President Hindenburg and vice-chancellor under Adolf Hitler in the 1930s. The capture was described in a front-page story in the New York Times.
Von Papen had been expelled from the United States in 1915 for conspiring to blow up railway lines while serving as an attaché in the German Embassy in Washington, D.C.
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After the war, Mr. McKinley attended the University of Kentucky and the Strategic Intelligence School in Washington, D.C. He and wife, Betty Joe, later returned to Lexington, where he took over his father's Cadillac dealership and became active in Thoroughbred racing.
Mr. McKinley is survived by his wife, Kathryn; his sons Thomas McKinley, Jr. of Miami, Fla.; Robert Christopher McKinley of Mebane, N.C.; Dixie Kenton McKinley and Charles Clinton McKinley, both of Lexington; daughters Melinda Harris McKinley and Betty Suzanne Mundy, both of Lexington; a stepson, Charles Glenn of Lexington; and stepdaughter, Libby Glenn Fisher of Loveland, Ohio.
Visitation is from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Milward-Broadway. Services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at First Presbyterian Church with interment in the Lexington Cemetery.