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Kissimmee Fruit Packing Plant

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WWII Veteran Jerry Kinsley - Contemporary Photo

Contemporary photo  of WWII Veteran and Florida builder Jerry Kinsley. Photo courtesy of the Kinsley Archives.

Jerry Kinsley - Age 27

Photo of Jerry Kinsley, age 27, upon return from building the atomic bomb plant in Oakridge, Tennessee and the Veterans Hospital in Tuscaloosa,...

Kinsley Construction Company

Photo of the Kinsley Construction Company on Forsyth Road founded by Orlando resident Jerry Kinsley. Operating under the names of Kinsley Builder...

Kissimmee Fruit Packing Plant

Photo of a Kissimmee fruit packing plant built by Central Florida builder Jerry Kinsley. Photo courtesy of the Kinsley Archives.

Kissimmee Fruit Packing Plant

Photo of the steel frame for a Kissimmee fruit packing plant built by Central Florida builder Jerry Kinsley. Photo courtesy of the Kinsley Archives.

WWII Veteran Jerry Kinsley Interview Part I

Interview with World War II Veteran Jerry Kinsley at St. James Cathedral in Orlando, FL, August 12th, 2010.

Veteran Kinsley served in the 90th Naval Construction Battalion in and around Japan. A contracter by profession, Mr. Kinsley was at work building  the plant  for the  atomic bomb when he  quit to serve in the military. He saw many boys coming back from the war who had lost limbs and he thought "I got to do something to help".  He went directly to the volunteer office on Orange Avenue  in downtown Orlando and volunteered. A week after bootcamp he was in Pearl Harbor: "It was pretty well shot up. I saw a lot of ships on their  sides in the harbor."

Serving in WWII showed him "You can help other people." He is proud  he was a part of WWII and that we did win. He says, "It is unbelievable we could be in the spot we were in with nothing and in a year's time we got more boats, planes, jeeps than there were in the rest of the world. Pretty good accomplishment for the boys fighting in WWII." Hear his firsthand account of these historic events. 

Mr. Jerry Kinsley Interview Part II

Interview with Mr. Jerry Kinsley, at Saint James Cathedral in Orlando, FL on August 12th, 2010.

Mr. Kinsley recalls coming to Orlando in 1939 and marrying  his wife, Elizabeth, at Saint James Catholic Church in downtown Orlando in 1941, when it was still a little wooden church. His daughter, Patricia, remembers the beautiful sound her dress shoes made on the church floor. She shares the memories with her husband, Al Stinson, of raising their four children at Saint James Cathedral Church and school.

Mayor Jerry Kinsley Interview

Interview with  the former  Mayor of Edgewood, Jerry Kinsley, at Saint James Cathedral, in Orlando, FL on  August 12th, 2010.

Mr. Kinsley was the Mayor of Edgewood  in the 1950's and early 1960's. He shares his delightful story of  receiving a phone call from  Edgewood resident and noted lawyer, Attorney Fishback,  asking him to be the mayor. At the time  the Town of Edgewood had six months to revive the town or the state would take it off the books. Here his firsthand account of how  Edgewood went from meeting in people's houses and passing a hat to pay for expenditures to building a Town Hall with tax revenue. In addition to his duties as Mayor of Edgewood, Mr. Kinsley also served as City Engineer and Police Chief.  

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