OUR OPINION: The Chart’s founder still impacts us


Kenneth McCaleb

A Joplin Junior College student by the name of Kenneth McCaleb created the Chart newspaper in 1939. Shortly after graduating in 1941, McCaleb was drafted into the United States Army just five days before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7. 

While at war McCaleb endured some life-changing experiences, and for his efforts, his son Robert has been asked by the Second Schweinfurt Memorial Association to deliver a few remarks and lay the wreath at the 70th anniversary memorial activities for Oct. 14, Black Thursday. Robert and his wife, Patti, left Tennessee earlier this week to Schweinft, Germany, for the memorial.

During his time in the army, McCaleb became a navigator aboard a B-17, flying bombing mission over Germany during World War II. On Oct. 14, 1943, during McCaleb’s 19th mission, an estimated 1,100 enemy fighters firing cannon and large rockets shot him down during attacks. This day Mission 115, became known as “Black Thursday” to the American military and a part of history. Mission 115 is known as one of the greatest air battles of World War II, and McCaleb was a part of that.

After being shot down, McCaleb spent the next 19 months in German prisoner of war camps. He was released on April 29, 1945, at the age of 25. 

As his life was altered by his war experiences at such a young age, McCaleb took steps to help future young people avoid that type of devastation. 

In 1998, he and his wife, Margaret Baughman McCaleb, established the McCaleb Initiative for Peace at MSSU for the purpose of examining the causes of war and discussing ways war could be prevented. 

McCaleb and Margaret were always involved with the University and 

The Chart until he passed away in 2002. She passed in 2008. Although the McCalebs are not with us anymore, the McCaleb Initiative for Peace still exists at Missouri Southern and has been successfully inspected causes of war and devastation around the world.