Francis P. Kane

Major General Francis P. Kane: Citizen Soldier

Consisting of a wide variety of military documents, photographs, uniforms, insignia, medals and flags, the Francis P. Kane Collection is a centerpiece of the Museum & Library's permanent collection.

Born in Chicago on July 12, 1907, Francis Kane joined the Enlisted Reserve Corps in 1927, and in 1932, the Illinois National Guard. During World War II, he served in the war's Pacific Theater with the 108th Combat Engineers of the 33rd Division of the U.S. Army. For his service, Kane earned several citations, including the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star. After the war he continued to serve with the 33rd Division of the Illinois National Guard, finally as a Major General and the Guard's commander in the mid-1960s.

The 33rd Infanty Division has a long history, which for some of its sub-units stretched back to the Spanish-American War and the War in the Philippines. During both World Wars, the division consisted of National Guard units from Illinois and was nicknamed the Illiniois or "Prairie" Division. In recent years, the 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team has served in Iraq. The division's insignia is a golden cross on a black circle.