Retired Air Force Col. Kenneth R. Bland, 57, a decorated veteran of the Korean conflict who later served in the White House and at Air Force Headquarters, died of cancer Tuesday at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Col. Bland was awarded the Silver Star for his role as lead navigator-bombardier of a B-26 bombardment group against enemy forces in late 1950 during the first Chinese offensives in Korea. He aslo received two distinguished flying crosses and five air medals for his service in Korea. t
In World War II, he served with the Army Air Coprs in Europe.
He was an Air Force social aide assigned to the White House during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations and was commended for meritorious service during the transition period following President Kennedy's assassination.
Col. Bland also held various staff assignments at Air Force Headquarters before his military retirement in 1972.
A native of Washington, N.C., he graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1948 and earned a master's degree in business administration from the University of Houston.
After retiring, Col. Bland was self-employed as a government consultant. He was a longtime resident of Arlington.
Survivors include his mother, Louise S. Bland, of Wilmington, N.C.; two brothers, retired Air Force Col. George T., of Winter Park,Fla., and retired Army Col. Milton E., of Atlantic Beach, N.C., and a sister, Joyce B. Perkins, of Boone, N.C.
The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Air Force Aid Society, 1117 N. 19th Street, Arlington, Va., 22209.