Born in New York City in 1929, Eugene Kimling grew up in a German immigrant family. Although he and his family were Christians, he spent much of his early childhood living in a German-Jewish community on Coney Island.
While visiting Germany in September 1939, Eugene and his family were trapped by the Nazi regime due to the outbreak of World War II. Eugene was forced to join the Deutsche Jungvolk and then the Hitler Youth. His elder brother, Carl Kimling, was drafted into the Wermacht and sent to the battlefront at Stalingrad.
Both managed to survive the war. Reunited in 1945, the brothers became interpreters for the British and American occupational authorities.
In September 1946, Eugene and Carl sailed back to New York and then enlisted in the U.S Army. They served in Asaka, Japan. After he was discharged from the Army in 1948, Eugene took advantage of the G.I. Bill to study aeronautical engineering in California. After moving around the country to pursue a variety of engineering and entrepreneurial jobs, he ultimately settled down with his family in Marietta, Georgia.