Robert Kemper

Bob entered the Academy from the Naval Academy Prep School at Bainbridge after 10 months in the Navy. A native of Shelbyville, Kentucky, he loved music and sports. At the Academy he could usually be found on one of the athletic fields engaged in whatever sport was in season, or listening to his favorite music. His spirits were seldom dimmed and he was always ready to lead in a song or cheer when an occasion presented itself. Although he never let studies interfere with his music and sports, Bob returned to USNA during his career to spend a two-year tour as an instructor of Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics.


Following graduation Bob entered flight school and became a Naval Aviator. He served with VA-12, VA-106 and was Maintenance Officer and Combat Flight Instructor with VA-25. While with VA-146 he made two cruises to the Western Pacific where he flew 256 combat missions over Vietnam. Bob also made four cruises with the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean and from September 1969 until October 1970 he was Safety and Training Officer for the USS RANGER.

During his career Bob earned two Distinguished Flying Crosses, 27 Air Medals, seven Navy Commendation Medals, the Vietnamese Air Gallantry Crosses along with two Unit Citations and various Campaign Ribbons.


Bob reported to NAS Meridian in October 1970 and was killed in an aircraft accident on 3 March near Meridian, MS. Survivors included his wife Carol, three daughters, his mother, four brothers and two sisters.