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Photo # NH 85186-A: BM1c Reinhardt J. Keppler

Online Library of Selected Images:
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Boatswain's Mate First Class Reinhardt J. Keppler, USN, (1918-1942)

Reinhardt John Keppler was born in Ralston, Washington, on 22 January 1918. He was raised in that State and, after graduation from Wapato High School, he enlisted in the US Navy in February 1936 and reenlisted in April 1940. Keppler was promoted to First Class Petty Officer at the beginning of October 1941. During the Second World War, while serving in the heavy cruiser San Francisco, he saw combat action at Pearl Harbor, early wartime raids against Bougainville and New Guinea, and during the Guadalcanal Campaign. When a Japanese bomber crashed into his ship on 12 November 1942, at the beginning of the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, he assisted in caring for the resulting casualties. That night, as San Francisco participated in a chaotic battle with enemy warships, he labored valiantly, despite mortal wounds, to save his ship and wounded shipmates. For his "extraordinary heroism and distinguished courage" on these occasions, Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Reinhardt J. Keppler was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

USS Keppler (DD-765), 1947-1972, was named in honor of BM1 Reinhardt J. Keppler. Previously, the escort ships DE-311 and DE-375 had been assigned the name Keppler, but both were cancelled before construction began.

This page features the only images we have concerning Reinhardt J. Keppler.


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Photo #: NH 85185

Boatswain's Mate First Class Reinhardt J. Keppler, USN


Who was awarded the Medal of Honor, posthumously, for heroism while serving in USS San Francisco (CA-38) during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, 12-13 November 1942.

US Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 60KB; 590 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 85186-A

Boatswain's Mate First Class Reinhardt J. Keppler, USN


Who was awarded the Medal of Honor, posthumously, for heroism while serving in USS San Francisco (CA-38) during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, 12-13 November 1942.
This image is a retouched version of that seen in Photo #: NH 85185.

US Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 48KB; 565 x 765 pixels

 



Medal of Honor citation of Boatswain's Mate First Class, Reinhardt J. Keppler (as printed in the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 212):

"For extraordinary heroism and distinguished courage above and beyond the call of duty while serving aboard the U.S.S. San Francisco during action against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands, 12-13 November 1942. When a hostile torpedo plane, during a daylight air raid, crashed on the after machine-gun platform, KEPPLER promptly assisted in the removal of the dead and, by his capable supervision of the wounded, undoubtedly helped save the lives of several shipmates who otherwise might have perished. That night, when the hangar was set afire during the great battle off Savo Island, he bravely led a hose into the starboard side of the stricken area and there, without assistance and despite frequent hits from terrific enemy bombardment, eventually brought the fire under control. Later, although mortally wounded, he labored valiantly in the midst of bursting shells, persistently directing fire-fighting operations and administrating to wounded personnel until he finally collapsed from loss of blood. His great personal valor, maintained with utter disregard of personal safety, was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country."


If you want higher resolution reproductions than the "Online Library's" digital images, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."


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Page made 2 March 2006
Coding updated 23 March 2006