Plymouth County

1st Lt. Robert M. Kempker

 

AWARD ROBERT M. KEMPKER, LE MARS, WINGS AND BARS

West Texas Bombardier Triangle.—Second Lieut. Robert M. Kempker of LeMars, Ia., was graduated from this huge bombardier training center as a member of a class of deadly “hell from heaven” men.

There was no April fooling as Lieut. Kempker and his air comrades received their new bars and wings.

Source:  The Sioux City Journal, April 1, 1943 (photo included)

NEWS OF MEN IN THE SERVICE.

Second Lieut. Robert K. Kempker, whose home address is 27 First St. SE, was one of a large class graduating recently as bombardier from San Angelo Field, Texas. He will be given further training before reporting for combat service. Kempker attend the University of Wisconsin in 1935 and has taken an extended course of training as a bombardier, having already dropped more than 200 bombs.

Source: LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel, April 2, 1943

SOLDIER NEWS

Lieut. Bob Kempker, bombardier pilot stationed at Dalhart, Tex., arrived home Thursday to spend an 8-day leave in the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Kempker. He has been in the service for two and one-half years and received his wings on April 1, 1943. He has completed his combat training and is ready for action.

Source: LeMars Globe-Post, July 19, 1943

BOMBARDIER IS CREDITED WITH GALLANT FEATS
Lieut. Robert M. Kempker of LeMars Decorated for Bravery

From an Eighth A. A. F. Bomber Station, England—Veteran of 18 bombing missions with the Eighth Air Force against enemy targets in Europe, Robert M. Kempker of LeMars, has been promoted from second to first lieutenant in the European theater of operations.

Bombardier of the Flying Fortress, Who Dat, 25-year-old Lieut. Kempker holds the air medal with two oak leaf clusters and is credited with shooting down an Me-109 German fighter during a mission to Oschersleben, Germany.

Lieut. Kempker is one of five sons of Mr. and Mrs. John F. Kempker, LeMars, who enlisted in the armed forces.  One brother, Corporal Jack Kempker, has been killed in action, and Lieut. Ed Kempker, also a bombardier, is missing in action.  Of the other two brothers, Staff Sergeant Paul Kempker is with an infantry outfit in Oklahoma and Sergeant Jerry Kempker is a tail gunner on a B-24 bomber.

In addition to the Oschersleben mission on which he scored his aerial victory over the Me-109, Kempker lists as his “toughest” mission the great attack on Schweinfurt, Germany, October 14, and the long flight to Anklam, Germany.

He was called up with Company K, 133rd Infantry, Iowa National Guard, November 4, 1940.  At that time he held the rank of sergeant.  Accepted by the A. A. F. as an aviation cadet, he transferred to that branch of service in April, 1942.

Lieut. Kempker received bombardier’s training at San Angelo, Tex., where he was awarded his wings and commission, April 1, 1943.  After combat phase training at Pyote and Dalhart, Tex., he came overseas last August.

A graduate of Columbus, Neb., high school, Kempker attended the University of Wisconsin for a year.  Before entering the Army, he was employed by the Vollmar Shoe Store in LeMars as a salesman.

~Source:  LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel, February 15, 1944

NEWS OF THE BOYS IN THE SERVICE

First Lieut. Robert M. Kempker, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Kempker, of LeMars, has been awarded the distinguished flying cross with oak leaf cluster, according to a dispatch received here.

Source: LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel, March 21, 1944

Lieut. R. Kempker Home On Leave From War Front
Credited With Many Flights In Aerial Corps

Following three years active service in the Army, First Lieutenant Robert (Bob) Kempker arrived at his home in LeMars, Saturday night on a furlough and will visit his parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Kempker, for several weeks.  Lieut. Kempker arrived in New York, Monday of last week from England, where he is a member of the Eighth Army air corps.  He is credited with completing twenty-five bombing missions, the last one he participated in being over Berlin.

Lieut. Kempker has been awarded the distinguished service cross and the air medal with four oak leaf clusters.  He is credited with shooting down an Me-109 German fighter during a mission to Oschersleben, Germany.  In addition to the Oschersleben mission on which he scored an aerial victory over the Me-109, Kempker lists among some of his toughest missions the great attack on Schweinfurt, October 14, and the long flight to Anklam, Germany.

Lieut. Kempker was a member of Company K and left with the company in February, 1941, for Camp Claiborne, La. He was ordered overseas in August of last year.

When his leave is out he is ordered to report at Miami Beach, Florida.  He has three brothers in the service.  Lieut. Edward Kempker, who has been reported missing since November 5 and is supposed to be a prisoner of war.

Staff Sergeant Gerald Kempker is a gunner on a Liberator somewhere in the South Pacific near the Gilbert Islands and has been decorated for gallant service and awarded the distinguished flying cross and air medal with two oak leaf clusters.

Staff Sergeant Paul Kempker is attached to the new Rainbow division and is at present stationed in Camp Gruber, Oklahoma.

Another brother, Corporal Jack Kempker, paid the supreme sacrifice, being killed in battle in Italy last October.

Source:  LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel, April 11, 1944

Sergeant Gerald T. Kempker, 19, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Kempker of 715 1st Street, SE, LeMars, Iowa, has been awarded the Air Medal and first Oak Leaf Cluster by Brigadier General Truman H. Landon, commanding general of the VII Bomber Command, for his participation in Seventh Air Force aerial strikes against the Japs in the Marshall Islands.  Sergeant Kempker, who attended St. Joseph high school, has two brothers in the service:  First Lt. R. M. Kempker, AAF, and Staff Sergeant P. J. Kempker with the Infantry.  He went overseas May 12, 1943.

Source: LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel, May 5, 1944