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#imnohero #neverforget: Isaac C. Kidd, Sr., Medal of Honor


Isaac Kidd was born on March 26, 1884, in Cleveland, Ohio. He entered the U.S. Naval Academy in June 1902, and graduated as a Passed Midshipman on February 12, 1906, receiving his commission as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy after completing the two years required at sea on February 13, 1908. His first assignment was aboard the cruiser USS Columbia (CA-16) from February 1906 to May 1907, followed by service aboard the first battleship USS New Jersey (BB-16) from May 1907 to May 1910, and then aboard the battleship USS North Dakota (BB-29) from May 1910 to June 1913. LT Kidd served aboard the armored cruiser USS Pennsylvania (ACR-4) from June 1913 to August 1916, and during this time he served as Aide and Flag Secretary on the staff of the Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet. His next assignment was as an instructor at the U.S. Naval Academy from August 1916 to 1918, when he transferred to the battleship USS New Mexico (BB-40), where he served during her fitting out, commissioning, and service during the last months of World War I. LT Kidd next served as Aide and Flag Lieutenant to the Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Fleet from July 1919 to 1921, followed by service at the Naval Academy from 1921 to May 1925. He was executive officer aboard the battleship USS Utah (BB-31) from May 1925 to November 1926, and then served as commanding officer of the cargo ship USS Vega (AK-17) from November 1926 to June 1927. His next assignment was as Captain of the Port at Cristobal, Panama Canal Zone, from June 1927 to June 1930, and then as chief of staff to the Commander of Fleet Base Force from June 1930 to April 1932. From April 1932 to February 1935, Capt Kidd served as officer in charge of the Officer Detail Section of the Bureau of Navigation in Washington, D.C., followed by service as commander of Destroyer Squadron ONE from February 1935 to June 1936. He next attended Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, and then remained on the staff at the college until September 1938, when he assumed command of the battleship USS Arizona (BB-39). In February 1940, RADM Kidd was designated Commander of Battleship Division ONE and Chief of Staff and Aide to Commander Battleships, Battle Force, with USS Arizona as his flagship. He was killed in action in this position during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The destroyer USS Kidd (DD-661), and the guided-missile destroyers USS Kidd (DDG-993) and USS Kidd (DDG-100) were all named in his honor. RADM Kidd was the first flag officer to lose his life in World War II, and the first in the U.S. Navy to lose his life in action against any foreign enemy in the history of the United States. His son, Isaac C. Kidd, Jr., was an Admiral in the U.S. Navy, and his grandson, Isaac C. Kidd, III, was a Capt in the U.S. Navy.

His Medal of Honor Citation reads:

For conspicuous devotion to duty, extraordinary courage and complete disregard of his own life, during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor, by Japanese forces on 7 December 1941. Rear Adm. Kidd immediately went to the bridge and, as Commander Battleship Division One, courageously discharged his duties as Senior Officer Present Afloat until the U.S.S. Arizona, his Flagship, blew up from magazine explosions and a direct bomb hit on the bridge which resulted in the loss of his life.


#imnohero #neverforget: Reinhardt J. Keppler, Medal of Honor


Reinhardt Keppler was born on January 22, 1918, in Ralston, Washington. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on February 19, 1936, and was trained as a boatswain. BM1 Keppler was serving aboard the heavy cruiser USS San Francisco (CA-38) at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked on December 7, 1941, and later participated in raids in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands, the Solomon Islands Campaign, and the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. Keppler died from wounds he received during the Battle of Guadalcanal on November 15, 1942, and he was buried at the Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, California.

His Medal of Honor Citation reads:

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, Boatswain’s Mate First Class Keppler promptly assisted in 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 ship’s 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 administering 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 U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.


#imnohero #neverforget: Trooper Chad Phillip Dermyer, EOW March 31, 2016


Trooper Chad Dermyer was shot and killed while speaking to a suspicious person inside the Greyhound bus terminal in Richmond, Virginia, at approximately 2:45 pm.

He and other officers were participating in an interdiction training course and were conducting stops of suspects. He spoke to the man briefly before the man suddenly produced a handgun and opened fire, hitting him. Other officers who were on scene shot and killed the subject when the man opened fire on them following a short foot pursuit inside the bus terminal.

Trooper Dermyer was transported to VCU Medical Center where he succumbed to his wounds.

Trooper Dermyer was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. He had served with the Virginia State Police for 17 months and had previously served with the Newport News Police Department, Jackson, Michigan, Police Department, and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs Police. He is survived by his wife, two children, parents, brother, and sister.


#imnohero #neverforget: Neel E. Kearby , Medal of Honor


Neel Kearby was born on June 5, 1911, in Wichita Falls, Texas. He graduated from the University of Texas with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration before enlisting in the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Army Air Corps on February 25, 1937. Kearby was commissioned a 2d Lt and awarded his pilot wings on February 16, 1938, and then served with the 94th and 40th Pursuit Squadrons of the 1st Pursuit Group at Selfridge Field, Michigan, until December 1940. Kearby commanded the 14th Pursuit Squadron in the Panama Canal Zone from December 1940 to August 1942, and then became commander of the 348th Fighter Group at Mitchel Field, New York, in October 1942. He deployed with the group to New Guinea in May 1943, and was credited with the destruction of 12 enemy aircraft in aerial combat before transferring to 5th Fighter Command in November 1943. Col Kearby destroyed another 10 enemy aircraft in the air, plus 2 damaged, before he was killed in action bailing out of his stricken P-47 Thunderbolt on March 5, 1944. His remains were found in 1947, and were returned to the United States in June 1949. Neel Kearby is buried at Hillcrest Memorial Park in Dallas, Texas.

His Medal of Honor Citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy, Col. Kearby volunteered to lead a flight of 4 fighters to reconnoiter the strongly defended enemy base at Wewak. Having observed enemy installations and reinforcements at 4 airfields, and secured important tactical information, he saw an enemy fighter below him, made a diving attack and shot it down in flames. The small formation then sighted approximately 12 enemy bombers accompanied by 36 fighters. Although his mission had been completed, his fuel was running low, and the numerical odds were 12 to 1, he gave the signal to attack. Diving into the midst of the enemy airplanes he shot down 3 in quick succession. Observing 1 of his comrades with 2 enemy fighters in pursuit, he destroyed both enemy aircraft. The enemy broke off in large numbers to make a multiple attack on his airplane but despite his peril he made one more pass before seeking cloud protection. Coming into the clear, he called his flight together and led them to a friendly base. Col. Kearby brought down 6 enemy aircraft in this action, undertaken with superb daring after his mission was completed.


#imnohero #neverforget: Officer Daniel C. Martinez, EOW March 23, 2007


Officer Daniel Martinez was shot and killed while helping a mother retrieve her child from a residence.

Officer Martinez had responded to a call to help a mother get her child from a residence where she had a run in with her ex-boyfriend earlier in the day. The ex-boyfriend had been arrested and she had returned to pick up her child. She met the officer in the parking lot and they went to the front door and the brother of the man arrested earlier answered and told them to wait a minute, then shut the door. He returned with a 9 mm handgun and shot the police officer in the head, then shot the mother in the back, shoulder, and elbow as she fled. Officer Martinez was taken to Sparks Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The shooter fled from the home in a car and killed himself before Oklahoma Highway Patrol officers found him near Spiro, Oklahoma.

Officer Martinez had served for several years with the Poteau Police Department, Panama Police Department, Shady Point Police Department, and Wister Police Department, all of which are in Oklahoma. He joined the Fort Smith Police Department on July 3, 2006. He is survived by his wife and five children.


#imnohero #neverforget: William A. Jones, III, Medal of Honor


William Jones was born on May 31, 1922, in Norfolk, Virginia. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia before entering the U.S. Military Academy in July 1942. He graduated from West Point and received a commission as a 2Lt in the U.S. Army Air Forces on July 4, 1945. Jones completed pilot training while at the Academy and he transitioned into B-25 Mitchell and B-24 Liberator bombers shortly after graduation. He served as a bomber, night fighter, rescue, and transport pilot during the late 1940’s. Jones served at Biggs AFB, Texas, from February 1948 to December 1952, and he flew in Europe with USAFE from December 1952 to August 1956. Jones next completed transition training in the B-47 Stratojet bomber and served at Lake Charles AFB, Louisiana (changed to Chennault AFB in 1958), from July 1957 to October 1959. He served as an engineering officer and B-47 Aircraft Commander at Pease AFB, New Hampshire, from October 1959 to August 1965, and then went through the Air War College at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, from August 1965 to July 1966. His next assignment was at USAF Headquarters at the Pentagon, from July 1966 until he went through combat crew training in the A-1 Skyraider in March 1968. Jones next became commanding officer of the 602nd Special Operations Squadron at Udorn and then Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai AFB, Thailand, in April 1968. On September 1, 1968, Col Jones was badly injured during a combat mission for which he would later be awarded the Medal of Honor. After hospitalization for his injuries, he was assigned as commander of the 1st Flying Training Squadron at Andrews AFB, Maryland. Col Jones was killed during a flight in his private plane on November 15, 1969. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor on August 6, 1970.

His Medal of Honor Citation reads:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, March 3, 1863, has awarded in the name of The Congress, the Medal of Honor to LIEUTENANT COLONEL WILLIAM A. JONES, III UNITED STATES AIR FORCE for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty: On 1 September 1968, Colonel Jones distinguished himself as the pilot of an A-1H Skyraider aircraft near Dong Hoi, North Vietnam. On that date, as the on-scene commander in the attempted rescue of a downed United States pilot, Colonel Jones’ aircraft was repeatedly hit by heavy and accurate antiaircraft fire. On one of his low passes, Colonel Jones felt an explosion beneath his aircraft and his cockpit rapidly filled with smoke. With complete disregard of the possibility that his aircraft might still be burning, he unhesitatingly continued his search for the downed pilot. On this pass, he sighted the survivor and a multiple-barrel gun position firing at him from near the top of a karst formation. He could not attack the gun position on that pass for fear he would endanger the downed pilot. Leaving himself exposed to the gun position, Colonel Jones attacked the position with cannon and rocket fire on two successive passes. On his second pass, the aircraft was hit with multiple rounds of automatic weapons fire. One round impacted the Yankee Extraction System rocket mounted directly behind his headrest, igniting the rocket. His aircraft was observed to burst into flames in the center fuselage section, with flames engulfing the cockpit area. He pulled the extraction handle, jettisoning the canopy. The influx of fresh air made the fire burn with greater intensity for a few moments, but since the rocket motor had already burned, the extraction system did not pull Colonel Jones from the aircraft. Despite searing pains from severe burns sustained on his arms, hands, neck, shoulders, and face, Colonel Jones pulled his aircraft into a climb and attempted to transmit the location of the downed pilot and the enemy gun position to the other aircraft in the area. His calls were blocked by other aircraft transmissions repeatedly directing him to bail out and within seconds his transmitters were disabled and he could receive only on one channel. Completely disregarding his injuries, he elected to fly his crippled aircraft back to his base and pass on essential information for the rescue rather than bail out. Colonel Jones successfully landed his heavily damaged aircraft and passed the information to a debriefing officer while on the operating table. As a result of his heroic actions and complete disregard for his personal safety, the downed pilot was rescued later in the day. Colonel Jones’ conspicuous gallantry, his profound concern for his fellowman, and his intrepidity at the risk of his life, above and beyond the call of duty, are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Air Force and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.


#imnohero #neverforget: Police Officer Sean A. McDonald, EOW March 15, 1994


Police Officer Sean McDonald was shot and killed while attempting to arrest two suspects for the robbery of a clothing store.

At about 7:30 pm, Officer McDonald, who had been guarding a condemned building on the corner of Edward L. Grant Highway and Shakespeare Avenue in the High Bridge section of the Bronx, was alerted to suspicious activity in a nearby clothing shop. Walking into the store to investigate, he confronted two robbery suspects. After frisking one and while attempting to frisk the other, both suspects attacked Officer McDonald. One of the suspects drew a firearm and fired at Officer McDonald striking him at least five times in the neck, torso and arm. Officer McDonald stumbled from the fusillade of bullets outside to the street and radioed for assistance before collapsing.

He was rushed to Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center where he died a short time later.

The suspects fled the scene but were in custody within 48 hours. Both suspects were convicted of second degree murder and armed robbery and sentenced to 25 years to life. They
will be eligible for parole in 2018.

Police Officer Sean A. McDonald was a US Army veteran and served with the New York City Police Department for 1 year and 8 months. He is survived by his wife and three children. He was assigned to the 44th Precinct.


#imnohero #neverforget: Leon W. Johnson, Medal of Honor


Leon Johnson was born on September 13, 1904, in Columbia, Missouri. He was commissioned through the U.S. Military Academy at West Point on June 12, 1926, and was assigned to the Army Air Corps in 1930. After completing pilot training in 1936, Johnson was assigned as the Base Weather Officer at Barksdale Field, Louisiana, from 1936 to July 1940. He served as commanding officer of the 90th Bomb Squadron at Savannah AB, Georgia, from December 1940 to May 1941, and then commanding officer of the 10th Reconnaissance Squadron, also at Savannah AB, from May to August 1941. Johnson served with the 3rd Air Support Command at Bolling FIeld, Washington, D.C., from August 1941 to January 1942, and then with the 8th Air Force from January 1942 to January 1943, when he became the commanding officer of the 44th Bomb Group. While in this command he was awarded the Medal of Honor during the attacks on the Ploesti oil fields on August 1, 1943. He commanded the 44th BG until he was made Commanding General of the 14th Combat Bomb Wing in September 1943, serving in this position until the end of the war in Europe. Johnson served with Headquarters Army Air Forces in Washington, D.C., from June 1945 to April 1947, when he became Commanding General of 15th Air Force. He served as Commanding General of the 3rd Air Division in England from August 1948 to February 1952. He was then named Commander of Continental Air Command, where he served until being assigned to the United Nations Commission in December 1955. In April 1956, Gen Johnson was assigned as the U.S. Representative to the North Atlantic Military Committee of NATO. He served as Air Deputy to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe from May 1958 until his retirement from the Air Force on July 1, 1961. General Johnson was recalled to active duty on September 15, 1961 to become the director of the Net Evaluation Subcommittee Staff on the National Security Council Staff. He retired from active duty a second time on April 30, 1965. Leon Johnson died on November 10, 1997, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

His Medal of Honor Citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry in action and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on 1 August 1943. Col. Johnson, as commanding officer of a heavy bombardment group, let the formation of the aircraft of his organization constituting the fourth element of the mass low-level bombing attack of the 9th U.S. Air Force against the vitally important enemy target of the Ploesti oil refineries. While proceeding to the target on this 2,400-mile flight, his element became separated from the leading elements of the mass formation in maintaining the formation of the unit while avoiding dangerous cumulous cloud conditions encountered over mountainous territory. Though temporarily lost, he reestablished contact with the third element and continued on the mission with this reduced force to the prearranged point of attack, where it was discovered that the target assigned to Col. Johnson’s group had been attacked and damaged by a preceding element. Though having lost the element of surprise upon which the safety and success of such a daring form of mission in heavy bombardment aircraft so strongly depended, Col. Johnson elected to carry out his planned low-level attack despite the thoroughly alerted defenses, the destructive antiaircraft fire, enemy fighter airplanes, the imminent danger of exploding delayed action bombs from the previous element, of oil fires and explosions, and of intense smoke obscuring the target. By his gallant courage, brilliant leadership, and superior flying skill, Col. Johnson so led his formation as to destroy totally the important refining plants and installations which were the object of his mission. Col. Johnson’s personal contribution to the success of this historic raid, and the conspicuous gallantry in action, and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty demonstrated by him on this occasion constitute such deeds of valor and distinguished service as have during our Nation’s history formed the finest traditions of our Armed Forces.


#imnohero #neverforget: Police Officer Christopher Ryan Morton, EOW March 6, 2018


Police Officer Christopher Morton was shot and killed when he and two other officers responded to an unknown situation as the result of a 911 call at approximately 9:20 p.m.

The call taker could hear screaming in the background on the call, but the caller did not otherwise communicate and hung up before officers arrived on scene. As the officers arrived at the home in the 300 Block of West Grand River Street a male subject opened fire on them with a semi-automatic rifle. The officers returned fire and entered the home in an attempt to take the man into custody. The man continued firing, wounding all three officers.

Officer Morton remained in a bedroom for approximately 15 minutes before being rescued by the other responding officers. He was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his wounds.

The subject then barricaded himself inside the home for several hours. A SWAT team entered the home shortly after midnight and located the subject deceased.

The ensuing investigation revealed that the original 911 call had been made from a home approximately 15 miles away and officers were dispatched to the wrong location when the call was traced to a different address. The male subject who opened fire on the officers was out on bail for weapons and methamphetamine charges and was under investigation for a rape.

Following Officer Morton’s murder, the female at the home was charged as an accessory to murder in the first degree, two counts of assault in the first degree, distribution of methamphetamine and other offenses.

Officer Morton had served as both a reserve officer and full-time officer with the Clinton Police Department for three years. He had recently returned to full-time status following the line-of-duty death of Police Officer Gary Michael on Aug. 6, 2017. He was a veteran of the Army National Guard and is survived by his parents and siblings.



#imnohero #neverforget: Joe M. Jackson, Medal of Honor


Joe Jackson was born on March 14, 1923, in Newnan, Georgia. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps on March 17, 1941, and was trained as a B-25 Mitchell crew chief. Jackson was accepted into the Aviation Cadet Program in April 1942, and he was commissioned and awarded his pilot wings on April 29, 1943. He flew P-40 Warhawks and P-63 Kingcobras before transitioning into the B-24 Liberator bomber near the end of the war. After World War II, Jackson remained in the Air Force and flew 107 combat missions in F-84 Thunderjets during the Korean War. He later flew reconnaissance aircraft, including the U-2 Dragon Lady, before flying C-123 Providers during the Vietnam War. Col Jackson flew 298 combat missions in Southeast Asia, including a rescue mission in May 1968 that he would later be awarded the Medal of Honor for. After Vietnam, Col Jackson served at the Pentagon before his final assignment as Chief of Strategic Forces Studies in the Department of Military Strategy at the Air War College from May 1971 until his retirement from the Air Force on December 31, 1973.

His Medal of Honor Citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Lt. Col. Jackson distinguished himself as pilot of a C-123 aircraft. Lt. Col. Jackson volunteered to attempt the rescue of a 3-man USAF Combat Control Team from the special forces camp at Kham Duc. Hostile forces had overrun the forward outpost and established gun positions on the airstrip. They were raking the camp with small arms, mortars, light and heavy automatic weapons, and recoilless rifle fire. The camp was engulfed in flames and ammunition dumps were continuously exploding and littering the runway with debris. In addition, 8 aircraft had been destroyed by the intense enemy fire and 1 aircraft remained on the runway reducing its usable length to only 2,200 feet. To further complicate the landing, the weather was deteriorating rapidly, thereby permitting only 1 air strike prior to his landing. Although fully aware of the extreme danger and likely failure of such an attempt. Lt. Col. Jackson elected to land his aircraft and attempt to rescue. Displaying superb airmanship and extraordinary heroism, he landed his aircraft near the point where the combat control team was reported to be hiding. While on the ground, his aircraft was the target of intense hostile fire. A rocket landed in front of the nose of the aircraft but failed to explode. Once the combat control team was aboard, Lt. Col. Jackson succeeded in getting airborne despite the hostile fire directed across the runway in front of his aircraft. Lt. Col. Jackson’s profound concern for his fellowmen, at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Air Force and reflect great credit upon himself, and the Armed Forces of his country.