John Kemp was in my flight school class
John A. Kemp graduated from the Military Academy with the Class of 1961. Commissioned into the artillery, he completed training as an Air Defense Artillery Officer and served with the 65th Artillery Regiment. In late 1964 he was assigned to pilot training; after designation as an Army Aviator in 1965, he was assigned to the 2nd Bn, 32nd Field Arty, at Fort Sill. Shortly thereafter he received orders to HHB, 23rd Artillery Group, in Vietnam.
He flew the O-1 Birddog in-country as an airborne artillery spotter. Early on 08 Aug 1966, about ten months into his tour, Captain Kemp departed from the Phu Loi airport to provide artillery support for a truck convoy from Bien Hoa to Xuan Loc. He was never heard from again.
Eight months passed before the wreckage of the O-1 was found and with it Captain Kemp's remains. His aircraft had been shot down.
John Kemp was buried on 11 April 1967 in the Post Cemetery at West Point. Twentythree years later, on 18 May 1990, he was awarded the Purple Heart ... correcting an omission derived from an error on the original casualty report issued on 7 April 1967, which listed his death as a non-battle casualty.
NOTE: Captain Kemp's Home of Record is carried, incorrectly, in the DoD casualty file as "Mullens, Virginia". While we have displayed the proper HoR information here, other sources no doubt will continue to reflect the incorrect HoR information.