The Military Order of the Purple Heart To Honor First Female Combat Pilot Killed in Action

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Military Order of the Purple Heart will be honoring the first female combat pilot killed in action. Captain Kimberly N. Hampton (image attached) was killed as a result of hostile fire in 2004 while flying her helicopter near Fallujah in the Iraq war. On May 2, the annual Military Order of the Purple Heart South Carolina State Department Convention, sponsored by United Community Bank, will culminate in a gala where Captain Hampton’s hometown Military of Purple Heart Chapter 845 will be formally renamed to “The Captain Kimberly N. Hampton MOPH Chapter 845.”

Guest of honor at the gala will include Dale and Ann Hampton (Captain Hampton’s parents) and keynote speaker Col. Eric (Rick) Schwartz. Col. Schwartz commanded and led the first wave into the Iraq war. A film about this heroic and influential event is currently in production and will star Matthew McConaughey and Gerard Butler as Col. Schwartz .

We are all looking forward to honoring this American hero in front of her family and comrades. Captain Hampton embodied the character our country was built upon and we are forever grateful for her, and so many others’, sacrifice,” states Doug Greenlaw, Commander of Chapter 845.

Kimberly’s story is detailed in the novel, “Kimberly’s Flight: The Story of Captain Kimberly Hampton, America’s First Woman Combat Pilot Killed in Battle”, co-authored by her mother Ann Hampton.

Several other distinguished guests will attend and speak at the Convention, including Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Seal Team 7 Team Leader Thom Shea and Major General Mastin Robeson, author of the book, “Unbreakable.”

  • What:  The Military Order of the Purple Heart Honors Captain Kimberly N. Hampton, First Female Combat Pilot Killed in Action, by renaming her hometown chapter 845.
  • Who:
    • Keynote speaker Col. Eric (Rick) Schwartz
    • Dale and Ann Hampton, parents of Capt. Hampton
    • Doug Greenlaw, Commander of Chapter 845
    • Thom Shea, Team Leader of Seal Team 7
    • Major General Mastin Robeson, author of the book “Unbreakable”
  • When: May 2nd, 2015 6:00-7:00pm
  • Where: Embassy Suites, 670 Verdae Blvd. Greenville, SC, 29607

Media Contact:

Hannah Huffines Amick


About Kimberly Hampton:

Hampton was born on August 18, 1976, in Greenville, South Carolina, the only child of Dale and Ann Hampton. Growing up in Easley, South Carolina, she graduated from Easley High School, where she had served as the student body president, CO of the NJROTC unit, and captain of the tennis team. Hampton began her college career playing tennis for Furman University. She went on to be an honors graduate and champion tennis player at Presbyterian College. Hampton led the school team, the Blue Hose, to three consecutive South Atlantic Conference women’s tennis tournament titles. She was undefeated in three years of conference singles play. She won the SAC awards for Women’s Tennis Player of the Year in 1997 and 1998, and Female Athlete of the Year in 1998. Hampton joined the United States Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) while in college. As a senior, she became only the second woman to serve as the school’s ROTC battalion commander. Upon graduation, she attended flight training and Aviation Officer Basic Course at Fort Rucker, Alabama, where she completed the training with honors. She served two years in South Korea, and also in Afghanistan as part of the United States forces in Operation Enduring Freedom. Hampton was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina before becoming the commander of Delta Troop, 1st Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment prior to the unit’s deployment to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom in September 2003.Hampton died when the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter she was flying was shot down near Fallujah, Iraq on January 2, 2004. Captain Hampton was the first female military pilot in United States history to be shot down and killed as a result of hostile fire. She was also the first female combat casualty in Iraq from South Carolina. Hampton was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, Air Medal, and Purple Heart.

About The Military of Purple Heart:

The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the armed forces of the U.S. who are wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy and posthumously to the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or die of wounds received in action. It is specifically a combat decoration. The organization now known as the “Military Order of the Purple Heart,” was formed in 1932 for the protection and mutual interest of all who have received the decoration. Composed exclusively of Purple Heart recipients, it is the only veterans service organization comprised strictly of “combat” veterans.

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