William Perry Kephart
Lieuenant, United States Navy
Perry Kephart, born at Meyersdale, Pennsylvania, 9 September 1915, the
son of A. P. and Margaret (Dill) Kephart. He graduated from the University
of North Carolina at CHapel Hill in 1937. He enlisted in the United States
Naval Reserve on 15 August 1937 and was appointed an Aviation Cadet 3 months
later. After flight training at Pensacola, Florida, he was commissioned
Ensign on 1 December 1938.
Kephart served with air groups in Saratoga (CV-3) and Wasp (CV-7), and in May 1940 returned to Pensacola as a flight instructor. Six months later he rejoined Scouting Squadron 71 (VS-71) on board the USS Wasp. He was promoted to Lieutenant (j.g.) on 15 June 1942 and to Lieutenant (temporary) on 1 October.
Lieutenant Kephart was killed in action on 14 October 1942 while engaging the enemy over Guadalcanal. He was survived by his parents and a sister, Margaret Kephart.
He postmously received the Marine Air Medal,
the Asiatic-Pacific Fleet Medal and the Purple Heart. In 1943, the citizens
of Greensboro, North Carolina, raised over $5,000,000 in bonds to pay for
a destroyer escort which was named the U.S.S. Kephart (DE-207) in his memory.
The ship was sponsored by his mother.
Posted: 21 January 2009