Keppler, Reinhardt John, PO1

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Last Rank
Boatswain's Mate 1st Class
Last Primary NEC
BM-0000-Boatswain's Mate
Last Rating/NEC Group
Boatswain's Mate
Primary Unit
1940-1942, BM-0000, USS San Francisco (CA-38)
Service Years
1936 - 1942
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Neptune Subpoena
Order of the Golden Dragon
Order of the Square Rigger
Panama Canal
BM-Boatswain's Mate
One Hash Mark

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Tommy Burgdorf (Birddog), FC2 to remember Keppler, Reinhardt John, PO1.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address

(Reinhardt's tombstone incorrectly lists Nov 15 as his death.)

Casualty Date
Nov 13, 1942
Hostile, Died
Other Explosive Device
Not Specified
Location of Interment
Golden Gate National Cemetery - San Bruno, California
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
WW II Memorial National RegistryThe National Gold Star Family RegistryUnited States Navy Memorial World War II Fallen
  2014, WW II Memorial National Registry
  2014, The National Gold Star Family Registry
  2014, United States Navy Memorial - Assoc. Page
  2014, World War II Fallen

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 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
USS West Virginia (BB-48)US Navy
  1936-1940, BM-0000, USS West Virginia (BB-48)
  1940-1942, BM-0000, USS San Francisco (CA-38)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1941-1941 World War II/Asiatic-Pacific Theater/Attack on Pearl Harbor
  1941-1941 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Battle of Wake Island
  1942-1942 Central Pacific Campaign (1941-43)/Bombardment - Marshall and Gilbert Islands
  1942-1942 Guadalcanal Campaign (1942-42)/Cape Esperance (Second Savo)
  1942-1942 Guadalcanal Campaign (1942-42)/Cape Esperance (Second Savo)
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Reinhardt John Keppler was a Navy serviceman who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal in World War II.  After an honorable discharge, he reenlisted April 25, 1940 and was assigned to the heavy cruiser USS San Francisco (CA-38).  Keppler was promoted to First Class Petty Officer at the beginning of October 1941.  During the war Boatswain's Mate First Class Keppler participated in action at Pearl Harbor, the early wartime raids on Bougainville and New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands campaign.
Medal of Honor-

Awarded posthumously for actions during World War II:

"The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Boatswain's Mate First Class Reinhardt John Keppler, United States Navy, 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."

Action Date: November 12 - 13, 1942

Service: Navy

Rank: Boatswain's Mate First Class

Division: U.S.S. San Francisco (CA-38)

Rheiny was buried in the military cemetery on Espiritu Santos Island until after the war, when in 1948 his body was returned to the United States and he was buried with military honors in the National Golden Gate Cemetery in San Bruno, California, on June 16, 1948. 
 San Bruno
San Mateo County
California, USA
Plot: Section C, Grave 379
                                          NAME SAKE

                               U.S.S. Keppler (DD-765)

2,200-ton destroyer, DD-765) was launched on June 24, 1946 by Bethlehem Steel Shipbuilding, San Francisco, California, and christened U.S.S. Keppler by Mrs. Elizabeth L. Keppler, widow of  Reinhardt John Keppler.                                                                  
     The U.S.S. Keppler (DD-765) was commissioned and placed into service on May 23, 1947, and served on active duty in the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets until it was decommissioned on July 1, 1972. 
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