Fourth of July flag raised for eight Superior brothers
A Flag of Remembrance is raised in honor of the eight brothers who served in the United States military and Civilian Conservation Corp.
As young boys growing up in Billings Park, they loved to play ball in nearby pastures. As the brothers grew, so did the threat of World War II. Eventually, all eight brothers would serve honorably in the military and government.
Roland Kempton served in the Pacific Theater during World War II with the U.S. Navy and was involved with the invasion of Okinawa.
Bernard Kempton served as a First Navy Corpsman and Medic, 22nd and 6th Marine divisions.
Bernard also served in the Pacific Theater during World War II and was involved in the Okinawa and Guam campaigns. He was wounded in Okinawa.
Joseph Kempton served in the U.S. Air Forces and discharged honorably with the rank of staff sergeant.
Donald Kempton was in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific Theater. Donald was stationed in Shanghai, China patrolling the Yangtze River.
Leo Kempton served in the U.S. Navy as a radio operator stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941. Leo, then only 20 years old, sent the first message that Pearl Harbor was under attack, which read “AIR RAID ON PEARL HARBOR THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” After attempting to send the message on new high-speed automatic equipment, he was asked to slow down transmitting speed. Leo had to finally send the message on an old-fashioned telegraph. He finally received a “Roger” from Washington D.C. Interestingly, the facility Leo was in that morning was brand-new, about two miles from the old facility. Because of this, the Japanese bombed the old facility — an important fact saved Leo’s life that day.
Jerome Kempton could not serve in the military because of medical conditions. However, Jerome still wanted to serve his country. He took the initiative to join the Civilian Conservation Corps, stationed locally in Pattison Park and helped build sidewalks, bridges and other construction projects that still stand and beautify the Superior area.
Two surviving brothers are also being honored during the flag-raising.
Chester Kempton Jr., 88, resides in Atlanta, Ga. He was in the U.S. Navy as a radar radioman in the Pacific Theater during World War II and saw action during the invasion of Okinawa.
Robert Kempton resides in St. Paul, Minn. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War as a radioman.
He also had the privilege of being on the Honor Guard for President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
The entire Kempton family is proud of the brothers’ service to country. Everyone is welcome to honor these brothers during the Flag of Remembrance ceremony at 9 a.m. Friday outside the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center. The event is free.
The Flag of Remembrance Program honors the life and memory of one deceased veteran every week by flying a flag over the center. Information about the veteran is on display at the
center throughout the week.