By Michael P. Mauer
A Mon Valley veteran will be honored 9:30 a.m. at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum in Pittsburgh June 6.
Glenn E. Kempf, a life member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 914 Intrepid West Mifflin, will be recognized as part of a program partly organized by the Pittsburgh Chapter of Pets For Vets at Animal Friends. The event will also feature a presentation by Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum curator Michael Kraus.
Kraus will be discussing the heroic contributions made by Kempf and Burgettstown, PA native and Medal of Honor winner John J. Pinder, Jr., who was killed during the Battle of Normandy June 6, 1944. The event is free and open to the public.
Kempf also served in Normandy, as well as in the Ardennes during World War II while assigned to the 45th Field Hospital as a medical technician. He landed in Normandy June 7, 1944, on Omaha Beach. He also participated in the Battle of the Bulge.
Despite being a medical unit, the 45th Field Hospital often came under fire as it traveled along with Allied troops through France and Belgium. Kempf’s unit lost several enlisted soldiers, as well as a few commissioned officers. Included with those casualties was 2nd Lt. Frances Y. Slanger – the only United States Army nurse to be killed in enemy action during World War II in Europe.
Kempf stayed with his unit throughout the war until his discharge Dec. 12, 1945. Among the awards and decorations, Kempf earned for his military service are the Legion of Honor by the French Republic, the European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with five battle stars, the World War II Victory Medal and the Good Conduct Medal.
Kempf is a graduate of the Scotland School for Veterans’ Children. Following his discharge from the Army, Kempf worked as a machinist for the Continental Can Company, from where he retired after 30 years of service. He has been a member of the West Mifflin VFW for nearly three decades.
The French Legion of Honor was established by Napoleon Bonaparte in May 1802. It is the top military decoration bestowed in France. To earn the Legion of Honor as a United States veteran, recipients must have fought in at least one of the three campaigns to liberate France in World War II. The award is not given posthumously.
For more information about VFW Post 914 and its activities, visit the group’s website at: http://traa.weebly.com/vfw-