Captain Kimberly Hampton
Captain Kimberly Hampton, a native of Easley, SC, was killed on January 2, 2004 when her OH-58 Kiowa Warrior observation helicopter was attacked near the Iraqi town of Fallujah, west of Baghdad.
Kimberly Hampton was a native of Easley who graduated in 1994 from Easley High School where she served as the senior class president.
She attended Presbyterian College on a full ROTC scholarship and served as commander of the Scottish Highlander Battalion during her senior year. She accepted the Daughters of the American Revolution Award, the George C. Marshall Award, and the Wysor Saber as the battalion's top graduate in 1998.
She excelled in the classroom, where she earned dean's list honors for five consecutive semesters and was a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa honor society. Her academic excellence was matched by her athletic abilities. Kimberly was undefeated in conference tennis singles play. She was the Southern Athletic Conference Women's Tennis Player of the Year in 1997 and 1998, and honored as the SAC Female Athlete of the Year. In 2004, Kimberly Hampton was inducted into the Southern Athletic Conference Hall of Fame. Her contributions to campus and community life included service through the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Campus Outreach, the Student-Athlete Advisory Board, and as a Red Cross volunteer.
After earning her degree, Kimberly was accepted in the aviation branch of the U.S. Army and graduated with honors from the U.S. Army Helicopter Flight School and Officer Basic Course at Fort Rucker, Alabama. Her first operation assignment was to the 4th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division in South Korea. She served as a helicopter pilot and platoon leader there for two years, patrolling the No Fly Line along the Demilitarized Zone between North Korea and South Korea.
Captain Hampton returned to Fort Rucker in January of 2002, and graduated
with honors from the seven-month Aviation Officer Advanced Course and
Combined Arms Services Staff School. She was then assigned as the commander
of the Delta Troop. First Squadron with the 17th Cavalry Regiment of the
82nd Aviation Brigade of the 82nd Airborne in August 2002.
After serving in Afghanistan with Coalition Joint Task Force 180 for Operation Enduring Freedom, she returned to the United States and was subsequently deployed to Iraq.
Captain Kimberly Hampton is the first female combat pilot killed by enemy fire in United States history. She is also not only the first female combat casualty from Pickens County, but also for the state of South Carolina.