Rank and organization:   Boatswain's Mate First Class, U.S. Navy.
22 January 1918, Ralston, Wash.
Accredited to:   Washington.
Other Navy awards:
Citation:   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, 1213
November 1942. When a hostile torpedo plane, during a daylight air raid,
crashed on the after machine-gun platform, 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.
This data was extracted from the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, U.S. Senate, Medal of Honor Recipients: 1863-1973 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1973)