Commodore Dixie Kiefer
U. S. Navy, USS Ticonderoga (CV-14) Commander Killed in Plane November 11, 1945
Dixie Kiefer was born April 4, 1896 in Blackfoot, Idaho. He attended the U. S. Naval Academy (USNA) class of 1919 as a Naval Aviator.
When Kiefer abandoned ship from the USS Yorktown (CV-5) was sunk during the Battle of Midway. On May 8, 1944 Captain Dixie Kiefer was placed in command of USS Ticonderoga (CV-14) at the Norfolk Navy Yard and took command of the newly built aircraft carrier. On January 21, 1945 Kiefer was injured when a second kamikaze aircraft hit the carrier. While still recovering, he was promoted to the rank of Commodore in ceremony at Rockefeller Center in New York. Afterwards, he became the Commanding Officer (C. O.) of NAS Quonset Point.
On November 11, 1945 took off NAS Quonset Point as a passenger aboard JRB-4 Expeditor 44632 on a flight bound for Caldwell Airfield in New Jersey. During the flight, this aircraft crashed into Mount Beacon (Mt. Beacon) near Fishkill, New York killing everyone aboard in the crash. After the crash, authorities reached the site including the New York State Police and recovered the remains of the crew and passengers that were badly burned. Kiefer was identified by the cast on his arm and his identification tags.
Kiefer earned the Navy Cross, Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Purple Heart with Gold Star, Victory Medal, Patrol Clasp (USS Corona); the American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp (USS Wright); the American Campaign Medal; the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with two bronze stars; and the World War II Victory Medal.
On November 16, 1945 Kiefer was buried at Arlington National Cemetery at section 3, site 4072-C.
The True Story of World War II Hero "Captain Dixie" (2017) by Don Keith and David Rocco
USNA Shipmate "Indestructible Dixie Kiefer" by Capt David Poyer '71, USNR (Ret.) June 2019
"Dixie had a rendezvous with fate. In November 1945, he flew to Caldwell, NJ, in a Beechcraft Expeditor with several other servicemen to attend the Army-Notre Dame football game at Yankee Stadium. They left on their return flight on the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month (then Armistice Day, now Veterans Day). During the return flight, the plane crashed, 1,100 feet up the western flank of the north peak of Mt. Beacon, near the town of Fishkill, NY. None of the six men aboard survived. The bodies were so badly burned that Kiefer was identified by the cast on his arm and his ID tags."
FindAGrave - Como Dixie Kiefer (photos, grave photo)
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