FAMILY HISTORIES OF
PERSONS BURIED AT
LT. GEN. WILLIAM ELLSWORTH KEPNER
1. Ohio born Kepner never lived in C’ville, but visited here often as he was married to Clarksvillian Jean Wilcox (2 nieces, Julia Wilcox Marks & Katherine Goodner were crazy about their uncle, the “Gen”.)
2. In 1934 Kepner and 2 other pilots were sponsored by Nat. Geographic
Society and the Army Air Corps to absolute temperatures and absolute pressures
at great heights. In a balloon, the “Explorer”, they hoped to exceed 61,000
ft. At 60,000 ft, the balloon ripped open and the balloon fell to 20,000
ft. At 3,000 ft. the 2 other pilots jumped to safety but Kepner held on,
the gondola, on which he was riding dropping a mi. a minute. At 300 ft,
Kepner jumped and all 3 lived to tell the story! Had the balloon stayed
aloft, it was scheduled to land in C’ville.
Information used on the Greenwood Historic Tour of 2001. Site location information may be found on the Greenwood Cemetery site.
Submitted by Randall Rubel e-mail: RRUBEL@peoplepc.com
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