Navy Veteran Jack Kampf Honored

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Continuing its tradition of taking history out of the books by honoring local heroes, the district paid tribute to Navy veteran Jack Kampf with a ceremony on Dec. 5. The event included a flag raising and presentation of Congressional medals.

“The Hampton Bays School District is proud to honor Jack Kampf for his service to our country,” Superintendent of Schools Lars Clemensen said.

During the ceremony, high school student Mackenzie Engeldrum sang the national anthem, Franklin Kryzewski read Mr. Kampf’s biography and the jazz band performed. Congressman Tim Bishop presented Mr. Kampf with medals he had earned but never had presented to him; Congressman Bishop was able to secure the medals 58 years later.

Following the presentations, the district, with the help of the American Legion Hand-Aldrich Post 924, raised an American flag in Mr. Kampf’s honor. In addition, Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman, Southampton Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst and Southampton Highway Superintendent Alex Gregor spoke of Mr. Kampf’s sacrifices and thanked him for his service.

Mr. Kampf, who was born in Brooklyn to immigrant parents, enlisted in the Navy after graduating New Utrecht High School. After training at the U.S. Naval Training Center in Bainfridge, Md., he was assigned to the destroyer escort, the U.S.S. Ulvert M. Moore, and deployed to the Far East for duties in Korea. His job was to assist in the search for enemy submarines throughout the Pacific while also escorting aircraft carriers, ammunition and supply ships to and from a home base in Sasebo, Japan.

After being honorably discharged in 1956, Mr. Kampf returned home and began a career in the garment industry that lasted 55 years. He also started a not-for-profit, The Needlers Foundation, which raised and contributed millions of dollars to children’s charities.

Mr. Kampf and his wife, Dawn, who have resided in Hampton Bays for 22 years, have three children and five grandchildren. Their children are Robert, a Desert Storm Bronze Star vet who lives in Germany; Scott, an executive chef who lives and works in Southampton; and Dara, a secretary at Hampton Bays Elementary School.