Kimberly Hampton was born on August 18, 1976, in Greenville, South Carolina. She was commissioned a 2d Lt in the U.S. Army through the Army ROTC program at Presbyterian College, in Clinton, South Carolina, on May 3, 1998, going on active duty as a Gold Bar Recruiter at Presbyterian College, where she served from May 9 to September 25, 1998. After completing Helicopter Pilot Training she was assigned to the 4th Squadron, 7th Cavalry, 2nd Aviation Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division at Camp Pelham and Camp Guardia, South Korea, from February 1999 to December 2001. Capt Hampton was then assigned to the 82nd Aviation Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, deploying to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from November 2002 to February 2003. In October 2003 she deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and became the first female U.S. Military Aviator killed in combat when her OH-58 was shot down near Fallujah, Iraq, on January 2, 2004. Captain Hampton's remains were returned to the United States and she was buried at Robinson Memorial Gardens in Easley, South Carolina.
Her 1st (of 2) Bronze Star Medal Citation reads:
Captain Kimberly N. Hampton
HHC, 82D Aviation Brigage
From 16 NOVEMBER 2002 to 10 FEBRUARY 2003
For exceptionally meritorious service while serving as a member of Coalition Task Force 82 during Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan. Your outstanding performance and dedication to duty were critical to the success of combat operations under the most extreme and austere conditions. Your efforts contributed significantly to the overall success of the Global War on Terrorism. Your dedication and commitment reflect distinct credit upon you, Coalition Task Force 82 and the United States Army.