The true and tragic story of an American Navy pilot who survived battles of World War II only to meet his fate just after the war ended in a plane crash on Mount Beacon in Dutchess County, will be the topic of a talk on Saturday, January 19th, at 2 pm, at the Little Red Schoolhouse, 297 Locust Avenue, in Cortlandt Manor, NY.
This event is open free to the public.
Author, photographer and historian David Rocco of Yorktown will present an illustrated program based on his book The Indestructible Man: The True Story of World War II Hero “Captain Dixie.” Commodore Dixie Kiefer of Blackfoot, Idaho, was a much-decorated pilot who was seriously wounded in several naval battles in the Pacific Theatre of the Second World War. According to Mr. Rocco’s book, when the Secretary of the Navy, James Forrestal, awarded Kiefer the Medal of Valor, he proclaimed the battle-scarred Commodore to be “The Indestructible Man.” Who knew that just five months later, Dixie Kiefer and his five crew mates would die on the foggy morning of November 11, 1945 in Beacon, New York – James Forrestal’s hometown.
The book, which was co-authored with Don Keith, will be available for sale and signing.
As a photographer of the scenic Hudson Valley and beyond, David Rocco has photographed some of the most important and historic restoration projects in the Hudson Valley Region. He is a founding member of the Friends of the Mount Beacon Eight, whose goal is to bring public awareness to the deaths of eight U.S. Navy veterans – including Commodore Dixie Kiefer in 1945 – in two separate plane crashes on Mount Beacon. The first crash occurred on September 14, 1935, taking the lives of two crewmen, including Katonah native Clinton Hart, an Aviation Machinist Mate 2nd Class.
A native of Yonkers, Rocco has resided in Yorktown with his wife, Ruby, since 1995.
The Little Red Schoolhouse is located at the north end of Locust Avenue, next to Old Saint Peter’s Church and Cemetery on the hill just south of Oregon Road in the Town of Cortlandt. For more information, and in case of inclement weather, call (914) 736-7868, or click here.
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