Kimberly’s Flight: A play to honor PC graduate


Merritt Byrd as Kimberly Hampton.

Blake Roberts, Staff Writer

The Presbyterian College Theater Department will be performing “Kimberly’s Flight,” an original production based on the life of Kimberly Hampton, a PC graduate and war hero.

Hampton was the first female military pilot in US history to be shot down and killed by enemy fire.

She died in January 2004, just six years after she graduated from PC with honors in English. While at PC, she was a star player on the tennis team, and was the ROTC’s battalion commander.

The screenplay has been adapted from “KIMBERLY’S FLIGHT: The Story of Captain Kimberly Hampton, America’s First Woman Combat Pilot Killed in Battle,” a biography written by Greenville journalist Ann Simon.

Theatre professors Lesley Preston and Miriam Ragland approached Ann Hampton, Kimberly’s mother, about creating the adaptation. She gave them her blessing. Dr. Ragland and senior theatre major Taylor Figura received a summer research grant to study the military background for this play. ROTC Commander Larry Mulhall, who also taught Hampton himself and will be featured in the play, was consulted.

The play itself will focus on two different stories: the actual life of Kimberly, and the inspirational tale of the impact she had on those close to her. Over the course of the play, the audience will learn of the different miracles that occurred after Kimberly’s death, and the feeling that she was the one responsible, sometimes saving former soldiers’ lives.

Saturday, April 5, was the date for the play’s opening date. Viewers were able to help themselves to finger food during the pre-play gala. Afterwards, the actors performed to a full house. Many of those in the audience knew Kimberly personally, such as Head of Campus Police Larry Mulhall, or served with her.

“I am honored to be able to recognize her in this way here at PC, a place that meant so much to her,” said director and theater professor Miriam Ragland.

The remaining dates for the play are April 7-9 at 7:30 pm and April 12 at 1:30 pm. Tickets are $5 each and can be purchased at