In Memory

Brian Hemmig - Class Of 1939

Lt. Col. (Ret.) USAF Ralph Brian Hemmig passed away peacefully October 21, 2013 at Carolina Meadows, Chapel Hill, NC. Col. Hemmig was born April 26, 1921 in Delphi, Indiana. He first attended Purdue University where his education was interrupted by World War II. He later graduated from Sacramento State College with an AB. Degree in Personnel Administration. He holds a Master's Degree in School administration from Denver University. Col. Hemmig's Air Force career of 27 years included participation in the Pacific Theater of World War II, the Korean War and six months of the Berlin Airlift. He flew a total of 85 combat missions and logged more than 6,000 hours in the air; 1,010 of them combat hours. During World War II, Col. Hemmig pioneered the famous low-level bombing attacks on the Japanese mainland. He was the "pathfinder" navigator for 450 B-29s on the bombing raids on Yokohama. He received three distinguished Flying Crowns, nine Air Medals, battle stars and campaign ribbons. He was cited as one of the top crewmen in the 20th Air Force. Following the war, Col. Hemmig served 3 years in Occupied Japan, bases in Florida, Texas and California. He served as Associate Professor of Navigation at the US Air Force Academy from 1959-1963, when he moved to England as Chief of Third Air Force War Plans. In 1966, he took his last assignment as Professor of Aerospace Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he retired in 1969. Col. Hemmig is survived by his wife of 68 years, Juanita Ragland Hemmig of Chapel Hill; sons and daughters-in-law, Dr. and Mrs. Stephen B. Hemmig (Nancy) of Charlotte, NC, Dr. and Mrs. James D. Hemmig (Cecelia) of Niceville, FL; granddaughter, Rebecca M. Elliott (husband Michael); and granddaughter, Amanda Leigh Elliott of Waxhaw, NC. A memorial service will be held today, October 23, 2013 at 2:00 in the Board Room of the Main Center at Carolina Meadows, Chapel Hill. Interment will be held at Arlington National Cemetery at a date to be determined.

Durham Herald-Sun - Oct 23, 2013