Donald J. Chapman

Date of Birth:  March 8, 1919


Place of Birth:  Passamonte, New Mexico


Father and Mother’s Names:   Andrew Jay and Mabel May (Taylor) Chapman


Date Entered Service:  February 25, 1943 (in Portland, Oregon)


Service Branch:  Army


Rank/Specialty:  Private First Class


Service ID:  39327949


Division/Company/Unit info:  Company A, 20th Infantry Battalion, 10th Armored Division.


Riley Connection:  The 1925, 1930, ad 1940 U.S. Census shows the Chapman family as living in Madison Township. Before that, in 1920, it lists them as living on Seven Mile Creek. By the time the U.S. joined the war it appears that the Chapman family had moved to Oregon.


Date of Death (and Age):  November 19, 1944 (age 25)


Place of Death:  Near Eft, Germany, during the Battle of the Bulge.


Grave Location:   Originally burried at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, Arrondissement de Verviers, Liège, Belgium. Donald’s grave was relocated in 1948 to Riley Cemetery, Riley, Kansas.


Bio:  Don Chapman lived in Madison Township with his family. He served in the Army in the 20th Armored Infantry Battalion 10th Armored Division. The 10th Armored Division was part of the Third Army under the command of General Patton. The 10th Armored Division participated in the capture of Metz, which was the first time in 1500 years that the fortress fell. The 10th moved to the Siegfried Line and led the Third Army into Germany on November 19, 1944, where they encountered heavy fighting.


Pvt. 1st Class Donald J. Chapman, serving with the 10th Armored Division, 20th Infantry Battalion, was killed defending the Saare River crossing at Eft, Germany. On August 22, 1948, Don’s casket was disinterred from its temporary military cemetery overseas at the behest of his parents and returned on the U.S. Army Transport (USAT) Lawrence Victory, which had been painted white and wrapped with a large purple mourning band. Don’s casket was transferred from the ship in solemn ceremony and taken under military escort to a cemetery in his childhood hometown in Kansas.




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