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Richard R. Chapman 1920-1943


Posted By: Merllene Andre Bendixen (email)
Date: 6/12/2011 at 16:23:11

Iowa Pilot Dead
Estherville – The death of Lt. Richard R. Chapman, 22, army air corps pilot, was officially confirmed Wednesday in a notice received by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. L. R. Chapman of Estherville. Lieutenant Chapman died in north Africa on March 26 as the result of wounds, the war department said. (Waterloo Daily Courier, Waterloo, IA, May 26 1943)

Official Word Comes of Lieut. Richard R. Chapman’s Death
Mrs. Richard R. Chapman of Milford, the former Mildred Hausmann, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Louie Hausmann of Milford, received official word Tuesday morning of the death on March 26 of her husband, Lt. Chapman, as the result of injuries received in action on the Tunisian front. It will be remembered that Mrs. Chapman received a letter in April from a friend of her husband stating that the flyer had been taken to a base hospital for care after a plane crash in Tunisia March 25. The friend wrote that later he went to the hospital to see his friend, Lt. Chapman and learned that he had died from his injuries.

At the time of receiving the letter from the friend, the family had had no official word from the government and Red Cross investigation was started. Recently the youth’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. R. L. Chapman at Estherville had word from the Red Cross that their son was in full duty status on April 25. The Red Cross urged them however not to place too great confidence in their son’s safety as his status could have been revised since the date mentioned. After receiving this message the parents and young wife had some hope that perhaps he was still alive, but the government word this week dispels that hope.

Plans are being made to hold a memorial service for the young flyer, who had been in Africa since January 1st. He was stationed in England for three months previous to that time, being one of the American pilots who volunteered for action against the enemy in extremely dangerous stormy weather in November. (Spirit Lake Beacon, Spirit Lake, IA, May 27, 1943)

Lt. Richard Chapman Died a Hero, Decorated
Mrs. Richard R. Chapman has received messages recently from men who knew Lt. Chapman of the army, leading to the conclusion that he died as a hero.

The personal effects of Lt. Chapman have been sent to Mrs. Chapman, who lives near Milford with her parents, by the war department. Among them she found three medals, two of which are Purple Hearts, and one of which is an Air Medal. Her husband was with the air force in the Tunisia campaign.

Word from friends of his, which has recently reached here, states that Lt. Chapman gave his life to save his comrades in the battle that was taking place.

Their airplane was so badly damaged that Lt. Chapman ordered his crew to bail out. He stated that he would try to bring the plane down. They obeyed his orders, and later found that he had brought his plane down but had suffered the loss of so much blood, meantime, that he died. He had been badly cut along his forehead and on his face. Mrs. Chapman has not been advised what the other Purple Heart was for, never having known that he had previously been injured. She believes that the one decoration is posthumous.

Lt. Chapman is the son of Mr. and Mrs. L. R. Chapman of Estherville, and brother to Miss Maxine Chapman. (Vindicator and Republican, Estherville, IA, September 23, 1943)


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