CHAPPELL, JOHN MONROE
CHAPPELL, JOHN MONROE
Rank / Branch:
TSGT, U. S. AIR FORCE
Date of Birth:
Awards & Decorations:
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JOHN MONROE CHAPPELL, TECHNICAL SERGEANT, U.S. AIR FORCE, BIG SPRING, HOWARD COUNTY, TEXAS
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Purple Heart, Air Force Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, European Occupation Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal
John was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. He had two brothers and two sisters. After graduating from high school in 1947, he entered the U.S. Air Force. This was in the early days after the U.S. Army Air Corp had been redesignated as the U.S. Air Force and as such became a separate service.
He trained in civil engineering and had assignments all over the continental U.S. and did a tour in Germany assisting in building facilities as a part of the occupation.by the Allies. He was married to Dorothy Marie Morgan, formerly of Waco and there were two children, a daughter Marie Darlene and a son, Pat.
He first reported to Webb Air Force Base in 1960 from an assignment at Harlingen Air Force Bases when that base was closed. He was a part of the civil engineering group at Webb. He started his Vietnam tour on August 14, 1965. His family remained in Big Spring. He was assigned as a member of the 12th Civil Engineering Squadron, 12th Tactical Figher Wing, 13th Air Force. He was assigned to Tan Son Khut Air Force Base in Saigon and was involved in he early construction of the Air Base.
On December 17, 1965, he was a passenger on an AC-47 gunship enroute from Tan Son Khut Air Force Base to Phan Rang Air Force Base which was on the coast just south of Da Nang. This AC-47 gunship was a part of the first aircraft of this caliber to arrive in Vietnam and when they left the U.S. the guns and armament had been removed to lighten the load. As a consequence, while waiting for the ordinance to arrive in Vietnam, these aircraft were being used to ferry cargo and personnel around Vietnam. That day, the aircraft, tail number 43-49492 was on a courier run and was shot down. The aircraft had a normal crew of four personnel, include pillot, co-pilot, a navigator and a flight engineer. There were five passengers on board. All nine personnel perished in the crash.
TSGT Chappell was buried with full military honors at the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri. There was a memorial service held at the Webb Air Force Base Chapel prior to his funeral in St. Louis. He was survived by his wife, his two children of Big Spring and his parents of St. Louis, Missouri and his siblings.
Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, Missouri