Franklin Jack Chapman, Sr. of Santa Fe, NM, died on January 17, 2020. He is survived by his wife, Claudette, and children: Debbie DeMarais, Jack Jr. (Rob Howe), Cindy (Mano Jones), and Patrick.
Jack was born on January 24, 1932, in Wagoner, OK. At 16, he enlisted in the Army and in 1950 was sent to Korea. On November 30, 1950, as part of the Heavy Weapons Platoon, Company D, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, Jack was captured by the Chinese during the Chosin Reservoir battle. He had sustained shrapnel wounds to his left arm and both legs, bullets in his right arm and leg, and a bullet in his forehead. He distinguished himself by taking over a 75mm recoilless rifle when no one else would. He manned it until he was wounded in his forehead. Jack was a P.O.W. for 32 months and 20 days, he was released on August 21,1953.
In January 1955, Jack enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served for 15 years. It was during this time, while he was stationed in France, he met and married the love of his life, Claudette. Jack retired from military service on June 1, 1970, after serving his last five years with the Inspecting General’s Team and assisting Scotland Yard. He worked as the Director of Security at Highline Community College, in Midway, WA, until he retired after 21 years.
Jack served as the President of the Korean War Ex-POW Association from 2003 - 2006 and served on their Board of Directors for many years. He made it his mission to recount P.O.W.’s experiences during the Korean War, and keep the Korean War from being forgotten. He also spent his time advocating for veterans and surviving spouses.
For his outstanding service to both the Army and Air Force, Jack received the following medals:
Bronze Star with V Device for Acts of Valor in Combat
2 Purple Hearts with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster
AF Commendation Medal
AF Longevity Service Award Ribbon w/ 4 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters
Presidential Unit Citation Korea
Army of Occupation Medal - Japan
National Defense Service Medal w/Bronze Star
Korean Service Medal w/4 Bronze Stars and 1 Silver Star
United Nations Service Medal
Combat Infantry Badge
Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon
State of Oklahoma Cross of Valor
Korean Service Medal - 50th Anniversary
Korean Ambassador for Peace Medal
In 2018, he was honored by the New Mexico House of Representatives for exemplary service to the citizens of New Mexico and the United States of America.
A memorial service will be held on March 30, 2020, at 2:15pm at the Santa Fe National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations to FriendsofAndersonville.org are requested.
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