Virginia Heroes

Harry Powell Chapman, Jr.

Lieutenant Junior Grade, Navy

Hometown: Roanoke, VA
Casualty Date: October 30, 1943
Died In: Chapman, Jr.

Lieutenant Chapman served aboard the battleship USS Tennessee (BB-43) as their senior aviator and flew a catapult-launched observation floatplane, a Vought  OS2U Kingfisher.

Before the war, “Chappie” graduated from Jefferson High School, attended Roanoke College, and transferred to VPI where he graduated in 1940 with an Industrial Engineering degree.

On October 26, 1943, Lt. Chapman climbed into the Kingfisher that had been loaded onto the ship’s catapult slide.  Accidentally, the plane’s underside had not been secured to the catapult and when the catapult cable was released the plane crashed onto the starboard side of the ship.  The side plates of the ship cut into the plane’s cockpit, tore out the engine, and the plane fell into the ocean.  The plane’s radioman survived and Lt. Chapman was lost at sea.

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