Chester Schapanick

Private First Class
United States Marine Corps
05 September 1947 - 21 May 1966
New York, New York
Panel 07E Line 098


Bronze Star, Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Chester Schapanick

11 Oct 2001

Chester (Sonny) Schapanick
Bronx, New York.

Sonny was awarded the Bronze Star for bravery in the face of the enemy.

His friends are not surprised!

Marine Recon, May 21, 1966. Sonny was my best friend - OH how I have missed Sonny all these many years. He remains 18 years old forever. Never a husband, never a father but always a son, brother and a great friend. He gave all he had and it was not enough. Sonny quit school at 17 and joined the Marines. I quit school and joined the Marines at 17 too.

Sonny was a Marine's Marine - he was tough and ready with his blonde good looks. He loved art and drawing and left behind some of his work for us. What a mind he had, the world lost a great person when it lost Sonny.

If the streets of Heaven are guarded by United States Marines don't even try anything with Sonny, he was one tough cookie....

I feel safe tonight with him on guard or walking point, I love you Sonny and GOD blessed us with you for a while...

Don Kozak
"F" Co. 2nd Bn 27th Marines RLT Tet 1968

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 21 May 1966 units of the 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, were operating southwest of Danang when they came under fire from a hamlet. Twelve Marines were killed during the ensuing engagement:
  • A Company:
    • Cpl Marshal J. O'Neal, Essex, MO
    • Cpl Cleveland Vines, Newport News, VA
    • LCpl Antonio P. Maciminio, Pawtucket, RI
    • Pfc Bruce F. Griffin, Goshen, OH
    • Pfc David P. Manners, Durant, OK
    • Pfc Peter R. Niemczuk, Chicago, IL

  • C Company:
    • Cpl James J. Brophy, Jackson Heights, NY
    • Cpl Barry W. Duff, Baltimore, MD (Navy Cross)
    • Pfc Robert L. Cloutier, Somerset, WI
    • Pfc John R. Goderre, Union, ME
    • Pfc Chester Schapanick, New York, NY (Bronze Star "V")

  • H&S Company:
    • HM3 Peter F. Mead, Paterson, NJ
Corporal Duff's Navy Cross Citation gives an outline of the engagement:
"... Corporal Duff's squad came under intense rifle, machine-gun, mortar, and recoilless rifle fire from a reinforced Viet Cong company. The initial burst of enemy fire caused several casualties. Realizing that the casualties were lying fully exposed to the enemy fire, Corporal Duff immediately moved to a small knoll overlooking the enemy and his wounded comrades. During the next half hour the enemy launched three assaults in an effort to annihilate the wounded Marines and capture their weapons. With complete disregard for his own safety, he repeatedly exposed himself to turn back the enemy's attacks with accurate rifle fire. Although wounded during the second attack when he was shot in the leg and knocked from the knoll, he gathered more ammunition and hand grenades and gallantly regained his position to protect his wounded comrades. He courageously held his position until mortally wounded while exposing himself to throw a hand grenade."

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 08/10/2009