More info on the Sarasota Breeze https://sarasotabreeze.blogspot.com/
Our Marine Classmate from OCS and the Basic School at Quantico, VA in 1968 -1969 is finally home.
AMERICAN FORK, Utah — A Utah veteran who went missing in action during the Vietnam War is now finally being laid to rest.
U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Ralph Jim Chipman went missing 50 years ago. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency found his remains in August and they will arrive in Utah at 1:13 p.m. on Nov. 9, 2023.
Chipman’s family members, the American Fork Police, the Utah Highway Patrol and the Patriot Guard Riders will escort Capt. Chipman from the Salt Lake City International Airport to the Anderson and Sons Mortuary in American Fork.
Then on Nov. 11, 2023, Capt. Chipman will be honored and laid to rest.
According to the release, Utahns are invited to watch the cemetery procession at 12:30 p.m. on Center Street in American Fork from 100 North to 600 North. There will also be a jet flyover around 1 p.m.
“After 50 years the day our family has been waiting for has finally come!” Scot Chipman, Capt. Chipman’s son, said in a release. “Our family wants to thank all of those that have made this day possible.”
Capt. Chipman is also memorialized through the Freedom Tree in Robinson Park, American Fork. According to the release, the Freedom Tree will be lit throughout November in red, white and blue to honor Chipman’s and other Missin in Action soldiers’ sacrifices.
Capt. Chipman goes missing in action
According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, Capt. Chipman was the pilot of an A-6A Intruder, which was the world’s first all-weather attack bomber. According to the Naval History and Heritage Command, the plane was capable of deploying weapons under zero-visibility conditions.
On Dec. 27, 1972, Capt. Chipman was flying in a nighttime combat mission with two other crew members, according to the DPAA. Chipman, his co-pilot Capt. Ronald Wayne Forrester and another crew member flew over the northern area of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
According to the DPAA, the plane indicated it was entering its target area. Then all radio communications were lost and the plane never returned to base.
According to the release, search and rescue teams couldn’t find “any trace of the aircraft or the crew.”
After that, the Marine Corps listed Chipman as Missing in Action, according to the DPAA. Then in July 1974, Capt. Chipman’s status changed to killed in action.
He left behind his wife Susan, 4-year-old son Scot, and 18-month-old son Matthew.
Finding soldiers that were Missing in Action or POWs
It’s the job of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency to account for missing military personnel in past U.S. conflicts. The Agency has worked with the governments of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia for almost three decades to account for soldiers lost during the Vietnam War.
Through those partnerships, the Agency conducts “investigations to collect evidence, investigate leads, and conduct excavations.”This process helped the DPAA to identify Capt. Chipman’s remains on Aug. 2, 2023.
According to the release, two excavations led to the discovery of Capt. Chipman’s dog tags, some bone fragments, and teeth. The teeth were verified to be Chipman’s through DNA testing.
Your Basic School Classmates remember and honor you. Welcome Home.
I had not seen anything about this in our class emails or blog. Ralph "Jim" Chipman is no longer MIA. His remains have been identified and he will be laid to rest tomorrow.
Some gave all.
I went to the website of the funeral home in American Forks https://www.andersonmortuary.com/ and was able to send a card to Susan and family. Jim, Mike Greene and I were the 3 Marine amigos at Vance AFB flight school.
Rest In Peace
Robert E. Freeburg AIA
Tel: (808) 383-7908
If anyone can take a short video of the funeral procession / Fly over, please send it to me and we will post it on the blog.
Bob - thanks for giving me the idea and I sent a message also on behalf of our TBS class; and Tony thanks for bringing this to our attention; very inspiring and at the same time gets you choked up.
Craig I hope you get something you can put on the web site.
I have a Ralph Chipman story. Bob is correct, Ralph, who had the bunk right next to mine throughout OCS, was very quiet. On the first night of OCS, we'd been issued our Marine Corps skivvies and tees and told to put them on. Ralph didn't do it because, as he explained to Sgt. Arnold, our platoon sgt., the underwear he was wearing when he came aboard signified he'd been married in the Mormon Tabernacle, and he was required by his faith to wear it. Arnold was having none of that, and, after a few seconds of profane roaring, ordered Ralph to change. Ralph just stood there in silence, so Arnold ordered two other candidates to take off his ceremonial garb. This was done without resistance from Ralph, after which he donned the Marine issue as ordered, while Arnold wadded up the Mormon undies and tossed them in a basket with confiscated cigarettes, etc.
About half an hour later, Captain Moffett, our platoon commander, appeared with Ralph's Mormon gear neatly folded. He explained to Ralph that it was not the Corps' intent to interfere with his religion, and gave permission for him to wear it. So, off came the Marine stuff and on went the Mormon stuff.
About half an hour after that, Sgt. Arnold reappeared. He told Ralph that, while he could wear his Mormon underwear, he had to wear his Marine underwear over it. So Ralph went all the way through OCS wearing two sets of underwear.
R. Jim Chipman Obituary
Stottlemyer's Smokehouse after Patriot Plaza
Saturday 11 November Sarasota Veterans Day Parade 1000-1100
We are not distributing Support Our Troops (SOT) boxes this year, but that does not mean you cannot come out and enjoy the parade from the sidelines. Wear something identifying your Service Organization and don’t forget your MOAS Name Tag. Bring your own chairs.
1000 Muster in front of Breaking Wave Coffee, 1310 Main St. This location is near the end of the parade so you will only be a short walk to the Ceremony at J.D. Hamel Park.
No need to tell us if you are going to attend.
Ron Wozniak LtCol USMCR (Retired)