John Clarence Chrape

Army Badge
  • Name: John Clarence Chrape
  • Location of Birth: Bovey, Minnesota
  • Date of Birth: September 19, 1916
  • Date of Death: November 2, 2001
  • Parents: Matthew Chrape & Mary (Precharich) Chrape
  • High School and Class: 1934 Greenway High School, Coleraine, Minnesota
  • College: University of Idaho
    University of Hawaii - Class of 1947
  • Highest Rank: CAPTAIN
  • Branch: Army
  • Other Branch:
  • Date Sworn In:
  • Place Sworn In:
  • Date of Discharge: April 11, 1946
  • Place of Discharge:
  • Military Awards:
    Bronze Star medal

  • Military Highlights:
    WW II Draft Registration Cards – 10/16/1940 – 03/31/1947
    State: Idaho
    Name: John Clarence Chrape
    Race: White
    Age: 24
    Birth Date: September 19, 1916
    Birth Place: Bovey, Minnesota, USA
    Residence Place: Moscow, Latah, Idaho, USA
    Registration Date: October 16, 1940
    Employer: University of Idaho student, Moscow, Latah, Idaho
    Weight: 190
    Height: 6-1
    Complexion: Light
    Eye Color: Blue
    Hair Color: Brown
    Next of Kin: Matt Chrape, father, Bovey, Itasca, Minnesota

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota – 5 Jun 1942 – “Dear Friends: Just received your card today. As you can see, my address is quite different from that in your files. I am here attending Officers’ School and will receive my Second Lieutenant’s Commission on July 3rd. It has been a hard course. College was child’s play compared to all the knowledge they try to cram into us here in 3 short months. Here we have forgotten what time is, simply because we never have any. We are kept busy 14 hours a day, 6 days a week. But it is worth it. I’m looking forward to a 10-day leave after I receive my Commission. So perhaps I shall see all of you around July 5th or 6th. Sincerely, John Chrape, QMC, OCS, Co. B. Prav. Bn., Ft. Warren, Wyoming.”

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota - September 10, 1943 - "August 7, 1943, Dear Mr. Barnes: Many must be the woes of a newspaper editor trying to send his paper to persons of the Armed Forces spread over this four corners of the earth. And far be it from me to intentionally add to those woes, but here I am again with another change of address after notifying you not less than a month ago of a previous change of address. At that time I knew I was bound for overseas, and thought that the new address would be my permanent one. But upon arrival here the address was once more changed. It is now APO 33, instead of ----- (censored). Please make this change as soon as possible as I am quite lost without my paper. I hope that the change will speed up the delivery. Today I received the issues of July 2nd and July 9th; and in spite of all my firm resolutions to ration myself on those two papers, like the Englishman in Somerset Maugham's short story, I very avidly read the back page of both papers and then finished off the rest of them. I think it was "Ann's Letter" that broke my resolve! And so I am resigned to another long wait before I receive my copy of the next issue. Those papers certainly mean a great deal when one is so far from home. I have been in the Hawaiian Islands almost a month now and I'm getting over the feeling of being a Malahini (newcomer). I like it very much here - the climate is most agreeable, and the scenery beautiful. There is an abundance of tropical fruits; ours, simply for the asking. Have done much sight-seeing and sea bathing. Next weekend we are going to try our luck at fishing. Will let you know the outcome of that trip. Upon arrival in the Islands, I spent a very pleasant half hour with my brother George (more censored). I'm waiting now for the chance to spend a weekend at his home. It certainly was good seeing him after four years. He has been in the Islands almost three years and plans to make his home here permanently. And now I must sign off. Hello to all my friends in Bovey, and keep the paper coming. Sincerely, Lt. John Chrape."

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota - February 4, 1944 - "Hawaiian Islands, January 9, 1944. Dear Friends: I've certainly been lax about writing. I really have no excuse, except that living in this climate after a time, one starts to travel kind of slow - just like the natives. I recall when first I arrived here, I used to walk down the street of a sleepy little town and pass up everyone on the street because I walked so fast. Now, after having been here six months or so, I find myself walking right behind them and never passing anyone. So a lot of my habits have changed. First I want to thank you all for the Christmas gifts. I received the stationery and stamps which have already been put to use. Surely, I should have written the first letter with the stationery to you, thanking you for it, but that was just another of those things I slowed down on. Most of all though, I wish to thank you for the subscription to Readers Digest. It started coming with the November issue. I certainly enjoy it a great deal. I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a Happy and Prosperous New Year. Also, to express my thanks for the wonderful work you are doing. It is with heartfelt appreciation that I say, "Thank you." Had the opportunity to spend New Year's Holiday with my brother George and his wife. While there, Butch Mandy and Bobbie Dargan were up and we batted the breeze about the old home town. Had hoped to see Eddie Olson also, but he couldn't get away, so we managed to have a few words over the telephone. Seemed like old home-town week! That was the first time I've seen anyone from Bovey since I've been in the army. And so, keep up the good work until that wonderful day when we can all be reunited in good old Bovey. That homecoming will really be something - we're looking forward to it. Sincerely, John C. Chrape."

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota - August 11, 1944 - "New Guinea, June 18, 1944. Dear Yenna: Please draw about a dozen cold beers, I'm dying of thirst! I actually believe I'd sell my soul for a glass of the beautiful, tingly, tasty liquid. But one of these days, Ann's Sweet Shoppe is really going to catch h---, improvements, remodeling, new front and all! I'm certainly glad to hear that Mary and Joe Shu are fixing it up nice for you. I got a kick out of reading about you and Mary Shu cleaning up the plaster and stuff. I can just picture it! They really are o.k. people. Give them my regards would you please. Tell them I say hello and all that kind of stuff! Someday I'll come back and mix them a drink of jungle juice or pineapple swipes. (they swipe the shirt off your back and knock you down and drag you out.) I often wonder if I'll recognize the old home town when I return. All the new faces and new people taking over some of the old places of business, new locations and such. In a way its too bad that it couldn't just stay as we left it years ago. But then, even a war can't hold back the progress of good old Bovey! Wrote to Rhea and Joe a few days ago and described to them in quite some detail all about this place. I won't bore you with the same description as I suppose that by this time one of them has told you all about it. If not, ask them. With the war news as gratifying as it has been lately, I hope it won't be too long before it will be all over. But, I think I'm being very optimistic in wishing to be home for Christmas in '45. What do you think? Now that I'm down here I miss the regularity of the Press. It used to come in pretty good at the other place; here it means so much more and is so darn slow! Surely look forward to it. And that Reader's Digest is doubly appreciated down here. Reading material is scarce and anything we can get is read and passed around until the paper is worn away. Back at my last station, there was much more to do for entertainment and those things didn't mean so much there. They are of the utmost value, and your letter really means something down here. I certainly appreciate it more than ever. We do have shows and some darn good ones too! Saw Song of Bernadette, Broadway Rythym, It Happened Tomorrow, and many others. Don't miss Song of Bernadette or have you already seen it. I can just see you crying your eyes out at that picture. Even an old horse opera used to make you shed tears; with this one you'll flood the Star Theater! Gee, Ann, I just can't think of any thing more to write and here is this big blank sheet staring me in the face. Just thought of something. I bet you'd really go for the Australian soldiers. They are a pretty darn nice bunch of fellows and are well-liked by all. They tell me that Australia is quite the place and rumor has it that we may be able to go there on pass. However, that is rumor and I take it for what its worth. In other words, I don't expect to see Australia. By the way, I've intended for a month to write to Olga, ever since I received her Christmas card, that is a long time ago. Anyway, when you write her please send her my greetings, maybe one of these days I'll write her. What is she doing now? Going to school or some thing? Tell me all about her. When you see Johnny Whitmas, tell him hello for me also. And now Yenna I just can't think of another thing, so until I hear from you -- John Chrape.
    P.S. I did answer your letter promptly this time. You know that I was on the water a long time and all that, so that accounts for my long silence. You must never get peeved, because we can't always account for the circumstances we are under. I know you were kidding. And what if the card was late. The only way I had of knowing was that your birthday came during one of the months that I was on the desert. I spent three months on the desert and I think that missing it by just less than a month was pretty good. How about that? Anyway, better late than never."

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota - November 24, 1944 - "October 18, 1944. Dear Yenna: It's been a long time, I know, but when I say "busy", I mean even more than that. I've moved once more and this time it's where mopping-up action is taking place. As our set-up is vastly changed, my work has increased tenfold. So you see, there is a little excuse for me. I guess even my sister wondered about my long waits in between letters, but that is how it goes. Did I tell you that I received your magazines and really enjoyed them? Thanks a million!! Incidentally, in a recent letter from Rhea, she said, "There is still no dancing allowed in Bovey or Coleraine." That's a new one on me! Do you mean to say if I come home I can't sit in your place, mix a hi-ball, and have a dance or two? What the h--- is the old town coming to? Maybe people want us to go elsewhere for our entertainment. What's the score, Yenna? Tell Uncle Joe and Aunty Mary hello for me. To your dad, my greetings, and to Olga for me in your next letter. What is she doing now? Excuse the brevity of this note, but I'm at a loss for words. As ever, Johnnie Chrape."

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota - December 22, 1944 - "Advance New Guinea Base - Nov. 18th. Dear Yenna: Just a few lines to let you know I think of you often and wish the darn mail service would get my Bovey Press down here. I haven't received one since I've been at this location! 8 weeks! Yes, I've missed those cheery, newsy weekly letters of yours. I think I wrote you since I changed locations, but in case I didn't, a few words will suffice to say that I am where shooting goes on - but I'm still as safe as a bug in a rug! Have been terribly busy here - lots of work! But the time has passed swiftly. Next month I can take a leave to Australia, but as much as I'd like to go, I'm not because after the first of the year Honolulu will be designated as our leave area and I'd rather go there and visit George. Then, too, Matt is stationed there and I haven't seen him for years. Seems funny - takes a war to get us brothers to visit each other! I understand George Bibich was there to visit George and Ruth also. Honestly, Ann, my sister-in-law Ruth is really a wonderful person. I'm sure you'd like her once you met her. She certainly treats all of George's friends like princes; and believe me their home has been overrun with friends of George's from all over the U.S. I know that every time I visited with them there was always other people there. Well, Yenna, Thursday, the 23rd, we have our Thanksgiving turkey. It does not seem right. There should be snow or frost on the ground, and here it's blazing hot! Seems like just another hot summer's day. Guess I haven't said much and I'm at a loss for further words, so - Happy Thanksgiving. Hello to your dad, Joe and Mary, John and all. Sincerely, Johnnie Chrape."

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota - April 13, 1945 - "Philippine Islands - March 4th. Dear Yenna: It was so nice to hear from you once again, and good to hear that you have been fortunate to be able to get away from it all for a while and vacation in Minneapolis. Without you telling me, or even hearing about it, I know darn well that you had a good time. I received a bunch of "Presses" the other day - the first in ages. I read in there about your operation. I hope you are feeling well and in the best of health. I realize it is a tough grind, for you always did work too hard for your own good. I also read Moc McLeod's letter in that issue. It was quite a letter, and I really enjoyed it. Yes, it was nice getting the paper once more, after such a long spell. I've been so terribly busy since my arrival here. I no longer work only days - now it is day and night, seven days a week. It is a tough grind, but after getting up to the front lines and seeing how those poor guys in the infantry live for weeks on end with nothing but cold rations, little drinking water, and NO bathing at all, I realize how easy it is for me. You may read about the Division in the newspapers - the terrain they are fighting over is rugged country and the tenacity of the Japs in the hills and their caves makes the going really tough. When we first arrived here, we were within shelling distance of the enemy, but our forces have moved forward to the point where we are quite safe from that angle. We do get occasional air raids, the extent of which is negligible. So, all in all, it isn't bad, and it isn't an easy life, but what the hell, it might make the war end sooner - I HOPE. Gosh, Ann, I want a nice cold bottle of Budweiser, served by you personally. I'm paying for it in advance with the enclosed note. Write soon, Johnnie Chrape."

    Newspaper article: Bovey Press, Bovey, Minnesota - September 28, 1945 – Captain (then First Lieutenant) John C. Chrape, Ordnance Department, of United States Army. For meritorious service in connection with military activities against the enemy at the Toem-Sarm-Wakde Sector from 1 September 1944 to 7 December 1944. Captain Chrape, in addition to his duties as ordnance company detachment commander of a task force, supervised the technical operations of the Automotive and Supply Platoons which were servicing 28,000 troops, and over 1800 vehicles. His detachment was the only source of ordnance supply and maintenance in the entire sector. Through his unusual leadership a steady flow of supplies, equipment and maintenance was assured. By field expedients and experimentation, many parts from salvage were incorporated into the repair of assemblies, and all ordnance equipment of the task force was combat serviceable. The untiring effort, aggressiveness, and devotion to duty displayed by Captain Chrape proved invaluable to the accomplishment of the mission assigned and reflect great credit upon himself and the military service. Home address: Mr. Matt Chrape, Sr., (Father), Bovey, Minnesota.
    The above citation and award was made by direction of the President under the provisions of Executive Order No. 9419, 4 February 1944, by the Commanding General.

  • Wars Involved:
    World War II

  • MIA / POW:

  • Civilian Life:
    John Chrape attended the University of Idaho prior to the war, then received his BA degree in education in 1947. He taught school at Honolulu business college, and then was appointed director of various business schools in Hawaii. After retirement, he enrolled at the University of Hawaii and received his Master’s in Education Degree and accepted a teaching position at Kapiolani Community College. After retirement from the community college, John & wife Mary traveled extensively. He was an active member in community and educational organizations. Among them were the Rotary Club and the Western Business Education Association of which he became president.

    John Chrape died in Honolulu, Hawaii and is buried in Diamond Head Memorial Park, Honolulu, Hawaii (plot - HOPE #2-6-D). He is survived by a brother Matthew and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary, in 1992; and his parents.

  • Tribal Affiliation(s):