Saturday, April 14, 2018

WW2 Fallen - Chester Harp, 76th Infantry Division

Pvt. Chester Harp was killed on the day the 76th Infantry Division took Speicher, Germany.

Chester E. Harp never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.

He was born on April 14, 1918 in Minnesota. His parents Claude and Hulda were also both born in Minnesota. His father worked as a laborer and later as a junk collector. Chester had one younger brother. By 1940 Chester had completed seven years of education and was working in the logging industry.

He was drafted into the army on April 12, 1942. His memorial says he first served in the Aleutian Islands and then transferred to the Army Air Forces where he served as a tail gunner and was shot down over Germany. It also said he had an unidentified wife and daughter. I was not able to find any corroboration for any of this. His US headstone application, signed by his father, shows that he served as a private in the 417th Infantry Regiment, 76th Infantry Division. If he had served as a bomber gunner, he would have had a rank of sergeant.

The 76th Infantry Division became active in combat in Belgium and Germany in late January 1945.  On March 5, 1945 it took the German town of Speicher. That was the day Pvt. Harp was killed in action.

His grave is at Itasca Calvary Cemetery in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

Thank you Chester for your sacrifice. Let's Earn It for Chester.

Last year on this date I profiled Francis Wai, the only American of Chinese descent to earn the Medal of Honor. You can read about Francis here.

On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!

I created this video to explain why I started this project:

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WW2 Fallen 100 is supported by

The Greatest GENERATIONS Foundation

“Where Every Day is Memorial Day”

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