Chappuis, Steve Archie “Silent Steve”.

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Chappuis, Steve Archie “Silent Steve, born 28-12-1913 in Rayne, Louisiana to Archie Augustus Chappuis (1890–1972) and his wife Marie Louise Elise Louise Elise, born Daboual Chappuis (1891–1971).

. He had one brother and one sister. Richard Dudley Chappuis (1912–1982) and Dorothy Chappuis Kemper ( 1917–1974).

Steve Chappuis graduated in 1936 from Louisiana State University and was appointed a second lieutenant in the US Army Reserve. In 1941 he was selected for parachute training and assigned to the 502nd Parachute Infantry Battalion . At the rank of Lieutenant. Colonel, he participated in the airborne invasions of Normandy on June 6th 1944 and Holland in September 1944 for Operation Market Garden, as commanding officer of the 2nd Battalion, 502nd Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division. under command of General Maxwell Taylor For these operations he was awarded the Silver Star and the French Croix de Guerre. He assumed command of the 502nd Parachute Regiment on 22-09-1944 during the Holland operation. Meanwhile General Steve Chappuis was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross by General George Smith Patton for his role in the defense of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944 – January 1945.

On 25-12-1944, in Belgium during the siege of Bastogne by overwhelming enemy forces, LTC Chappius was commanding the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment of the defending 101st Airborne Division of Bastogne . When the enemy with General Heinrich Freiherr von Lüttwitz’s XLVII Panzer Corps, launched an attack with strong infantry and armored forces in a supreme effort to seize the town, LTC Chappius used all available cooks, drivers and orderlies to augment his depleted, widely deployed troops and skillfully maneuvered his forces to meet the attack. Under his courageous, inspiring leadership his men held, repulsing every attempt by the enemy to penetrate the lines. He repeatedly exposed himself to intense enemy fire in order to direct his troops effectively and personally reconnoitered enemy-infested territory. LTC Chappius’ courageous actions and extraordinary heroism that day earned him the U.S. Army’s second highest award for valor, the Distinguished Service Cross.

During the war he earned the nickname “Silent Steve,” reflecting his determination, reserve, and humility as an officer. He was also knighted by the queen of Holland for his participation in liberating the town of Eindhoven, Holland, receiving the Military Willems Order. To this day, the Dutch refer to him as “the great liberator.” He married Kathryn A. Jurjevich, of Galesburg, IL, on June 6, 1946 at Fort Meyer, VA. Following World War II, General Steve Chappuis served with Army Ground Forces, Department of the Army General Staff, Department Defense Staff, and attended the Canadian Army Staff College and the Army War College. His further assignments included SHAPE in The Hague, Netherlands; Headquarters Allied Forces Southern Europe, Naples, Italy; Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations for the XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, N.C.; Deputy Chief of Staff, 1st Corps Group, Korea; Deputy Commander, 4th Infantry Division Brigade; Assistant Division Commander, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, WA; Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Headquarters, US Continental Army Command, Fort Monroe, VA; Assistant Post Commander, Fort Lewis, WA; and Commander of X US Army Corps, Fort Lawton, WA. Upon retiring from the Army, General Chappuis worked with the Bank of Washington in Tacoma, after which he and Kay enjoyed many years of traveling throughout the United States and Europe. He was an avid tennis player, reader, and woodworker, a devoted husband and father, and kind friend to many. He lived for his family and one of his greatest joys in later years was preparing for their holiday celebrations.

Death and burial ground of Chappuis, Steve Archie “Silent Steve”.


Silent Steve passed away on 19-08-2008 in Tacoma, Washington at the age of 94. He was sustained by his strong Catholic faith throughout his life. General Steve Chappuis is survived by his wife of 62 years, Kay; daughter Suzanne Winkles and her husband Bill (Ocean Shores, WA); son, Steve, his wife Jan, and their daughter Claire Elise (Portland, OR); brothers Jack (New Orleans, LA), Donald (Brevard, NC), and Charles (Rayne, LA); and many loving nieces, nephews, and friends. He was preceded in death by his mother, father, brother Richard, and sister Dorothy. The Chappuis family wishes to express their appreciation for the kindness and caring of the attending medical staff at Madigan Army Medical Center, especially the nursing staff in ICU East. Private family burial will be held at the Mt. Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, WA.

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Army Distinguished Service Medal to Brigadier General Steve A. Chappuis (ASN: 0-20899), United States Army, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility, during the period from August 1964 to August 1967. [This award supersedes award of the Legion of Merit to General Chappuis for service from August 1964 to February 1967, as announced in General Orders Number 26 Headquarters, United States Continental Army Command, dated 08-02-1967.

Silent Steve was buried at Tahoma National Cemetery, Kent, King County, Washington, VS.

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