Italians honor Captain Chapin, Company E for heroism at Battle of Rapido River

Jan 21, 2020 731

BY: Chris Babcock

In the same spot where hundreds of soldiers met their fate during a operation to draw the entrenched Nazi army away from a planned landing in Anzio, visitors and residents gathered and prayed, as a priest blessed the area. A short time later, in a salute to the Texas troops, those in attendance each tossed a single yellow rose into the swirling waters.  Then a lone bugler played ‘Taps,’ and the town’s ‘Peace Bell’ rang out, over the roar of the dark, rushing river.

The entire event was carried out to honor the men of U.S. 36th Infantry Division, made up of the Texas Army National Guard – which included El Pasoan Captain John L. Chapin; namesake of El Paso ISD’s Chapin High School. Capt. Chapin graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in Chemical Engineering; while he had plans to attend medical school, he chose instead to serve in the National Guard.

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