Claude H. Chorpening – Major General, United States Army

Contemporary press report:


US Army Photo

Of San Antonio, Texas died on Thursday, November 6, 1997, at the age of 100.

He was born in Waterloo, Iowa on October 14, 1897. In 1900, his family moved to South Dakota, where he received his elementary and high school education in the towns of Trent and Flandreau.

He was appointed to the US Military Academy at West Point, NY in 1916. Upon graduation from West Point in 1918, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers.

With the exception of several staff and command assignments, General Chorpening’s entire career was in the Corps of Engineers, serving in all grades from Second Lieutenant to Major General. He retired from the Army on June 30, 1956.

A few of the more important assignments in General Chorpening’s career were: For 5-1/2 years on duty with the construction of the Fort Peck Dam on the Missouri River in Montana, which the largest earth dam in the world. During World War II, he served in both the European and Pacific theatres of war, holding many responsible positions; for three years (1951-1954), he was Assistant Chief of Engineers for Civil Works in Washington, DC and had staff responsibility for all civil works on the Corps of Engineers, nationwide; his last tour of active duty was in Japan for two years (1954-1956) as G-4 of the Army Forces in the Far East. In this capacity, he had the formidable task of supervising the rollup immediately following the Korean War, as well as the equipping and logistical training of the Korean Army.

For his services, General Chorpening was awarded decorations from our own and foreign governments. These included the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Bronze Star Medal, the Order of the British EMpire and the Ulchi and Taeguk Medals for the Republic of Korea.

Following his retirement from the Army, General Chorpening was engaged in consulting engineering for two years, and taught Mathematics for seven years at Stetson University, DeLand, FL.

In January, 1974, he moved to San Antonio, TX. General Chorpening was a Life Member and Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Society of American Military Engineers. He was a parishioner of the Church of the Resurrection, Episcopal in Windcrest.

Survivors include his daughters, Dorothy Louise Bevan of Durham, NC and Anne Chorpening of Reston, VA; four grandsons, two granddaughters, and eight great-grandchildren. Memorial service, Monday, November 17, 1997 at 1 p.m. at Church of the Resurrection, Episcopal, San Antonio, TX. Interment with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery on 21 November 1997.

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