The World War II casualty toll in Lansing was increased again Saturday with receipt of word that Pfc. Allen J. Chaffee, 19, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Chaffee, 5110 Justice Street, has been killed in action [July 21, 1944] in the Pacific area.
A telegram from the commandant of the United States Marine Corps informed the Chaffees that their son had fallen in battle, but did not say when or where. Knowing he was in the Pacific war zone, the family presumes his death occurred during the fighting on Saipan or Guam—the last known points where big Marine invasions were reported. Private Chaffee was a 20-months’ veteran of the Pacific warfare, having fought the Japs in Bougainville, St. Matthias Islands and elsewhere. His action on Bougainville earned him promotion to private first class, according to his father. He had participated in five major battles.
Young Chaffee enlisted in the Marine Corps after graduating from Eastern High School with the June class of 1941. He received training at San Diego, Cal., and North Island, Cal., and was last home in October, 1942. His family’s last bit of information was received June 1 when he wrote that he was preparing for a “big action” and would not write again for several weeks.
Besides the parents, he is survived by five sisters, Mrs. Virginia Cooley, Mrs. Maxine Knight, both of Lansing, and Elizabeth, Helen and Beverly, all at home, and two brothers, Harry, Jr., who is awaiting call to the Navy, and Wayne, at home.