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World War II Submarine Hero Wreford Chapple Dies at 83

May 24, 1991 GMT

CORONADO, Calif. (AP) _ Retired Rear Adm. Wreford G. ″Moon″ Chapple, whose World War II submarine heroics became material for books and a television series, had died at age 83.

Chapple died Monday at his home. The coroner’s office said it had no file on his cause of death, and there was no answer at Chapple’s home on Friday.

Chapple was a commander in the submarine service when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. His submarine, USS-38, sank the second Japanese ship in the Pacific war, the transport Haro Maru.

He was once sent to pick up Gen. Douglas MacArthur, but never completed that mission because he sank a Japanese attack ship in Tyabias Bay, near Mindanao in the Philippines.

Chapple was awarded two Navy Crosses, three Silver Stars and one Bronze Star, plus numerous campaign medals.

His exploits are featured in numerous naval history books and provided much of the material for the 1950s television series, ″The Silent Service.″

Chapple commanded the heavy cruiser Pittsburgh in the Korean War. His last assignment was San Diego Port Control Commander, 11th Naval District, in 1956. He retired in 1959.

Chapple, who was born in Billings, Mont., is survived by his wife, Mary; a son, Michael; and four grandchildren. Another son, Jack, died in 1979.