In Memory of
Army Private First Class
Earl F. Chmela
Wanblee, South Dakota
Washabaugh County
October 13, 1913-December 20, 1944
Killed in Action in Germany

Earl F. Chmela

Earl F. Chmela was born on October 13, 1913 in Stettler, Alberta, Canada.  His father was Frank Chmela Jr. and his mother died at an early age.  He was raised by his grandparents, Mary and Frank Chmela, Sr.  Earl worked on the family farm at Kimball, South Dakota.  He attended Wolbert School, and then he enlisted in the Army.  He entered the service on January 25, 1941 and was trained at Fort Meade, where he became a member of Troop E, 4th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron.  They were usually assigned to corps, but were occasionally attached, by squadron, to divisions.  Cavalry was primarily intended for reconnaissance missions.  However, during the war, they were usually employed in defensive, security, or screening missions.  Armored field artillery, engineer, and tank destroyer units reinforced the Cavalry groups for most missions.

Earl was killed in action in Germany on December 20, 1944.  He was buried at Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial at Margraten, Holland.  He received numerous awards in his honor including the WWII Victory Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, and the Purple Heart Medal.  He was survived by his Uncle Charles Chmela of Kimball, South Dakota.  He was 31 years old. 

This entry was respectfully submitted by Leo Janis, 11th grade, Crazy Horse School, Wanblee, South Dakota, March 12, 2002.  Information for this entry was provided by Earl Chmela’s cousin, Lorene Hicks and her daughter, Venita Bond of Rapid City, South Dakota.