Sgt. William "Billy" T. Ropple jr.
Enlisted: 10 March 1942, Boston, MA
1st Platoon Recon. Company 643rd TD BN.
Born: 13 January 1923 Place: Boston, MA
Died: 12 April 1945 Place: Barby, Germany
Date of temp. Burial: at: American Military Cemetery Margraten (Netherlands)
Location: Plot: EE. Row: 9. Grave: 212.
Date of final Burial: at: American Military Cemetery Margraten (Netherlands)
Location: Plot: D. Row: 18. Grave: 18.
Wife: Katharine Ropple (O'Brien) Married:
Last known address: 18 Greenlawn Ave. Farnumsville, MA
Purple Heart - Good Conduct Medal - Bronze Star Medal - WWII Victory Medal
European African Middle Eastern Service Medal
Battle Stars"Ardennes-Rhineland-Eastern Europe"
On April 12th 1945 around 1500 hours 1st Platoon of the Recon Company 643rd Tank Destroyer Battalion left the hamlet Wespen driving on the secondary road leading east into the city of Barby, just as the Platoon approached almost the outskirts west of Barby three jeeps and two (M8) Armored cars received a heavy burst of fire from out the city outskirts, wounding quite a few men and later proved 5 men were killed, William was one of them.
One week later his son was born. He received later posthumously his fathers Medals (see photo)
Info/photos received from;
William's son Billy is here receiving the
Bronze Star, Good Conduct, ETO and Victory Medal awarded posthumously to
his father. Accompanied by his mother Kay and Major Douglas A. McKillop.
Transcribed letter written by William Ropple
To: Mr. & Mrs. William T. Ropple, Sr Sgt Wm. T. Ropple, Jr
47 Sever Street New York, NY
Feb 17, 1945 Belgium
Dear Mom & Dad,
I guess you think your soldier son has deserted you. You know I wouldnít do that, donít you?Itís first that weíve been busy often & I donít get settled very often long enough to write. Well, Folks, you know I must be happy for one thing because I got what I wanted but now Iím just as anxious to get home as I was to come over here. Kayís letters are certainly keeping the morale high on my post & the fact that sheís feeling in the pink is the most important thing. I hope this letter finds you & dad and the kids o.k. You know you donít have to worry about me, Mom. You know I never started anything I couldnít finish and I never did get into any serious trouble, did I?
By the way, Mom, Iím sorry about Jeanette. I just finished writing her a letter giving her a little advice. I sent it to the school. Please donít mention it to her at all & Iíll write her another one in a few days. Also, when I write to Bob Iíll have him do the same. Iíll write soon again. All my love to everyone.
Your loving Son, Billy
William T. Ropple's grave marker on
American Military Cemetery Margraten, The Netherlands.