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2LT John Bruce Capel
Birth: Mar. 18, 1943
Vanderburgh County
Indiana, USA
Death: May 12, 1966
Da Nang
Da Nang Municipality, Vietnam


** Almighty Father, whose command is over all and whose love never fails, make me aware of Thy presence and obedient to Thy will. Keep me true to my best self, guarding me against dishonesty in purpose and deed and helping me to live so that I can face my fellow Marines, my loved ones and Thee without shame or fear. Protect my family. Give me the will to do the work of a Marine and to accept my share of responsibilities with vigor and enthusiasm. Grant me the courage to be proficient in my daily performance. Keep me loyal and faithful to my superiors and to the duties my country and the Marine Corps have entrusted to me. Make me considerate of those committed to my leadership. Help me to wear my uniform with dignity, and let it remind me daily of the traditions which I must uphold. ** If I am inclined to doubt, steady my faith; if I am tempted, make me strong to resist; if I should miss the mark, give me courage to try again. ** Guide me with the light of truth and grant me wisdom by which I may understand the answer to my prayer. ** AMEN.

This is Lt. Capel's 1966 Obit. It was sent to me by Find a Grave Contributor "af". Thank you so very much!:

"Chicago Tribune (IL) - May 15, 1966
Ex-Illinois Center Dies in Vietnam.

Killed in Action.
Deceased Name: Marine Lt. Bruce Capel

Marine Lt. Bruce Capel, who played center on the University of Illinois football team in the 1964 Rose bowl game, has been killed in action in Vietnam. His father, Wallace D. Capel, reported yesterday the family was notified Friday by a marine corps officer who went to the home in Glen Ellyn. He said his son, commander of a rifle platoon, had been cut down by bullets Thursday in fighting near Da Nang. Lt. Capel, 23, was on the Illini football squad in 1962, 1963, and 1964. In the 1964 season he played on offense, splitting the center duties with Dick Butkus, whose play twice won him a place on the Associated Press All-America team. Young Capel went into the marines after his graduation in 1965. He was middle linebacker on the Quantico Marine team that fall. He went to Vietnam in March. Capel was selected for the All-Big Ten academic team while he was playing for the Illini. Before he entered Illinois he was an athlete at Glenbard West High school. Coaches and others on the athletic staff at the university sent telegrams of sympathy to the family. The elder Capel said he expects the body to be returned in about a week. Service will be held, at a time to be set later, at the First Methodist church in Glen Ellyn, with burial in Forest Hills cemetery."

1961 Graduate of Glenbard West High School, Glen Ellyn, Il.

Lt. Capel died in combat in Vietnam when he was leading a 14-man patrol which was ambushed southwest of Da Nang (in Quang Nam), South Vietnam by a large force of Viet Cong. Only two members of the patrol survived, by feigning death, and were rescued by Marine reinforcements.

- taken from Alumni Association archives
Memorial Wall panel 07E, line 051

Service # 092008

2ndLt John Bruce Capel, son of Lillian and Wally Capel, was laid to rest in the Forest Hill Cemetery, Glen Ellyn,Il.
***Unit Assignments***

1966-1966, 0302, 1st Bn (1/9)/B Co
1966-1966, 0302, Infantry Units/9th Marine Regiment
1966-1966, 0302, III MEF/3rd Marine Division

Combat and Operations History

1966-1967 Vietnam War */1966 Operations (1966)

I have copied the following information from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial comment page:

manny g
Fellow Veteran 69-70 An Khe
Union Gap, WA. 98903
"You are Remembered"
Peace and condolence, to the family and friends. "He which hath no stomach to this fight let him depart. But we in it shall be remembered. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers!! For he today, that sheds his blood with me, shall always be my brother." Rest in peace brave soldier, you have not been forgotten. (W.Shakespeare) May God Bless You for your Sacrifice!!!
May 12, 2007


Bernard Triano
He was my platoon leader
Sussex, NJ 07461
I was there.
I was with Lt. Capel on the day he gave his life for his country. I had the honor of meeting his God parents years later in Chicago Ill. at the moving wall. He will live forever in my heart and prayers.
Thursday, January 13, 2005


Greg Smith
Wheaton, IL
LT Capel was my high school classmate and well liked by everyone. I'm sure he was a fine Marine and we all miss him. Semper Fi, Bruce.
Wednesday, March 30, 2005


I'm Anonymous
Just a note to thank YOU for YOUR sacrifice to a great nation.
Thursday, January 03, 2002


Robert Jadlow
Executive Officer
Gentle Giant
2nd Lt. John Capel, Platoon Cmdr with Bravo Company, 1/9, was a brave, "hard charging", "gentle giant" of a Marine, who gave his life while leading a recovery unit that charged across a hostile open field on 12May, 1966 while trying to recover a beleaguered patrol from his platoon. The patrol triggered what later became known as "Ky Lam Campaign", whereby a Viet Cong Bn. was essentially wiped out in a valley never controlled by a foreign army before, and had reversed a birthday promise of General Giap to Pres. Ho Chi Minh that 1/9 was "the walking dead" ("di bo chet"), they just hadn't been buried yet. To this day, 1/9 is proudly known as "the walking dead'.
Sunday, May 21, 2006



I had the pleasure of being on the 1965 Quantico Marine Football team with Bruce. He was one of the most decent people I ever met. And one of the best "Hitters" I ever met. Wack heck out of a guy and always come up with a big smile on his face. News of his death back at Quantico put a pall of grief upon us all. All these years later, I still remember his friendship to me, an enlisted player on
a team of nearly all officers. He said, "Team mates have no rank."
Sgt. Steve Yocum USMC Ret.

*** A very special "THANKS!" goes to Find A Grave contributor Jim-S. for adding this special link section to Lt Capel's memorial. Thank you, Jim!***

These are the men from “The Walking Dead”, the 3rd Marine Division, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, Bravo Company, who fought, and most, died on 12 May 1966 in South Vietnam, Quang Nam province.

The Casualties:

2ndLt John Bruce Capel, Glen Ellyn, IL
Sgt Dallas C. Young, Salem, IL
Cpl James R. Howell, Tucson, AZ
LCpl Edgardo Caceres, Tacoma, WA (Silver Star)
LCpl Ralph G. Erdely, Springfield, MA
LCpl Richard W. Huntoon, Leicester, MA
Pfc Neal A. Denning, Willow Springs, NC
Pfc Robert E. Jones, Corona, CA
Pfc Ronald H. Justis, Selma, IN
Pfc James P. Laclear, East Lansing, MI
HN Pedro Munoz, El Paso, TX, Corpsman (H&S w/ B/1/9) (Silver Star)
Pfc Wallace S. Perkins, Dallas, TX
Pfc John J. Schultz, Harper Woods, MI
Pfc Tommy R. White, Kennett, MO

The sole survivors of the patrol were:

Pfc James K Binkley, Ashland City, TN (died 01 May 2013)
Pvt. Reuben Morales, La Puente CA


"Also that day we lost Lt John Capel, our new platoon leader. He was a big guy, I think a big time football player. He was just so concerned about his Marines he kept getting up on his knees looking around."

Dan (Tex) Ferrell Bravo 1-9

is honored on Panel 7E, Row 51 of
the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

The following remembrances have been left at The Virtual Wall:

A friend and role model to John and me.
Posted by Burt Vincent.

We grew up together, Bruce.
Posted by John S. Vincent, Family Friend


Thank you Lieutenant Capel
Posted by Donald Lytle, Radioman, USN, Ret

VALOR. American men & women have died in wars ... WE REMEMBER!
Posted by Jim Stepanek
A fellow officer and friend taken too soon.
Posted by William Rapp, We were high school classmates

I remember
Posted by Tony Mastandrea.

Other: local hero, the young man with the great smile who lived next door.
Posted by Linda Rosenthal LeFavor, We grew up together


Other: Fraternity brother and fellow Marine Officer - you are remembered!
Posted by LtCol Robert Nelson, USMC (Ret), Fraternity brother

Note: Jim-S. [46879912] is temporarily maintaining this memorial for Michael Harrington. May 20, 2015
Family links: 
  Wallace Dawson Capel (1916 - 1998)
  Lillian Katherine Newcom Capel (1917 - 2011)
"Illinois-- 2nd Lt. -Company "B", 9th Marines, 3rd Marine Division -- Vietnam -- Purple Heart"
Forest Hill Cemetery
Glen Ellyn
DuPage County
Illinois, USA
Plot: Grave 7 -- Lot 341 -- Section 7.
Maintained by: Jim-S.
Originally Created by: Michael Harrington
Record added: Jun 17, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 14631923
2LT John Bruce Capel
Added by: Michael Harrington
2LT John Bruce Capel
Added by: Michael Harrington
2LT John Bruce Capel
Added by: Michael Harrington
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It will soon be 50 years when you gave your all, RIP and "Ever Loyal Be".
- 1961 Glenbard HS Classmates
 Added: Apr. 27, 2016
you gave all
- Jamie reed
 Added: Sep. 28, 2015

- susan
 Added: Jul. 4, 2015
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This page is sponsored by: Michael Harrington

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