One of the few remaining World War II veterans in Warren County passed away last week.
Elmer Dapron, a Marine Corps veteran of World War II and the Korean War, died around midnight Friday, Aug. 16, according to the Warrenton Marine Corps League. Dapron was 94 years old.
Visitation for Dapron is 4-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22, at Martin Funeral Home in Warrenton, with a Marine Corps League ceremony at 7 p.m. Funeral services are Friday, Aug. 23, at 10 a.m., also at the funeral home. Dapron’s remains will be buried at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.
Dapron joined the Marines in 1943 and served in the Pacific Theater during World War II, including taking part in fighting on the island of Iwo Jima. He later served in combat in the Korean War, and was one of the Marines who survived the battle at the Chosin Reservoir, said Mike Weicht, commandant of the Richard Scott Haymes Marine Corps League Detachment in Warrenton.
Warrenton Mayor Eric Schleuter, himself a former Marine, commented after Dapron’s passing that he is the only person Schleuter has met who served in both World War II and the Korean War. The battles he took part in are still taught today to Marines going through boot camp, Schleuter said.
“I challenge (others) to look up those battles and see how much he endured,” Schleuter commented. “Hearing his stories was amazing, to say the least. ... He was a heck of a gentleman, for sure. A heck of a Marine.”
Dapron was born in Clayton in 1925, but his family was forced to move to Warren County during the Great Depression, according to a biography from the Warrenton Marine Corps League. Dapron grew up in poverty, and for several years worked with his father and brother as loggers. After the U.S. entered World War II, he and his brother both enlisted in branches of the military.
After being discharged from military service, Dapron took jobs in various places, and in 1954 took a contract with a U.S. government agency that involved work with the British government. Weicht said that work led to Dapron being knighted by a British lord on behalf of the queen.
Dapron eventually began a long-term career in marketing and advertising in the agribusiness industry, which he worked in until retiring.
Dapron is survived by nieces and nephews and their families. He was active with various Marine Corps League detachments since around 1953, Weicht said.
The Record last spoke to Dapron in 2017, after a ceremony where he received the once-lost dog tags of his brother, Robert, a World War II Navy veteran who was buried in Warren County in 1999.