August 25, 1918 (Darien, CT) – August 26, 1944; 26 years old
Last local address: 16 Bailey Ave, Darien
Enlisted on October 3, 1942
Service number: 31193033
Unit: 398th Bomb Squadron, 241st Base Unit, Fairmont Army Airfield; Geneva, Nebraska
Son of Hungarian-born Janos “John” Joseph Csosz “Chase” (1876-1961) and Erszebet “Elizabeth” Verna Mehesz Chase (1888-1962). Three sisters, Mary (1910-1988), Elizabeth V. (1911-1993), and Anna (1937-?). Four brothers, Stephen (1913-1985), John W. (1916-1981), William (1922-1985), and Paul (1926-2011).
Photo from a Memorial Day 2015 publication in Darien, CT; provided by the staff at the Darien Library.
Unknown connection to Norwalk other than he is buried in the city. Born and raised in Darien, CT and lived his whole life there before leaving for the service.
One of eight airmen killed when B-17F Flying Fortress #42-30940 caught fire and crashed, 12 miles west of Farmington, New Mexico. Five crew members parachuted to safety.
The air crew killed were:
Capt Robert F. Forbes, pilot
1st Lt Timothy J. Cavanaugh
2nd Lt Roy F. Weiss
SSgt Joseph A. Chase
Sgt Jose R. Flores
Sgt William R. Steinberger
Cpl Robert L. Blue
PFC Vincent A. Alessi
From The Norwalk Hour August 28, 1944
Staff Sergeant Joseph A. Chase was killed Saturday in an Army plane crash in Albuquerque NM, according to a telegram received last night by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. John L. Chase of 16 Bailey Avenue, Darien. Staff Sgt Chase was attached to the airfield at Fairmont, Nebraska. The plane crash victim had observed his 26th birthday on Friday. He was a graduate of the Darien High School Class of 1936. Before entering the Air Corps, he was employed by the Town Highway Department of Darien. He joined the Army in 1942. Staff Sgt Chase was a fifer in St. John’s Fife and Drum Corps of Darien and was a member of the Darien Fire Department. He is the first member of the department to be killed in the present war. Besides his parents, Staff Sgt Chase is survived by four brother, Cpl William Chase who is in the Army; Stephen of Paradiso Street, Norwalk; John of Stamford and Paul of Darien; three sisters, Mary and Margaret of Darien and Mrs. Elizabeth Nanai of Glenbrook. The body is being shipped to Darien for funeral services and burial.
Memorialized on the Darien (CT) World War II Memorial at Darien Town Hall; photo from hmdb.org.
Sergeant Chase is buried in St. John’s Cemetery, Norwalk; Section A1, Lot 194W, Grave 6. Photo by webmaster.