Lt. Bruce Capel ’65

Lt. Bruce Capel '65

Birth:     Mar. 18, 1943
Evansville
Vanderburgh County
Indiana, USA
Death:     May 12, 1966
Da Nang
Da Nang Municipality, Vietnam

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

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.

Parents:  Wallace Dawson Capel (1916 – 1998)

Inscription: “Illinois– 2nd Lt. -Company “B”, 9th Marines, 3rd Marine Division — Vietnam — Purple Heart”

Burial: Forest Hill Cemetery
Glen Ellyn
DuPage County
Illinois, USA

Plot: Grave 7 — Lot 341 — Section 7

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