Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Donald F. Chaplin, 94, of Belle Aire in The Villages passed away Friday, Nov. 21, 2014, of natural causes. Don was born in Mt. Arlington, NJ, and is survived byhis devoted wife of 53 years, Carol.
Don is also survived by his brother John “Jack” Chaplin and is predeceased by a sister Mildred and brothers Elmer “Bub”, Kenneth, Charles “Butch” and William.
Don retired from the Air Force in 1967. While in the Air Force, Don was a P38 fighter pilot and was shot down by the Germans in occupied France. Don was captured by the Germans and served as a WWII Prisoner of War in Stalag Luft 3. After 12 months in prison camp, Don was liberated by General George S. Patton. Upon retiring from the military, Don continued to serve his country while working at Picatinny Arsenal in NJ and was recalled to continue flying in both Korea and Vietnam.
Don and Carol have lived in The Villages for 12 years. Don will be remembered as a husband, soldier and patriot who loved his family and his country.
Don’s remains will be placed to rest near his birthplace in New Jersey. Donations can be made in Don’s memory to: Cornerstone Hospice 2445 Lane Park Rd., Tavares, FL 32778.