By age 53, William Chapman had served over twenty years with the Oakland Fire Department. During those years the polite and mild-mannered firefighter used his skills as a craftsman to maintain rental houses and build high quality cabinetry and furniture. He was called to duty for the last time in the middle of World War II when a War Department tire depot caught fire near his home. Although he was off duty and dressed in his street clothes, Chapman didn’t hesitate to join the crews battling the four-alarm blaze. He collapsed and died while performing this final service to his community and country.
William Porteus Chapman
- November 8, 1943
On the Memorial
Located in Sacramento, the California Firefighters Memorial immortalizes the names of those lost in the line of duty. Learn more »