In Memoriam: MLB Players Who Made the Ultimate Sacrifice

Memorial Day is a day where everyone should take a few moments and honor those who served in the Armed Services and was killed in the line of duty. Those who made the “Ultimate Sacrifice” protecting our freedom and our way of life deserves the highest respect.

In honor of Memorial Day, I would like to honor the MLB players who were killed during World War I, World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam. Their names all deserve to be mentioned.

World War I:

Lt. Alexander “Tom” Burr (OF), US Army Air Service, killed in a plane crash in France on 10/12/1918

Lt. Harry E. Chapman (C) of the US Army, died of illness in Nevada on 10/21/1918

Lt. LaVerne A. “Larry” Chappell (OF), Medical Corps, died of illness in San Francisco, CA on 11/8/1918

Pvt. Harry M. Glenn (C), US Army, died of illness in St. Paul, MN on 10/12/1918

Cptn. Edward L. “Eddie” Grant (3B), US Army, killed in action in France on 10/5/1918

Cptn. Newton S. “Newt” Halliday (1B), US Navy, died of illness in Great Lakes, Il on 4/6/1918

Cpl. Ralph E. Sharmin (OF), US Army, died in an accident in Camp Sheridan, AL, 5/24/1918

Sgt. Robert G. “Bun” Troy (P), US Army, died from battle wounds in France, 10/7/1918


World War II:

Cptn. Elmer J. Gedeon (OF), US Air Force, killed in action in France, 4/20/1944

1st Lt. Harry M. O’Neill (C), US Marines, killed in action in Iwo Jima, 3/6/1945

In 2013, Rob Weintraub wrote an excellent article for the New York Times on Cptn. Gedeon and 1st Lt. O’Neill expanding on their lives and their ultimate sacrifices in the line of duty.  Two Who Did Not Return


Korean War:

Mjr. Robert O. “Bob” Neighbors, US Air Force, missing in action in Korea, 8/8/1952


Vietnam War:



In the interest of space and time, I limited this article to major league players. Many more players killed during these conflicts were minor league players, Negro League players, college, amateurs, semi-pro players and baseball players from other countries as well.

I drew my information from Gary Bedingfield’s Baseball in Wartime website, an excellent resource honoring players who served, who died in the line of duty, surviving Veterans and more. It’s well worth your time to check it out, and even donate to help keep this resource online, if you so wish.

So please take a few moments to thank everyone who died in the line of duty, allowing us the freedom we enjoy in today’s world.


See ya next time.




Posted in MLB