S1c Adolph Louis Kruppa


S1c Adolph Louis Kruppa

Adolph Louis Kruppa liked to make up songs and was the comedian of his large family in Placedo, Texas 75 miles northeast of Corpus Christi.

He was a “happy-go-lucky sort of guy,” his brother John recalled years after Adolph was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941.

Adolph was a seaman first class on the U.S.S. Arizona.

He was born June 15, 1921 in Texas to Emil Kruppa, a farmer, and Rosie Valigura, a homemaker. They had eight children.

Adolph graduated from Patti Welder High School in Victoria, Texas 14 miles northwest of Placedo. He was on the football and track teams. He left Placedo, population 400, when he enlisted in the Navy on Jan. 24, 1941.

By then, brother John was already serving in the Army with the combat engineers. He wanted to fly but couldn’t qualify because of poor eyesight. He eventually became a crew chief with the Army Air Forces and served throughout the war. He died in 2006.

A third Kruppa brother, Stephen, enlisted in the Army Air Forces in September 1941 and became a B-17 bomber pilot. He was shot down and killed over France in February 1944 on his first bombing mission. He was survived by his widow and baby daughter.

A fourth brother, Emil, enlisted in the Army Air Forces in 1942 and became a glider co-pilot. He served in England, France, and Germany. Emil died in 2019.

The Kruppa family tragedies extended beyond the war. Son Joe, a railroad fireman, was killed in 1950 when an engine overturned.


Sources: The Victoria (Texas) Advocate; Texas birth certificate; Ardennes American Cemetery and Memorial in Belgium; Census; Navy muster roll; Army enlistment record; Texas death certificate. This profile was researched and written on behalf of the U.S.S. Arizona Mall Memorial at the University of Arizona.

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