Hall of Fame - Inductee Detail

Bob Chappuis

Bob Chappuis

Details

  • Position: Halfback
  • School: Michigan
  • High School: Toledo, OH (DeVilbiss HS)
  • Years: 1942, 1946-1947
  • Inducted: 1988
  • Place of Birth: Toledo, OH
  • Date of Birth: Feb 24, 1923
  • Place of Death: Ann Arbor, MI
  • Date of Death: Jun 14, 2012
  • Jersey Number: 49
  • Height: 6-0
  • Weight: 180

Member Biography

Bob Chappuis was a great competitor in football and war. His playing time at Michigan covered the seasons of 1942, 1946 and 1947; in between he was a gunner on a B-25 bomber in the Army Air Corps. His crew was cited in September, 1944, for sinking a cruiser in an Italian harbor. On February 13, 1945, his bomber was shot down behind the German lines, and he parachuted into the Po Valley near Florence, Italy. An Italian family sympathetic to the Allies found him and hid him in the attic. At one time the German command moved its headquarters into the house next door, but Chappuis was never exposed. He was freed when Allied troops liberated the town. Chappuis never forgot his rescuers; he made several trips back to Italy to visit them in peacetime. As a football star, he led the Big Ten in total offense twice and in 1947 was unanimous All-America halfback. He helped Michigan to a perfect season and was voted Most Valuable Player in the Rose Bowl after leading the way to a 49-0 victory over Southern California. In one of his 1947 games he ran and passed for 307 yards, a school record that lasted 20 years. Chappuis joined Central Soya Co. and was vice president 13 years, retiring in 1983.