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Chester Sheets

Ballplayers Wounded in Combat

 

Date and Place of Birth: October 8, 1919 Teaneck, NJ
Date and Place of Death:    July 17, 2010 NJ
Baseball Experience: Minor League
Position: Pitcher
Rank: First Lieutenant
Military Unit:  C Battery, 929th Field Artillery Battalion, 104th Infantry Division US Army
Area Served: Mediterranean and European Theater of Operations

Chester W. Sheets, the son of Ward and Helen Sheets, was born in Teaneck, New Jersey, on October 8, 1919. He was a pitcher on the varsity team at Teaneck High School and hurled a no-hitter his senior year, 1937. That same year, Sheets was named to the Bergen Evening Record All-County baseball team for his play with local semi-pro teams.

he continued his studies at Bergen College and Pace Institute, and played baseball with Ruckdeschel's of Hackensack, and the Bogota Club, with whom he threw another no-hitter.

In 1940, the 20-year-old was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals, and pitched for the Daytona Beach Islanders of the Class D Florida State League, the Harrisonburg Turks of the Class D Virginia League and the Williamson Red Birds of the Class D Mountain State League. In 10 appearances for the Red Birds, he was 1-2 with an ERA of 7.00.

Sheets entered military service in February 1942. He trained at Fort Dix, New Jersey, and attained the rank of corporal at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He then went on to training at Camp Blanding, Florida, and was commissioned a second lieutenant on July 28, 1942, at Field Artillery Officer Candidate School.

Sheets was assigned to the 36th Infantry Division, and went overseas in April 1943. He was wounded in action in North Africa, in August 1943, and returned to the United States, where he was hospitalized for treatment of shrpanel wounds to his leg and arm.

Lieutenant Sheets was sent to France in September 1944, with the 312th Field Artillery, attached to the 79th Infantry Divsion. He later transferred to C Battery of the 929th Field Artillery Battalion of the 104th Infantry Division.

In March 1945, he was awarded the Bronze Star for "meritorious conduct in crossing 3,000 yards of open territory to an enemy-held town, setting up and maintaining an observation post under artillery fire and refusing to abandon his post, while directing an attack on the enemy."

On March 31, 1945, Lieutenant Sheets was again wounded by shrapnel while acting as a forward observer in Germany.

He arrived home on a 30-day furlough in July 1945, and was due to report with the army to San Luis Obispo, California, when the war ended.

Chester Sheets didn't return to baseball. He passed away on July 17, 2010. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

Date Added December 31, 2017

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