Clayton Killed on D-Day – Message Arrives Just Months Later, On Sunday Evening
Farmington village suffered her first casualty in World War II. It was announced at 6:30 Sunday evening when a telegram from the War Department said Pfc. Clayton (Jiggs) Sypal, 21 year old son of Mr. and Mrs. Ed Sypal had been killed in action in France on D-day, June 6. The message to home folks was received exactly two months after his death.
A powerful and courageous infantryman, Clayton was probably placed in a unit to spearhead the attack on the Nazis west wall.
First inkling that something had happened to the young soldier was received at the Tribune office two weeks ago, when a government card came notifying us that Clayton’s paper, correctly addressed had been unclaimed. A similar card was received here two weeks before Pfc. Melvin Gores was announced as killed in action on D-Day.
Clayton Sypal was born February 7, 1923 in Kimball S. Dakota, the youngest son of Edward Sypal and Bertha (Urban) Sypal. He moved here with his parents in l927 and attended the local school. He was a faithful carrier for the St. Paul Dispatch-Pioneer Press and it was while engaged in this work that friends gave him the nickname of “Jiggs” from the popular funny feature. He later worked on the railroad section and also for Ben Erickson’s drayline.
He was inducted into the army forces on December 24, 1942, training successively at Camp Teccoa, Ga.,and Camp Croft, S.C. and arrived in England in June 1943, just a year before the invasion. He never had a furlough.
When Bob McDermott, Sr., delivered the telegram Sunday evening, Mr. and Mrs. Sypal, who hadn’t heard from Clayton for a long time said they surmised what had happened before they read the message.
Besides his parents, Clayton is survived by three sisters and two brothers, Mrs. Robert Ristow (Vivian) of Farmington, Pfc. Donald Sypal, somewhere in the South Pacific, T/4 George Sypal at Camp Bowie, Texas and Genevieve and Dorothy at home. George was notified by long distance telephone.
“Clate” was a quiet inoffensive chap; perhaps he never had an enemy, but a host of friends are silent with sadness as they realize that he has paid the supreme sacrifice. The community extends sincere sympathy to the bereft family.