Ermil R. Trapp


Ermil R. Trapp (Jackson County, Indiana, United States; August 28, 1923 - Metz, France; September 15, 1944) was an American serviceman who served in the Battle of Metz during World War II.


Ermil R. Trapp was the son of Verna Rae Johnson (1897-1984) and Fred Nichols Trapp (1896-1974), a native of Chestnut Ridge, an unincorporated community in Jackson County, Indiana, in the United States. His parents married in 1917 in Jennings and had ten children.

Ermil was the fourth child in order of birth and the sixth generation of Priscilla Foster (1751-1787) and Elisha South (1749-1811), descendant (great-great-grandson) of Edward Fuller, passenger on the historic 1620 voyage of the Mayflower ship and a signatory of the Mayflower Compact.

He married Joyce Lorraine Jaynes (1926-2011) on January 9, 1943 in Seymour, Jackson, United States.


Ermil R. Trapp was born in Jennings County and spent most of his life in the Chestnut Ridge community, attending school there. He worked countywide on various farms and also worked at Camp Atterbury before joining the army.

He later served in General Patton's 735th Tank Battalion in a light tank and was killed at the Battle of Metz, France, on September 15, 1944.

"Fifth grade coach Ermil R. Trapp, 21, was killed in action on September 15," according to a telegram received by his wife, Ms. Joyce L. Trapp at their residence in San Francisco, United States.

"The Secretary of War expresses her deep regret that her husband, fifth grade coach Ermil R. Trapp, was killed in action on September 15 in France, the letter continues." Signed by J. A. Ulio, Adjutant General.

Trapp entered service on January 8, 1943, receiving his training at Fort Lewis, Washington, as a member of a tank battalion and had served overseas since February 1 of this year. The last letter from Ms. Trapp from her husband was dated September 6.


Ermil R. Trapp died while serving with the tank group in France on September 15, 1944 at the Battle of Metz. He was widely known both in his hometown and throughout the county and a large number of friends joined his family in mourning his death. He was buried in the First Marion Baptist Church Cemetery in Commiskey, Jennings County, Indiana, United States.

Survivors include the widow, former Miss Joyce Jaynes, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Jaynes, with whom he makes his home; a fourteen-month-old daughter, Judy Kay Trapp; parents; five sisters, Mrs. Fern Russell, from Beanblossom, and Marjorie, Carol, Vivian, and Phyllis Trapp, all from Chestnut Ridge; and three brothers, all in service.

Ernest Trapp and Murrel Trapp, both serving overseas in England or France, and Donald Trapp, serving on a Navy destroyer in the South Seas.


  • Ermil R. Trapp - Obituary. Cover: Seymour Daily Tribune, Seymour, Indiana. September 1944.
  • Accessed by Sheri Bush, July 5, 2012.