Special delivery: Relatives of black veteran receive historic newspaper article

A Harper Woods man set out to find the family of a Detroit man featured in a news article from 1945.

This delivery was 70 years in the making. 

In a follow up from Tuesday's story, Dusty Waldo is delivering a newspaper, 70 years after it was first published.

"April 24, 1945 and this is actually the serviceman's digest," Waldo said. "And this is what he would receive on the ship."

"Oh - thank you very much," said Claude Chapman.

Chapman is happy to have this old article about his uncle Herman Chapman - a man who made history all those years ago, as the first veteran of color in the Detroit area to get a home loan under the G.I. Bill of Rights.

"The first," Claude said.

Claude and his sister, Erma Gibbs, hadn't realized their uncle's home on Northlawn Street had made history - but they did know he had helped pioneer the integration of that neighborhood.

"During that period there had been a great deal of discrimination against African Americans," Claude said. "And that one of the issues was acquiring loans to purchase property. So it makes us real proud to know he was the first to use his VA benefits to acquire property here in Detroit."

Waldo had contacted FOX 2 in hopes of finding the Chapman family after he discovered this article while looking through his grandfather's keepsakes from World War II.

Herman Chapman and his wife Virginia passed away more than a decade ago, but his loved ones called FOX 2 after seeing the story and Dusty delivered this old Detroit News serviceman's edition - to the Chapman family, where new generations can learn their family's story.

"I'm just really happy it made it to somebody," Waldo said. "It means something to them."

"We're really happy to have this," he said. "I was telling my grandson - he'll be able to pass this on when he does his family tree. These are nice mementos to have.

"I'm glad to hear that," Waldo said.
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