Wallace joined the Marine Corps in July 1917 in San Diego, CA. He was assigned to Lemon Grove in San Diego to the U.S. Radio Station, at the time the largest wireless station in the world. His serial number was #000097844. On June 9, 1918, Wallace arrived in France with his outfit: 23rd Company (Company B), 6th Machine Gun Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division.
He was killed in the Argonne region the day before the Armistice was signed and was buried in France until March of 1921. His parents brought him home to San Buenaventura and he was interred at Ivy Lawn Cemetery, 06 April 1921.
Wallace served in action in the Marbache Sector of France from August 7th to the 17th, 1918. Served in the St. Mihiel Sector from September 12 to the 17th, 1918. In open warfare in the Champagne Sector October 2nd to the 10th, 1918, taking part in the capture of Blanc Mont and St. Etienne.
He was serving in action east and west of the Meuse River in the Argonne Sector, Beaumont Valley area, from November 1st to the 10th when he was killed in action from shell fire. His conduct & character was considered excellent.
The Wallace H. Chaffee VFW #1679 is named for him. It was Wallace's parents, Hyde and Lorena, who were instrumental in the development of the VFW Post in Ventura. Wallace was the first native of Ventura to die in a war.
He received the following decorations.
· Purple Heart,
· Victory Medal,
· Victory Button (Silver)
· 3 French Battle Clasps (Bronze Bars):
· St. Mihiel Battle Clasp,
· Meuse-Argonne Battle Clasp
· Defensive Sector Clasp.
A portrait of Wallace hangs at the VFW Post 1679 along with his decorations. Because of co-ordinates written down of where Wallace was buried, with other soldiers, his body was exhumed in March of 1921 and brought back to Ventura County due to the requests of his parents to the U.S. Military.
On the day he was interred at Ivy Lawn Cemetery hundreds of people gathered to pay respects to their native son, who had given the supreme sacrifice for his country and in the name of freedom.