Lieutenant (jg) Chapman was born on March 21, 1919, at Marion, North Carolina, the son of George W. Chapman and Mrs. Mary Mckoy Chapman. He attended Marion (North Carolina) High School from 1931 to 1935, Maryville College, Maryville, Tennessee between 1935 and 1936 and received his Bachelor of Science degree from Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina in 1941. While attending John Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, he was appointed an Ensign in the Hospital Corps of the US Naval Reserve on October 21, 1942, and on September 9, 1947, transferred to the Hospital Corps of the US Navy. He advanced in grade to the rank of Lieutenant (jg), to date from March 8, 1948. In April 1948, the Hospital Corps designation was changed to the Medical Service Corps.
Following his appointment in the Naval Reserve in October 1942, Lieutenant (jg) Chapman remained at John Hopkins School of Medicine until May 1943. He had V-12 training at John Hopkins until August 1944, after which he had further instructions at the Pro-Midshipman School, Asbury Park, New Jersey and later at the US Naval reserve Midshipman School at Columbia University, New York, New York
From March to June 1945, he attended Gunnery School ay the Navy Yard, Washington, DC, and upon detachment proceeded to the New Orleans, Louisiana, assuming duty the same month as Deputy Venereal Disease Control Officer, Eight Naval District. The following month he became District Venereal Disease Officer, and also was assigned duty as a member of the Joint Army-Navy Local Board for the New Orleans area and Recorder for Joint Army- Navy Disciplinary Contro1l Board in the Eighth Naval District. On April 1, 1948, he reported for duty at the Hematology Facility, Naval Medical Research Institute, national Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland.
Lieutenant (jg) Chapman is entitled to the American Area Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.
He is a member of the Alpha Epsilon Delta (pre medical fraternity), and Phi Chi (medical fraternity).
Lieutenant (jg) Chapman is the co-author with Lieutenant Commander Eugene P. Cronkite, Medical Corps, US Navy, of a paper entitled “A Critical Analysis of the Syndrome of Acute Total Body Radiation Illinois” which was selected best in competition for the Sir Henry Wellcome Medal and Prize, to be awarded on November 12, 1948, by the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States 1948, at the Association’s annual convention at San Antonio, Texas.