I likely got a bit ahead in his story since, in 1939-40, he was a member of the French 22nd Regiment comprised, what I understood, of East European Jews and Spaniards. No, not that simple. While he was in the 22nd, the regiment was more nuanced - 25% Spanish (the unit was formed from a French immigrant camp), 30% Polish and Romanian Jews, and 45% Belgians, Swiss, Poles, Luxembourgeois, Romanians, Norwegians, Portuguese, Hungarians, Russians, Yugoslavs and Austrians. It is likely Chourapine was in the latter group, likely non-Jewish.
I agree the name is likely a Westernized version of his Russian/Ukrainian name. Any suggestions what that name could have been? I came up with Chourapine/Хурапін/Khurapin/Pola Shorapyna for example but I have absolutely zero knowledge in Russian- and Ukranian-langauage name origins.
Since writing that and getting bounced for omitting my name I concluded that Chourapine was unlikely to have been anything close to his real name. He was a stateless person without passport working ships around the Mediterranean, probably specializing in the black market. He was bounced back and forth between Greece and France, Greece finally reaching an arrangement with Polish authorities to permit Chourapine to board the S/S Lewant at Piraeus ferrying Polish refugees to France in late-October, early-November 1939.
Anyone know anything about that 1939 voyage of the S/S Lewant?