Cathlolic Chaplains Monument

Chaplains Hill
Arlington National Cemetery

.

The monument is an unpolished granite stone with a bronze plaque. The stone
stands 6 feet 10 inches tall and is 42 inches wide and 10 inches thick. The plaque 

is 50 inches by 30 inches. It lists the names of the chaplains alphabetically for
World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. 
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Those names in black (below) are covered in these web pages.
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.CATHOLIC CHAPLAINS WHO 
DIED SERVING THEIR 
COUNTRY IN WORLD WAR II 
AND IN THE KOREAN 
AND VIETNAM CONFLICTS
.
WORLD WAR II
ANTONUCCI, RALPH A.
BABST, JULIUS J.
BACIGALUPO, ANDREW
BARRETT, THOMAS J.
BARTLEY, EDWARD L.
BINA, ELWIN J.
BONNER, PETER L.
BRADLEY, EDWARD F.
BRADY, THOMAS T.
BUTTERBACH, HERBERT
CALLAHAN, JOHN L.
CARBERRY, RICHARD E.
COLGAN, AQUINAS T.
CONTINO, WILLIAM S.
CONWAY, ANTHONY J.
CUMMINGS, WILLIAM T.
CZUBAK, ANTHONY E.
DOYLE, NEIL J.
DUFFY, WILLIAM P. F.
DUNLEAVY, JAMES P.
EDELEN, PHILIP B.
FALTER, CLEMENT M.
FELIX, WALTER J.
.
FLAHERTY, PATRICK X.
FLYNN, JAMES P.
FOLEY, JOHN E.
GILLESPIE, DOMINIC F.
GILMORE, JOSEPH A.
GOUGH, LAWRENCE A.
GUILFOYLE, WILLIAM
HAGAN, CLARENCE J.
HAUSMAN, CARL W.
HUGHES, JOHN P.
IRWIN, WILLIAM A.
JOHNSON, ALFRED W.
KERR, JAMES P.
KILSDONK, JOHN W.
KNOX, THOMAS J.
KOBEL, JEROME
LAFLEUR, JOSEPH V.
LENAGHAN, ARTHUR C.
LISTON, JAMES M.
LYMCH, LAWRENCE E.
MALONY, PATRICK J.
MATERNOWSKI, IGNATIUS
MONAGHAN, OWEN T.
MONAHAN, JOHN F.
MCDONNELL, JOHN J.
MCGARRITY, JOHN J.
MCMANUS, FRANCIS J.
O'BRIEN, JAMES W.
O'GRADY, EUGENE P.
O'TOOLE, MYLES F.
POLEWSKI, LADISLUS A.
POLHEMUS, EUGENE
RECHSTEINER,LEO G.
ROBINSON, JOHN F.
RYAN, JOHN A.
SAVIGNAC, FALMORE G.
SCECINA, THOMAS J.
SCHMITT, ALOYSIUS 
SHARP, CURTIS J.
STOBER, HENRY
TERNAN, DOMINIC
VANDERHEIDEN, JOSEPH
VERRET, JOHN J.
VINCENT, CLARENCE A.
WASHINGTON, JOHN P.
WEILAND, FIDELIS M.
ZERFAS, MATHIAS E.
.
.
 KOREAN CONFLICT
BRUNNERT, LAWRENCE F.
COPPENS, FRANCIS X.
CRAIG, LEO P.
FELHOELTER, HERMAN G.
KAPAUN, EMIL J.
MAHER, WILLIAM E.
.
VIETNAM CONFLICT
BARRAGY, WILLIAM J.
BRETT, ROBERT R.
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CAPODANNO, VINCENT R.
GARRITY, WILLIAM J.
MCGONIGAL, ALOYSIUS P.
QUEALY, MICHAEL J.
WATTERS, CHARLES J.
.
.
MAY GOD GRANT PEACE TO THEM AND
TO THE NATIONAL THEY SERVED SO WELL




Military Chaplains (Roman Catholic)
Service to God and Country

U. S. Army Chaplain Museum photo.
Chaplain (Major) Charles J. Watters celebrates Mass in Vietnam with his chaplain assistant (name unknown) shortly before his death (November 19,1967). 
The U. S. Army Chaplain Center & School is named in his honor – Watters Hall.
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This webpage is a very special gift
.to all Catholic service members of our armed forces,
to Judy McCloskey and Catholics in the Military.

Which is dedicated to strengthening military families and
promoting vocations to the Military Archdiocese.

Thank you Judy for your dedication and hard work.

ACKNOWNLEDGEMENTS

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I would like to thank the following:

Photos of Medal of Honor recipients Courtesy of HomeOfHeroes.com by C. Douglas Sterner please feel free to use whatever is of value to your own efforts. Thanks for your service to our Nation.

U.S. Army  Chaplain Center and School, Fort Jackson, South Carolina
Photo courtesy of the U. S. Army Chaplain Museum for the opening Mass photo.

Kimberly T. Pierce, Executive Director of The Chapel of Four Chaplains
You have our permission to use the biography of Chaplain John P. Washington, as well as the Four Chaplains image, on your web site in the manner it is shown.

DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE
WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

The Online Library for the use of their images and biographies of the people.
The use of the official U.S. Navy photographs now in the collections of the National Archives.


Priest and Soldier
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Chaplains must walk a line different from the ordinary officer's. Chaplains 
should never forget that they are responsible to two professions, to two chains of command, a line commander and the church that ordained them. The chaplain is and must be a tightrope walker, aware constantly of balancing the needs of the individual, the church, and the military. Chaplains are soldiers, but unarmed. Although they go where their troops go, they are in a different category. For example, if captured and sent to a prisoner-of- war camp, they will be "detained persons," not "prisoners of war." The laws of war recognize that chaplains, like doctors, have different responsibilities from those of combat troops. The laws of war provide for the continuation of their work even under prison conditions.

Walking the chaplain's tightrope is, though not without difficulties, well within human powers. Many men and women have, I believe, done it remarkably well. Certainly, I have never regretted my dual vocation as priest and soldier.


A Concise History of the Chaplain Corps

The history of the Chaplain Corps traces its beginnings to 28 November 1775
when the second article of Navy Regulations was adopted. It stated that "the Commanders of the ships of the thirteen United Colonies are to take care that
divine services be performed twice a day on board and a sermon preached on Sundays, unless bad weather or other extraordinary accidents prevent." Although chaplains were not specifically mentioned in this article, one can imply that

Congress intended that an ordained clergyman be part of ship's company. Later documents support that conclusion. 

Reverend Benjamin Balch was the first chaplain known to have served in the Continental Navy, reporting aboard the frigate BOSTON in October 1778. The number of chaplains by the turn of the century only totaled six, and at that, only two were retained. 

A new edition of Naval Regulations dated 25 January 1802 included reference to the duties of a chaplain. "He is to read prayers at stated periods; perform all funeral ceremonies; perform the duty of schoolmaster instructing the midshipmen and volunteers in writing, arithmetic, navigation and whatever else they might need to make them proficient; and teach the other youths of the ship as the captain
orders." 

Because of their teaching skills, when various "academies" were established aboard the ships in central ports, the chaplains were called on to be the administrators. Their involvement in these early learning institutions prompted Chaplain George Jones to begin his campaign for the Naval Academy in 1839. The establishment of the Naval School at Annapolis (later the United States Naval Academy) in 1845
was due primarily to Chaplain Jones' efforts. 

By October 1906, the Chaplain Corps began to come into its own. Steering away from the teaching function, a board of chaplains appointed by the Secretary of the Navy established guidelines which would require that all newly commissioned chaplains be graduated of both college and seminary and that such should receive the endorsement of their denominations; and that all candidates appear before a board of Navy chaplains for their endorsement as to health and other qualifications. They also recommended that there should be a Chief of Chaplains. The board's recommendations gave birth to the Chaplain Corps as it is known today. 

To recount the history of the Chaplain Corps and omit two of its most revered chaplains would be a grave mistake. The bravery of Chaplains Joseph T. O'Callahan and Vincent Capodanno gives credence to the faith by which we stand. Both were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for their remarkable willingness to perform their duties in the face of the fiercest adversities. Their spirit is present in the daily contributions the men and women of the Chaplain
Corps continue to make to the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard today.

dated 1993
written by: Lieutenant Margaret G. Kibben, CHC, USNR
History Projects Officer, Chaplain Resource Board

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For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity 
at the risk of  their lives
above and beyond the call 
of duty as Chaplain.







Recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor
Congressional Medal of Honor (Army)
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Congressional Medal of Honor (Navy)
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Father Vincent R. Capodanno, Roman Catholic, posthumously
Father Angelo J. Liteky, Roman Catholic
Father Joseph T. O'Callahan, Roman Catholic
Father Charles Joseph Watters, Roman Catholic, posthumously

.
..
Awarded the Army's Distinguished Service Cross and
later First Recipients of the Four Chaplains' Medal


Four Chaplains' Medal

.Army's Distinguished Service Cross

Reverend George D. Fox, Methodist,
posthumously

Rabbi Alexander D. Goode, Jewish, posthumously
Reverend Clark V. Poling, Dutch Reformed, posthumously
Father John P. Washington, Roman Catholic, posthumously
 
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Military Chaplains (Roman Catholic) Navy
Service to God and Country

Only two Navy Chaplains have received the Congressional Medal of Honor. The recipients are Chaplains Joseph T. O'Callahan and Vincent R. Capodanno.
Chaplain O'Callahan was the first chaplain of any military service to be so
honored. 




U.S. Navy photo
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Commander Joseph T. O'Callahan, USNR(ChC), Catholic Chaplain of USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVB-42), Celebrates military Mass at the high altar of the Candaleria Cathedral, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, while USS Franklin D. Roosevelt 
was visiting that city during her shakedown cruise, February 1946. Members of
the ship's crew are assisting Commander O'Callahan.




.

Photo Courtesy of HomeOfHeroes.com
Captain Joseph T. O'Callahan
Chaplain Corps, USNR, Retired
14 May 1904 + 18 March 1964

Joseph Timothy O'Callahan was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on 14 May 1905. He joined the Jesuit Order of the Roman Catholic Church in 1922, after 
graduation from preparatory school, and subsequently received degrees from several institutions of higher learning. He was ordained in 1934, and was a Professor of Mathematics, Philosophy and Physics at Boston College in 1929-37, Professor of Philosophy at the Jesuit Seminary of Weston College in 1937-38 
and Director of the Mathematics Department at Holy Cross College, Worcester,
Massachusetts, in 1938-40.

Father O'Callahan was commissioned as a Lieutenant (Junior Grade) in the Naval Reserve Chaplain Corps in August 1940. He was assigned to the Naval Air 
Station, Pensacola, Florida, in 1940-42, to the aircraft carrier Ranger in 1942-44 and to the Naval Air Stations at Alameda, California, and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii,
into early 1945. Lieutenant Commander O'Callahan joined the the aircraft carrier

Franklin in early March 1945. A few weeks later, when his ship was badly
damaged by a Japanese air attack, he distinguished himself comforting the injured
and leading damage control and ammunition jettisoning parties. The ship's Commanding Officer described O'Callahan as "the bravest man I ever saw". For
his heroism on board Franklin, Lieutenant Commander O'Callahan was awarded
the Medal of Honor.

Promoted to the rank of Commander in July 1945, O'Callahan served at the Navy Department and at the Naval Training Station, Newport, Rhode Island, until October 1945, when he reported on board the new aircraft carrier Franklin D. Roosevelt. In 1946, he served as Escort Chaplain as the body of the late
Philippines President Manuel Quezon was carried from the United States to
Manila. Released from active duty in November 1946, Commander O'Callahan
returned to Holy Cross College as Professor of Philosophy. Upon his retirement from the Naval Reserve in November 1953, he was advanced to the rank of Captain on the basis of his combat awards. Joseph T. O'Callahan died at

Worcester, Massachusetts, on 18 March 1964.

On 21 July 1965, the USS O’CALLAHAN, a Destroyer Escort vessel, was christened in Bay City, Mich. Present at the ceremony was Sister Rose Marie, O.P., also known as Alice O’Callahan, Joseph’s younger sister, who had 
survived her own ordeal in the Philippines. The escort ship USS O'Callahan (DE-1051, later FF-1051), 1968-1994, was named in honor of Joseph T. O'Callahan. 



JOSEPH TIMOTHY O'CALLAHAN

Rank and organization: Commander (Chaplain Corps), U.S. Naval Reserve,
U.S.S. Franklin. Place and date: Near Kobe, Japan, 19 March 1945. Entered service at: Massachusetts. Born: 14 May 1904, Boston, Mass. 

Medal of Honor Citation: 

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond
the call of duty while serving as chaplain on board the U.S.S. Franklin when that vessel was fiercely attacked by enemy Japanese aircraft during offensive 

operations near Kobe, Japan, on 19 March 1945. A valiant and forceful leader, calmly braving the perilous barriers of flame and twisted metal to aid his men and his ship, Lt. Comdr. O'Callahan groped his way through smoke-filled corridors to the open flight deck and into the midst of violently exploding bombs, shells,
rockets, and other armament. With the ship rocked by incessant explosions, with debris and fragments raining down and fires raging in ever-increasing fury, he ministered to the wounded and dying, comforting and encouraging men of all
faiths; he organized and led firefighting crews into the blazing inferno on the flight
deck; he directed the jettisoning of live ammunition and the flooding of the magazine; he manned a hose to cool hot, armed bombs rolling dangerously on the listing deck, continuing his efforts, despite searing, suffocating smoke which 

forced men to fall back gasping and imperiled others who replaced them. Serving with courage, fortitude, and deep spiritual strength, Lt. Comdr. O'Callahan
inspired the gallant officers and men of the Franklin to fight heroically and with profound faith in the face of almost certain death and to return their stricken ship
to port.



The ship's Commanding Officer described O'Callahan as
"the bravest man I ever saw". 
 Congressional Medal of Honor (Navy)






.

Photo Courtesy of HomeOfHeroes.com
Lieutenant Vincent R. Capodanno
Chaplain Corps, USNR 
13 February 1929 + 4 September 1967
.
Chaplain Capodanno was born in Richmond County, New York, 13 February 1929.  He was an avid swimmer and a great sports enthusiast.  After receiving his training at Fordham University, New York City; Maryknoll Seminary College in Glen Ellyn, Illinois; and Maryknoll Seminaries in Bedford, Massachusetts and
New York City, he was ordained 7 June 1957 by the late Francis Cardinal Spellman, Archbishop of New York and Military Vicar of the United States
Military Ordinariate. Shortly thereafter he began an eight year period of service in
Taiwan and Hong Kong under the auspices of the Catholic Foreign Mission
society.

Chaplain Capodanno received his commission in the grade of lieutenant 28 December 1965. Having requested duty with Marines in Vietnam, he joined the First Marine Division in 1966 as Battalion Chaplain.  He extended his one year
tour by six months in order to continue his work with the men.  While seeking to
aid a wounded corpsman he was fatally wounded 4 September 1967, while

assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, by enemy sniper fire in the Quang Tin
Province. He was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor "for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the
call of duty..."  He had previously been awarded the Bronze Star Medal for

bravery under battle conditions. 

The USS CAPODANNO (DE1093) keel was laid on 25 February 1972, and she was christened and launched 21 October 1972 and commissioned 17 November 1973.  She is designed for optimum performance in antisubmarine warfare.  Deployments have included operations in the Western Atlantic, West Africa, the Mediterranean, and South America.  She was decommissioned on 30 July 1993.

.



VINCENT R. CAPODANNO

Rank and organization: Lieutenant. U.S. Navy. Chaplain Corps. 3d Battalion, 5th (Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein). FMF. Place and Date and date: Quang Tin Province, Republic of Vietnam, 4 September 1967. Entered service at: Staten
Island, New York. Born 13 February 1929, Staten Island, New York.

.

Medal of Honor Citation: 

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond
the call of duty as Chaplain of the 3d Battalion, in connection with operations against enemy forces. In response to reports that the 2d Platoon Of M Company was in danger of being overrun by a massed enemy assaulting force, Lt.
Capodanno left the relative safety of the company command post and ran 

through an open area raked with fire, directly to the beleaguered platoon. Disregarding the intense enemy small-arms, automatic-weapons, and mortar fire,
he moved about the battlefield administering last rites to the dying and giving
medical aid to the wounded. When an exploding mortar round inflicted painful multiple wounds to his arms and legs, and severed a portion of his right hand, he steadfastly refused all medical aid. Instead, he directed the corpsmen to help their wounded comrades, and, with calm vigor, continued to move about the battlefield as he provided encouragement by voice and example to the valiant marines. 

Upon encountering a wounded corpsman in the direct line of fire of an enemy machine gunner positioned approximately 15 yards away, Lt. Capodanno rushed 
in a daring attempt to aid and assist the mortally wounded corpsman. At that
instant, only inches from his goal, he was struck down by a burst of machine gun
fire. By his heroic conduct on the battlefield, and his inspiring example, Lt. Capodanno upheld the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly 

gave his life in the cause of freedom.




He was posthumously awarded the
 Congressional Medal of Honor (Navy)





.
Military Chaplains (Roman Catholic) Army
Service to God and Country
Only two Army Chaplains have received the Congressional Medal of Honor.
The recipients are Chaplains Charles Joseph Watters and Angelo J. Liteky.




.

Photo Courtesy of HomeOfHeroes.com
.Chaplain (Major) Charles Watters 
17 January 1927 + 19 November 1967

Chaplain Watters was a 40-year-old native of Jersey City, New Jersey. After his ordination in 1953, he served parishes in his home town as well as in Rutherford, Paramus, and Cranford, New Jersey. 

In 1962 he became a chaplain in the Air National Guard and two years later
entered active duty as an Army chaplain. In July 1967 he had already completed his 12-month tour in Vietnam but had voluntarily extended his service there by 6 months.  On 19 November 1967 his unit was involved in close combat with the enemy. For his "conspicuous gallantry ... unyielding perseverance and selfless devotion to his comrades" on that day, Chaplain Watters was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor by Vice President Spiro Agnew on 4 November
1969.



Chaplain Charles J. Watters served with the 173d Airborne Brigade. After ministering day and night to the men of the 2d battalion, 503d Infantry, in a battle that was to rage for 12 days, he was killed while helping care for the wounded. Chaplain Watters received the award [Congressional Medal of Honor] posthumously.

Recalling Chaplain Watters’ sacrifice, a former Chief of Chaplains, Chaplain
(Major General) Gerhardt W. Hyatt (deceased) said:

… The Army did not tell him to be on the battlefield that day.  He could have
been back in a safe area.  But, it was his investment of his life that he must be 
with his men. Then when the battle raged and the wounded were lying on the 
field, repeatedly he risked his life to bring them in and give them help. 

… I was at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and a young soldier asked that he might
be my driver for that day because he wanted to tell me that he was one of the 
men on the battlefield that day whose life Charlie Watters had saved.  It was one man’s investment of his profession and of himself, and that investment is still paying spiritual dividends through the lives of the grateful men whose lives he saved. 

He Was Always There: U. S. Army Chaplain Ministry in the Vietnam Conflict, Henry F. Ackerman, Office of the Chief of Chaplains, Department of the Army, Washington, D.C. 1989, p.171.


.
Charles Joseph Watters

Rank and organization: Chaplain (Maj.), U .S. Army, Company A, 173d Support Battalion,173dAirborne Brigade. Place and Date: Near Dak To Province, Republic of Vietnam, 19 November 1967. Entered service at: Fort Dix, N.J. Born: 17 January 1927, Jersey City, N.J. Born: 17 January 1927, Jersey City, N.J.

Medal of Honor Citation:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Chaplain Watters distinguished himself during an assault 
in the vicinity of Dak To. Chaplain Watters was moving with one of the 
companies when it engaged a heavily armed enemy battalion. As the battle raged and the casualties mounted, Chaplain Watters, with complete disregard for his safety, rushed forward to the line of contact. Unarmed and completely exposed,
he moved among, as well as in front of the advancing troops, giving aid to the wounded, assisting in their evacuation, giving words of encouragement, and administering the last rites to the dying. When a wounded paratrooper was 
standing in shock in front of the assaulting forces, Chaplain Watters ran forward, picked the man up on his shoulders and carried him to safety. As the troopers battled to the first enemy entrenchment, Chaplain Watters ran through the intense enemy fire to the front of the entrenchment to aid a fallen comrade. A short time later, the paratroopers  pulled back in preparation for a second assault. Chaplain Watters exposed himself to both friendly and enemy fire between the two forces 
in order to recover two wounded soldiers. Later, when the battalion was forced to pull back into a perimeter, Chaplain Watters noticed that several wounded soldiers were lying outside the newly formed perimeter. Without hesitation and ignoring attempts to restrain him, Chaplain Watters left the perimeter three times in the 
face of small arms, automatic weapons, and mortar fire to carry and to assist the injured troopers to safety. Satisfied that all of the wounded were inside the perimeter, he began aiding the medics ... applying field bandages to open wounds, obtaining and serving food and water, giving spiritual and mental strength and comfort. During his ministering, he moved out to the perimeter from position to position redistributing food and water, and tending to the needs of his men. Chaplain Watters was giving aid to the wounded when he himself was mortally wounded. Chaplain Watters' unyielding perseverance and selfless devotion to his comrades was in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Army.

He was posthumously awarded the
 Congressional Medal of Honor (Army)


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Photo Courtesy of HomeOfHeroes.com
Chaplain (Captain) Angelo J. Liteky 
199th Light Infantry Brigade. Republic of Vietnam, 1969.

LITEKY, ANGELO J. Rank and organization: Chaplain (Capt.), U.S. Army, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 199th Infantry Brigade. Place and
date: Near phuoc-Lac, Bien Hoa province, Republic of Vietnam, 6 December
1967. Entered service at: Fort Hamilton, N.Y. Born: 14 February 1931,
Washington, D.C.



Medal of Honor Citation:
.
Chaplain Liteky distinguished himself by exceptional heroism while serving with Company A, 4th Battalion, 12th Infantry, 199th Light Infantry Brigade. He was participating in a search and destroy operation when Company A came under intense fire from a battalion size enemy force. Momentarily stunned from the immediate encounter that ensued, the men hugged the ground for cover. 
Observing 2 wounded men, Chaplain Liteky moved to within 15 meters of an enemy machinegun position to reach them, placing himself between the enemy
and the wounded men. When there was a brief respite in the fighting, he managed to drag them to the relative safety of the landing zone. Inspired by his courageous actions, the company rallied and began placing a heavy volume of fire upon the enemy's positions. In a magnificent display of courage and leadership, Chaplain
Liteky began moving upright through the enemy fire, administering last rites to 
the dying and evacuating the wounded. Noticing another trapped and seriously wounded man, Chaplain Liteky crawled to his aid. Realizing that the wounded 
man was too heavy to carry, he rolled on his back, placed the man on his chest 
and through sheer determination and fortitude crawled back to the landing zone using his elbows and heels to push himself along. pausing for breath momentarily, he returned to the action and came upon a man entangled in the dense, thorny underbrush. Once more intense enemy fire was directed at him, but Chaplain
Liteky stood his ground and calmly broke the vines and carried the man to the
landing zone for evacuation. On several occasions when the landing zone was
under small arms and rocket fire, Chaplain Liteky stood up in the face of hostile

fire and personally directed the medivac helicopters into and out of the area. With
the wounded safely evacuated, Chaplain Liteky returned to the perimeter, constantly encouraging and inspiring the men. Upon the unit's relief on the 

morning of 7 December 1967, it was discovered that despite painful wounds in 
the neck and foot, Chaplain Liteky had personally carried over 20 men to the landing zone for evacuation during the savage fighting. Through his indomitable inspiration and heroic actions, Chaplain Liteky saved the lives of a number of his comrades and enabled the company to repulse the enemy. Chaplain Liteky's
actions reflect great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest
traditions of the U.S. Army.


He was awarded the
 Congressional Medal of Honor (Army)

.
On 29 July1986, Charles Angelo Liteky renounced his Medal of Honor in protest over U.S. policies in Central America. Liteky's is the only known case in which a Medal of Honor has been renounced.






.


The Four Chaplains' Medal
Father John P. Washington was the only 
Roman Catholic Chaplain to receive the medal.
.
Chaplain John P. Washington
First Lieutenant, Chaplain Corps, USAR
July 18, 1908 + February 3, 1943



John P. Washington was born in Newark, New Jersey on July 18, 1908. His parents were Frank and Mary; in addition they had daughters Mary and Anna, and sons Thomas, Francis, Leo and Edmund. In 1914, John was enrolled at St. Rose
of Lima Catholic Elementary School. In those days, times were rough for a poor
immigrant family, but John had his father's Irish grin and his mother's Irish stick-to-itiveness. He liked to play ball, but he had a newspaper route to help his mother with extra money, since there were nine mouths in the Washington household to feed. John started to take piano lessons, loved music and sang in the church choir. When he entered seventh grade, he felt strongly about becoming a priest...during the previous year, he became an altar boy and his priestly destiny was in process. 

John entered Seton Hall in South Orange, New Jersey to complete his high school and college courses in preparation for the priesthood. He graduated in 1931 with an A.B. degree. He entered Immaculate Conception Seminary in Darlington, New Jersey and received his minor orders on May 26, 1933. John excelled in the seminary, was a sub deacon at all the solemn masses, and later became a deacon
on December 25, 1934. John was elected prefect of his class and was ordained a
priest on June 15, 1935. 

Father Washington's first parish was at St. Genevieve's in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and then he served at St. Venantius for a year. In 1938 he was assigned to St. Stephen's in Arlington, New Jersey. Shortly after the Pearl Harbor attack of December 7, 1941, he received his appointment as a chaplain in the United States Army. He went on active duty May 9, 1942 and was named Chief of the Chaplains Reserve Pool, Ft. Benjamin Harrison, Indiana. In June 1942, he was assigned to
the 76th Infantry Division in Ft. George Meade, Maryland. In November 1942, he reported to Camp Myles Standish in Taunton, Massachusetts and met Chaplains Fox, Goode and Poling at Chaplains School at Harvard. 

Father Washington boarded the USAT DORCHESTER at the Embarkation Camp at Boston Harbor in January 1943 enroute to Greenland. Chaplain Washington was killed in action on February 3, 1943, when the DORCHESTER was sunk by a German U-boat. Chaplain Washington was posthumously awarded the Purple
Heart and Distinguished Service Cross.
.






.
United States Army Historical Medal
.
Four Chaplains' Medal
.
Establishing Legislation
The Four Chaplains' Medal was established by Act of Congress
(Public Law 86-656, 86th Congress) on July 14, 1960.

A posthumous Special Medal for Heroism, never before given and never to be
given again, was authorized by Congress and awarded by the President 18 Jan 1961. Congress wished to confer the Medal of Honor but was blocked by the stringent requirements which required heroism performed under fire. The special medal was intended to have the same weight and importance as the Medal of Honor. 

.
First Recipients 
.

Chaplains Alexander D. Goode, George D. Fox, Clark V. Poling, and John P. Washington
The Chapel of Four Chaplains image
.
The four chaplains who received this medal were George D. Fox, Alexander D. Goode; Clark V. Poling, and John P. Washington. The medal was presented posthumously to their next of kin by Secretary of the Army Wilber M. Brucker at Ft. Myer, Virginia on January 18, 1961.
..
Event Commemorated
.
This medal commemorates the extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty displayed by four American chaplains during the Second World War. It was awarded posthumously to Chaplains: George D. Fox, Methodist; Alexander D. Goode, Jewish; Clark V. Poling, Dutch Reformed; and John P. Washington,
Roman Catholic for giving their life vests to others during the sinking of the troop
transport ship Dorchester in the North Atlantic just after midnight on February 2, 1943. The four Chaplains were also posthumously awarded the Army's Distinguished Service Cross for their extraordinary heroism in action. 
.

Four Chaplains' Medal


.
Army's Distinguished Service Cross
.
Order of Precedence

Since the Four Chaplains' Medal was posthumously awarded to only four
recipients, it does not have a place in the Army's order of precedence. 

Designer 

The Four Chaplains' Medal was designed by Thomas Hudson Jones (1892-1969)
of the Army's Institute of Heraldry.

Description and Symbolism

Obverse

In the center of a gold oval, the general shape of an eagle with elevated wings
with an overall width of two and one-sixteenths inches and height of two and five-eighths inches. The eagle is shown grasping olive branches in both talons;
the branches extend upward and terminate at the eagle's wings, forming a wreath. The soaring eagle is representative of the majesty of the spirit of the government 
in whose service the Four Chaplains gave the last full measure of devotion. The olive branches symbolize spiritual peace and renascence. 

Reverse 

In the center of a gold oval two inches in width, an open book containing the
names of the Four Chaplains. Above the left side of the book is a cross, and above
the right side are the Tablets of Moses with a Star of David. An olive wreath extends upward from the base of the medal. The Christian Cross and the Tablets
of Moses with the Star of David represent the faiths of the Four Chaplains whose names are inscribed forever in the annals of heroism. 

Ribbon

The central stripe of blue is the same shade as the ribbon of the Medal of Honor and symbolizes courage above and beyond the call of duty. The black edge stripes symbolize the "last full measure of devotion" rendered by the Four Chaplains..



rosedew
Requiescat in pace!

rosedew
May they rest in peace!



THE END OF THE MEMORIAL
GOD BLESS EACH OF YOU


To USS Oakland Website 
Catholics in the Military Website
Home Of Heroes Website 
The Chapel of Four Chaplains Website
To USS Oakland Memorial Website


This Web Page was created by and
is maintained by Paul D. Henriott
These webpages are not to use for profit.
Please honor these Heroes.