The moniker Fighting Chaplain may have applied literally to Civil War hero James Hill.  For many chaplains it was a figurative title, however.  Most chaplains who came to be called Fighting Chaplains gained the nickname, not for taking up arms, but because they went where the fighting was--risking their own lives to minister to men on the battlefield.  Colonel Theodore Roosevelt twice commended the chaplain of his famous Rough Riders, Chaplain Henry A. Brown (seen in photo ministering to the men of the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry in Cuba.)  

World War I gave Chaplaincy a true legend, Father Francis P. Duffy of the Fighting 69th.  During two days of battle beginning on July 14, 1918 Father Duffy worked tirelessly for 48 straight hours to rescue wounded and administer Last Rites to the dying.  On the morning of the 16th when it seemed all was lost, Major Anderson offered Father Duffy some grenades to make a last stand.  "Thanks," answered the chaplain, "but I'll stick to my own trade."

While no chaplains earned Medals of Honor during World War I, Father Duffy became as legendary as Sergeant York and Eddie Rickenbacker.  For his heroic service, Father Duffy was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Croix de Guerre and other high awards.  Today, a statue of him stands in Times Square in New York City. 

Chapel services were in progress at 7:55 a.m. on the morning of December 7, 1941 when Japanese bombs began raining on Pearl Harbor.  Dedicated chaplains did their best to care for the wounded and comfort the dying.  Aboard the cruiser New Orleans Chaplain Howell Fogey joined the human chain passing ammo to keep the big guns firing back.  When one enemy Zero began to fall from the sky he paused long enough to echo what would become a national battlecry:  "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition."

 Aboard the USS Arizona and the USS Oklahoma, Chaplains Thomas Kirkpatrick and Aloysius Schmitt died with their fellow sailors--the first Navy chaplains killed in action since the Civil War.  Before World War II ended, they would be joined in their sacrifice by 77 Army chaplains as Men of God went wherever American soldiers were called to duty.

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