The voice came over the speaker -- loud and clear:
"All Army personnel will carry aboard full issued battle equipment only. The chaplain may carry, in addition, his religious service kit."The Timberwolves were off to the ETO.
The chaplain is now with his "family", the enlisted men and officers of the 104th. The Division becomes his one concern. . .he is the spiritual leader, indeed, the father figure to his boys as they begin this journey into the unknown. This embarkation day has been preceded by a thorough training and learning process, the better to achieve its avowed purpose, namely the guidance and understanding of "this trip".
Thirteen days aboard ship and Cherbourg, France, becomes the introductory port for the Timberwolves. The chaplain, as a man of faith, has readied himself for all situations which may arise. Combat is near and so is the anxiety of uncertainty. The need is greater than ever for someone who can help. . .the chaplain! The command from headquarters - "Move into combat!"
During combat, the chaplain generally is at the forward aid station to be of assistance to casualties of battle. Death is a consequence of war and, as the troops move forward, its certainty is fairly assured to be imminent.
The chaplain picks up the bodies of the fallen on the battlefield. He performs this sacred duty and prays over each KIA. The chaplain indeed remembers the night of constant casualties, assisting in preparation for the doctor's attention of the wounded. The chaplain is right where he wants to be, by the side of the injured. . . . . even be it in silence.
He is there! A Timberwolf chaplain!
Excerpts form an article by Timberwolf Chaplain, Father Edward P. Doyle, O.P., Ph.D.
return to World War II History
This page last updated: 30 January, 2008
©1999 National Timberwolf Association
Questions? Comments? Email the Webmaster