Monday, May 31, 2010

"Stay calm Marine, someone will be here to help, God is with all of us this day!"

The Catholic Caveman has a very moving Memorial Day post about the Venerable Father Vincent Capodanno, a Chaplain who served in the Navy Chaplain Corps.

Fr. Capodanno "the grunt padre" was a posthumous recipent of the Congressional Medal of Honor. Wikipedia describes Fr. Capodanno's final actions on this earth:

"At 4:30 am, September 4, 1967, during Operation Swift in the Thang Binh District of the Que Son Valley, elements of the 1st Battalion 5th Marines encountered a large North Vietnamese unit of approximately 2500 men near the village of Dong Son. The outnumbered and disorganized Company D was in need of reinforcements. By 9:14 am, twenty-six Marines were confirmed dead and another company of Marines was committed to the battle. At 9:25 am, the commander of 1st Battalion 5th Marine requested further reinforcements.

Father Capodanno went among the wounded and dying, giving last rites and taking care of his Marines. Wounded once in the face and having his hand almost severed, he went to help a wounded corpsman only yards from an enemy machinegun and was killed. His body was recovered and interred in his family's plot in Saint Peters Cemetery, West New Brighton, Staten Island, New York.


On December 27, 1968, then Secretary of the Navy Paul Ignatius notified the Capodanno family that Lieutenant Capodanno would posthumously be awarded the Medal of Honor in recognition of his selfless sacrifice. The official ceremony was held January 7, 1969."


The Wikipedia article also says that the Bachelor Officers Quarters at the Naval Shipyard (right here in San Francisco) is "Vincent Capodanno Hall."
The hall was dedicated in 1969. Fr. Capodanno's cause for Canonization is ongoing. He was declared a "Servant of God" on May 21, 2006.

Below is a "Soldier's Bible" from 1941, with a dedication on the frontspiece from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Click on the image for a larger version.



May Father Capodanno watch over our men and women in the military this day and every day.

2 comments:

Bill Meyer said...

Fr. Daniel Mode, currently a chaplain at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (where my daughter is a student) wrote the book Grunt Padre about Fr. Capodanno.

Fr. John Malloy, SDB said...

Thanks, Mr. Meyer.

Here is the Amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/Grunt-Padre-Father-Daniel-Mode/dp/1891280082