Sunday, September 10, 2017

Mass in the Field

1951. Hwachon, Korea.  U.S. soldiers attend outdoor mass.  The Army in 1950 accommodated Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish chaplains. They were all rugged, resourceful men. Chaplains were nominally assigned to regimental or division headquarters.  They practiced their trade in an itinerant fashion, driving to the encampments of various infantry, engineer, medical, or other units as needed. By international convention, chaplains were recognized as non-combatants, but the insidious nature of combat in Korea - which cost several chaplains their lives - led to others carrying a sidearm for self-protection.  Soldiers in war zones especially sought comfort in prayer and religious guidance. Philip Hughes was raised as a Catholic and almost certainly consulted Catholic chaplains during his deployment in Korea.

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