Francis p. Duffy 1871-1932

Discussion in 'Military Biographies' started by liverpool annie, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    The most celebrated U.S. Army chaplain in the Great War, Father Francis Patrick Duffy, a Roman Catholic priest, was born in Cobourg, Canada, and was ordained in 1896. He attended the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and then was appointed professor of psychology and ethics at St. Joseph's Seminary in New York. Father Duffy's career as an Army chaplain began with a brief tour of duty during the Spanish-American War when he was stationed at Montauk Point, Long Island. In 1912 he became pastor of Our Savior parish in the Bronx, and in 1914 he was appointed chaplain of the 69th Infantry Regiment of the New York National Guard.

    Already famous in theological circles, Duffy gained wider fame for his involvement as a military chaplain during World War I when the 69th New York ("The Fighting 69th") was federalized again and redesignated the 165th U.S. Infantry Regiment. When the unit moved up to the front in France, Duffy accompanied the litter bearers in recovering the wounded and was always seen in the thick of battle. Recognized by the regimental commander, Lt. Col. William "Wild Bill" Donovan (who would go on to found the OSS in World War II), as a key element in the unit's morale, Duffy's role in the unit went beyond that of a normal cleric: the regiment was composed primarily of New York Irish immigrants and the sons of Irish immigrants, and many wrote later of Duffy's leadership, with even then-Brigadier General Douglas MacArthur admitting later that Duffy was very briefly considered for the post of regimental commander. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Distinguished Service Medal, the Conspicuous Service Cross (New York State), the L├ęgion d'honneur (France), and the Croix de guerre.

    Duffy Square, a part of Times Square in New York City, is named for him

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