Easter in Uniform

Wherever Soldiers, Sailors, Airman and Marines go, Chaplains go with them to provide for worship and other religious events. Easter is no different, and for Christians, even brings a greater emphasis when deployed and away from home. Below are a few pictures and worship bulletins from Easter celebrations from years past.

Chaplain Peter Paul Cooney

Catholic Chaplain celebrating Mass on Easter in 1864. Photo credit: http://the-american-catholic.com/tag/catholic-chaplains/

chaplain highline

Transferring the chaplain for Easter service by highline from the U.S.S. HEERMANN DD-532


Outdoor Easter service for Army Air Corps Soldiers, 9 April 1944.



“EASTER COMMUNION-‘SOMEWHERE IN ITALY’: Chaplain Capt. William A. Faber, of Chicago, Ill., gives troops of the Allied Fifth Army Holy Communion in a special Easter Day service in a Vivouac area somewhere in Italy. 4/18/44.”


“EASTER SERVICES CLOSE BY CORAL SEA NEW GUINEA—A beach fronting the Coral Sea serves as a church for this Easter Sunrise Service somewhere in New guinea. Capt. A. B. Po*sgrove,  U.S. Army Chaplain, is shown delivering his sermon to part of the crowd of 600 men and women who attended…4/19/44” (TCK Archives).


Easter Mass being offered to Service Members, 19 April 1944.


“EASTER IN THE FIFTH ARMY…ITALY–Incongruous as it seems, on Easter Sunday all fighting on the Fifth Army front ceased while both German and American forces joined in paying tribute to the Prince of Peace. Capt. Oscar Reinboth, Seward, Nebr., Lutheran Chaplain for the American Forces, Broadcasts in German the details of the program to follow. H also read the Easter story in both English and German. Behind Capt. Reinboth is the altar, which was brought up the mountainside by mule pack. At the conclusion of the hour-long services, fighting was resumed. Not a shot, however, was fired during the ceremony. 4/20/44.”

“One of many Easter services held on Appenine mountainsides by the Tenth Mountain Division April 1, 1945; conducted by Caplain William H. Bell for the 605th Artillery Battalion at Rocca Pitigliano. A large group of soldiers sit in a grassy open field with heads bowed. Before them stands the chaplain with a box beside him, a jeep marked beneath the windshield with ‘Chaplain’ in between two crosses, and a portable pump organ.”

“April 1, 1945. Protestant Easter Service in Appennines, Italy
background are trees and buildings.; Members of the Tenth Mountain Division, 605th Artillery Battalion, attend a Protestant Easter religious service at Rocca Pitigliano, Italy, conducted by Chaplain William H. Bell. In the foreground, four men bow their heads together. Corporal Ralph Squires sits at a portable organ and two soldiers face the Chaplain who stands in front of his jeep draped with a white cloth in use as an altar for a small crucifix.”

“Tenth Mountain Division Cpl. Ralph Squires plays the organ during the 605th Artillery Battalion Protestant Easter service held April 1, 1945, at Rocca Pitigliana, Italy. Worshipers sit on grass listening.”

Easter services 339th Fighter Group April 1945

Easter services 339th Fighter Group April 1945

Elder Kim Shi-han

In 1952, soldiers of the 15th Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Division participate in Easter worship service in the open field in Cheolwon, Gangwon-do.


“EASTER SERVICES IN KOREA…A scene that will be re-enacted at sunrise, Easter morning, is pictured here as troops conduct religious services before a cross just south of the neutral zone between North and South Korea. Chaplain 1st. T. Elbert L. Nelson, Worthington, Ohio, leads service, aided by SP/3 Earl D. Groff, Soap Lake, Wash. (holding hymnal). 3/19/57 (TCK Archives).

Navy worship

Worship service for Navy personnel. Looks like Easter (TCK Archives).


The sanctuary prepared for the Easter Sunrise Service at Main Post Chapel, Fort Leonard Wood, MO, 16 April 2017 (TCK Archives).

314th Bombardment Wing Bulletin

Easter Worship Service bulletin, 1 April 1945, 314th Bombardment Wing, Guam (TCK Archives).

314th Bombardment Wing Worship Bulletin

Inside of Easter Worship Service bulletin, 1 April 1945, 314th Bombardment Wing, Guam (TCK Archives).

Easter Sunrise Service Italy 1 April 1945

Allied Protestant Sunrise Easter Service, In front of the 17th General Hospital, Italy, 1 April 1945 (TCK Archives).

Easter Sunrise Service, Italy, 1 April 1945

Allied Protestant Sunrise Easter Service, In front of the 17th General Hospital, Italy, 1 April 1945 (TCK Archives).

Worship bulletin from the Easter Sunrise Service in Tokyo, Japan, 10 April 1955 (TCK Archives).




About Daryl Densford

I am an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene serving as an active-duty Army Chaplain. I am currently an ethics instructor at the U.S. Army Aviation School at Fort Rucker, Alabama.

Posted on 16 April 2017, in Chaplaincy, History and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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