WW2 Era

World War Two Era

Metcalf Portable altar

(Photo credit:discussions.mnhs.org/ collections/2012/03/portable-altar/

“Portable altar with three panels that fold into a compact, fabric-lined carrying case with a leather strap handle. Used by Father George R. Metcalf of St. Paul, Minnesota. Metcalf served as chaplain for General George S. Patton during World War II. The style of the military uniforms depicted in the painting suggest that the altar was originally used during World War I” (In the collection of the Minnesota Historical Society). This portable altar is like one used by Chaplain McGavern in the Korean War, which you can see on the Korean War Kit page.

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The portable ark and altar used by Army Chaplain Martin Weitz during World War II. Located at the National Museum of American Jewish Military History in Washington, DC(http://www.nmajmh.org).

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World War 2 Era Chaplain Kit

Standard issue Protestant chaplain kit. These kits were usually provided to the chaplains by their endorsers (author’s collection).

WW2 Protestant Chaplain Kit

WW 2 Protestant Chaplain Kit packed away (author’s collection).

 

WW2 Chalice Kit

A kit from World War 2 that is more rare is the chalice kit. It has “wings” that open up and are covered with red velvet to make an altar to set up on (author’s collection).

WW Chalice Chaplain Kit

A kit from World War 2 that is more rare is the chalice kit. It has “wings” that open up and are covered with red velvet to make an altar to set up on (author’s collection).

WW2 Chaplain Kit- Transport Ship

This kit from World War Two was primarily used on troop transport ships. It contains double individual communion cup trays, a bread plate and a chalice. (author’s collection).

WW2 Chaplain Kit-Troop Transport Ship

The inside, though in this kit, the individual cup communion trays and chalice are not original (author’s collection).

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WW2 chalice kit

Protestant chalice kit on display at the U.S. Army Chaplain Museum (photo: Daryl Densford).

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WW2 Field Organ

Estey pump field organ from WW2 in closed (traveling) configuration (author’s collection).

During World War 2, along with their kits, chaplains often traveled with a field organ. Made by the Estey company, these organs had billows and would be pumped with foot pedals to produce their sound.  Not like the pipe organs back at their home churches, but at least they could have music to enhance the worship services.

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WW2 Field Organ

Estey WW2 Field Organ ready to play (author’s collection).

  1. These are so awesome, and this is great info! My husband is a chaplain candidate, and this is helping me in my search to find him a kit with history.

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  2. Bernard Ward Camden

    I have this organ in perfect condition….happy to learn something about it….

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  3. I’m curious about the Field Organ. We have one, a gift from an elderly family friend, it had been her husband’s. Do you know about any resources for restoration or collecting?

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    • Unfortunately I don’t. Restoration would be a small market since there were likely so few survived from WW2, Korea and the Vietnam War. You may check with WW2 reenactor groups. There may be a chaplain reenactor who has one and has restored it.

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  4. John Uhler

    What is the condition of the organ? I have made several repairs to them. If some of the keys do not work, it needs a cleaning. How are the bellows? what does it do and not do?

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    • Hi, John. My organ is completely functional. Following WW2 it continued to be used by a traveling preacher so didn’t seem to decay much. I haven’t looked too much on the inside, but have played it and all seems to be good. The only down side, that I have yet to correct, is that they put contact paper (or something similar) on the back side so instead of being OD green it has a floral print! not noticeable from the “playing” side, though.

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      • John Uhler

        A couple of thoughts. When you try to pull off the contact paper, the green cloth could be pulled of with it, so be careful. If you used a heat gun and worked the paper off slowly, holding down the OD cover as you went, that might work. It might also leave a residue. The other thought is to take it to Home Depot and have them match the OD and paint the contact paper. I do not know where to get the OD cloth.

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      • Thanks for your suggestions, I anticipated it not being an easy task! I was evaluating the contact paper to see if painting it a matching color would “do” especially since it’s on the side that will seldom be seen.

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