Chaplain Albert J. Hoffman

Chaplain Albert Hoffman:  The Most Decorated Chaplain of World War Two

Chaplain Albert HoffmanU.S. Army Chaplain (Captain) Albert J. Hoffman was a Catholic chaplain known as the “most decorated chaplain” of World War II. His battle stories appeared in Time, Newsweek and Life as well as a comic book. He received the Silver Star, Purple Heart and Distinguished Service Cross.

In November 1943, Chaplain Hoffman found himself in the 133rd Infantry Regiment in Cassino, Italy. While giving last rites and prayers during a battle, the medic he was accompanying was wounded. Chaplain Hoffman bandaged as many wounded as he could and evacuated the medic. Becoming anxious for the minesweepers, he dashed across a 100 yard field, exposing himself to German fire to reach them and help clear a path to his wounded men. While helping sweep the area, the chaplain spotted a wounded German soldier, but as he went to treat him, he stepped on a landmine. Though immediately evacuated, Chaplain Hoffman would lose his left leg.

After the war, Albert Hoffman returned home to Iowa to become the dean of Loras College. He also became an inspiration to his fellow amputees, delivering strength and spirituality to those needing a new outlook on a life forever changed (Story and photo from the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps Facebook page) 


During the war, a monthly comic book, It Really Happened included the story of Chaplain Hoffman’s heroic ministry in it’s Volume 2, Number 4, 1944 issue (author’s collection):



  1. Father Albert was my mother Marie Klapperich Jackson’s cousin. As a child I remember him. visiting at Mom’s and showing me his prostheses! I never knew his amazing history. The VFW in Dubuque is named for him!


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