A Magnificent Fool
Willy’s Chaplain PSA
During World War 2, many advertisers paid for ad space which not only promoted their product but showed the public what was happening in the war zones. Here’s an example of a Willys-Overland Motors ad which promoted the ministry of the chaplains.
“A Magnificent Fool”
“A sincere tribute to those Men of God, the ministers, priests and rabbis who walk and work in Faith, in the midst of war … whose only weapons are love, prayer, and cool courage … the Chaplains of America’s fighting forces who become deathless heroes … without manning guns.
“We were resting at our base in Tunisia-a General and I.
“It was just a few days after a heavy engagement with the Nazis, and we had been commenting upon the fine courage and fighting spirit of our American troops.
“Abruptly, the General turned to me and said, ‘Say-do you know Chaplain C—-?’ And I answered, ‘Yes, I know him!’
“‘Then,’ said he, ‘you know a man who has been called a fool and also, one of the bravest men of this war. Just listen to this and see what you think.’ And this is what he told me …
“‘We were fully exposed, the morning the Germans began their counterattack at G—-. They got our range with their artillery and we had to get into the trenches and fox holes in a hurry when their dive bombers came at us in swarms.
“‘Just when I thought I had everything under control, I looked down the road and saw some man crawling towards us through the dim light in a Jeep. It seemed as if this fellow were coming right out of the German lines.
“‘ When I got a better look, I recognized him, It was Chaplain C—. His Jeep was literally shot to pieces, and two of the tires were flat.
“‘Shells were dropping all around him, but he didn’t seem to see them. If he did he didn’t care, because he just kept coming. He wasn’t making more than six or eight miles an hour through the sand-but the Jeep kept coming.
“‘When he came nearly opposite us I shouted at him:-‘=”Get out of that think and take cover!” But he paid no attention to me. So I stood up in my trench and yelled-“Did you hear me? Get out of that thing, and take cover.”
“‘He didn’t even stop. He just turned his head and shouted:-“Listen, you! It took me eight months to get this Jeep and I’m not giving it up for anyone!” Just like that.
“‘I was so mad I couldn’t talk, much less shout back at him. But just then a couple of star shells lighted things up as bright as day and I got a good look in the rear of the Chaplain’s Jeep.
“There were two wounded American boys in there.
“‘Then I understood. Chaplain C— was being a foo. But what a magnificent fool.’
“‘As I stood and watched him in his flat-tired Jeep slowly inching his way back to our dressing station, I forgot that shells were bursting around me, too. I felt like kneeling right there in the trench.
“‘Yes, Chaplain C— made a ‘fool’ of himself that day, as he had many times before, and will many times more, I am sure-in selfless, fearless devotion to ‘the boys’ he loves.
“‘Is it any wonder they decorated him right there on the field of battle? Is it any wonder they promoted this brave Man of God who seeks no honor but only to serve? And is it any wonder the men who know him say they will follow him anywhere-and they mean anywhere?’
“That was the end of the General’s story. What a magnificent fool.”
“Look, Fellows, Here Comes the Chaplain!”
Another Hammond Organ Chaplain PSA
As noted in the previous post, “No Chaplain– can’t let them get you too!” during World War 2, many advertisers paid for ad space which not only promoted their product but showed the public what was happening in the war zones. Here’s another example of a Hammond Organ ad which promoted the ministry of chaplains.
Look, Fellows, Here Comes the Chaplain!
“‘We didn’t really expect him. By that time our position was the hottest in the sector–under continuous enemy fire. But there he came–working his way out as far as he could in a jeep, then walking and crawling the rest of the way. He never missed at least a weekly visit to our group the whole time we were at the front.’
“Men at the front can’t always go to divine services, so the services go to them. Isolated groups … holding vital positions in Italy manning distant outposts in the Aleutians, buried in South Sea jungles … all know how much the Chaplain’s regular visit means. By jeep, dog sled, boat and plane, the Chaplain’s make their rounds of pastoral calls as faithfully as they did in their parishes back home.
“Chaplains go where their men need them … to the front lines to hold services, beyond the front lines to help a wounded or dying man. They don’t carry weapons, but they have won many decorations for valor.
“Their job is to bring our fighting sons the ministry of religion. And wherever they are, from camp to battlefront, their commanding officers rate them tops for building men’s morale … for giving a man a real friend to turn to when the going is tough.”
Text and photos from a 1944 magazine advertisement by Hammond Organ (TCK Archives)
“No Chaplain– can’t let them get you too!”
Hammond Organ PSA
During World War 2, many advertisers paid for ad space which not only promoted their product but showed the public what was happening in the war zones. Here’s an example of a Hammond Organ ad which promoted the ministry of the chaplains.
“No Chaplain– can’t let them get you too!”
“Our own chaplain lay wounded beyond our lines. It was going to be a tough job getting him back through the hail of lead the enemy was pouring over. Some of us were talking the situation over with the chaplain from a nearby outfit. Suddenly the chaplain said, ‘I’ll get him,’ and started for the front line. Our commanding officer grabbed him just in time. ‘Sorry, Chaplain,’ we heard him say, ‘Can’t let them get you, too!'”
“This true story, based on an official communique, typifies the chaplain in action. Though he performs many such deeds, he is never expected to assume risks beyond the line of duty. His work is clearly defined; his sole duty is to minister to spiritual needs of our fighting forces.
“Of course, to be in constant attendance on his men, he must often serve under fire. When this is necessary, his cool devotion to duty is an inspiration to all. However, service with distinction is not confined to those who serve in action. Chaplains assigned to camps and bases at home show the same qualities that characterize their colleagues overseas.
“Yes, the individual deeds of the chaplain reflect the spirit of the entire Chaplain Service. Wherever the chaplain serves, he is making a priceless contribution to fighting morale-building finer citizens for the world of tomorrow.”
Text and photos from a 1944 magazine advertisement by Hammond Organ (TCK Archives).