The Americanlegion

the world's largest veterans organization

Renew Join now

Latest News

  • Friday, February 03, 2017

    24 Chaplains to Be Added to Chaplains Hill Monument

    by Ken Kraetzer, SAL Radio

    White Plains, NY Feb. 3, 2017 — The names of 24 Protestant Chaplains who died in service including two who remain Missing In Action from the Korean War are planned to be recognized this spring at Chaplains Hill in Section 2 at Arlington National Cemetery on a revised plaque.

    The announcement came on the 74th anniversary of the “Four Chaplains” who gave up their lives for others during World War II on the torpedoed troopship Dorchester.

    Chaplains Hill monuments. U.S. Army photo by Rachel Larue/Arlington National Cemetery.

    The effort is being led by group of local and national veterans service organizations who combined in 2011 to donate the Jewish Chaplains Monument to Arlington National Cemetery. The group plan to replace an aging Protestant Chaplain plaque and monument stone which honors chaplains who died in service only during WWII. The new elements will be a granite monument base and upright presenting a bronze plaque honoring the 117 WWII Protestant chaplains who died in service during WWII adding for the first time the names of 24 Protestant chaplains who died in service in Korea, Vietnam, Cold War Era, and the War on Terror.

    A plaque to recognize Catholic chaplains who died in service in the War on Terrorism is also planned to be added to the existing Catholic Monument. The Jewish chaplains plaque is up to date. Although the Chaplain Corps of the US Armed Forces is today represented by chaplains of a wide number of faiths, no other faith group has suffered the loss of a chaplain during military service.

    Two US Army chaplains, Captain Kenneth Charles Hyslop of Sussex, Delaware, a Northern Baptist chaplain, and Major Wayne Henry Burdue, of Thurston, Washington a chaplain of the Disciples of Christ, were both taken prisoner in the early months of the Korean War. Both died in captivity and remain Missing in Action according to American Battle Monument Commission records.

    Honored by name on the existing Catholic Chaplains Monument on Chaplains Hill, are two US Army chaplains Captain Lawrence Frank Brunnert of St. Louis City, MO and Captain Emil Joseph Kapaun of Wichita, Kansas; both died as prisoners of war and their remains have not been found. Captain Kapaun was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in 2013.

    The names to be recognized at Chaplains Hill for the first time are:

    Korea: Wayne Burdue, Wendell Byrd, James Conner, Robert Crane, Kenneth Hyslop, Byron Lee, Samuel Simpson, Kenneth Wilson.

    Vietnam: Don Bartley, Merle Brown, William Feaster, Ambrosia Grandea, Roger Heinz, James Johnson, Phillip Nichols.

    Cold War Era: Albert Beasley, Evered Cagle, Troy Carter, Robert Ledbetter.

    War on Terrorism: Dale Goetz, Edward Jack, Joseph Moore, Gordon E. Oglesby, Steven Thornton

    The replacement plaque and monument is planned for a spring installation and dedication replacing the existing Protestant Monument joining three other monuments honoring Catholic Chaplains, World War One Chaplains, and Jewish Chaplains all who died during military service. It is planned that a plaque will be added this spring to the Catholic Chaplains Monument honoring several Catholic chaplains lost in the War on Terrorism.

    The design for the new Protestant Plaque was provided by Debora Jackson of Troy, NY and The Brooklyn Wall of Remembrance who previously designed the Jewish Chaplains Monument plaque dedicated in 2011. Overall plans to update and provide access to Chaplains Hill provided by architect Bruno Carvalho of Washington, DC based Carvalho and Good PLLC.

    A later phase is proposed to provide an ADA complaint walkway that will provide access up the 30 foot high Chaplains hill to visitors from Honor Flights to scout groups.

    Project director retired US Navy chaplain Rabbi Rear Admiral Harold Robinson (ret) US Navy commented:

    “On the 74th anniversary of the extraordinary demonstration of heroism and selfless service by the Four Chaplains lost in the attack on the troopship Dorchester during World War II, we are pleased to confirm our plans to provide Chaplains Hill at Arlington National Cemetery our nation’s most sacred place with an updated plaque and new stone monument that for the first time honors our Protestant colleagues who died during service in Korea, Vietnam, Cold War, and during Post 9-11 service in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan. We will be working on updating the Catholic Monument this spring. We extend our appreciation to all supporters and contributors to the project”.

    Participating organizations are The National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces, the Brooklyn Wall of Remembrance, the Four Chaplains Memorial Foundation, the Jewish War Veterans Post 695, Wayne, NJ; Sons of the American Legion Squadron 135 White Plains, NY, the Jewish Welfare Board, and the Florence Lahey and Sol Ollinger Foundation. Appreciation is extended for assistance provided on research to Mr. Gregory Tardieu of the Alexandria, VA Public Schools, Fay Rozovsky, Marsha McManus of the US Army Chaplains School, and Capt. (ret) Tierian Cash USN, former National Chaplain of The American Legion, and Michael D. Helm, former National Commander, The American Legion.