Chaplains of the
36th Infantry Division
Chaplain (Colonel) Herbert E. MacCombie
The Church At Alta Villa
When we attacked
Alta Villa, I was with the Corps Artillery officer, Colonel H.S. McLeod.
As we looked up at the hills, we saw a church.
He said, “That
would make a fine registrations target for the artillery”.
He was a long
time friend of mine. I pointed out to him that it took a lot of sacrifice
by devoted men and women to build a church. I asked him to spare it, if
After we had
captured Alta Villa, Chaplain Fenton called upon the pastor of the church.
He could not speak Italian. The local priest could not speak English.
They conversed in Latin.
The priest said,
“Germani non religiosi”. (The Germans are not religious)
Chaplain Fenton where the Germans had torn out his altar to make their
Command Post. They had used the steeple as an observation post. I
wondered how many lives would have been saved, if I had kept my mouth
shut. After that I never urged our men to spare any building no matter
To me the lives
of living men were more important than any structure made of wood and
stone. If it were the life of someone near and dear to you that was at
stake, you would feel the same.
PREVIOUS | CONTENTS
| NEXT ]
by Mary MacCombie Fietsam
Printed by Permission