Chaplains of the
36th Infantry Division


Chaplain (Colonel) Herbert E. MacCombie
Division Chaplain

The Church At Otterberg

On April 1st we moved again.  This time we were stationed at Otterberg, Germany, near Kaiserlautern.

The church building was very interesting.  When the Reformation came most church buildings were assigned to either the Protestant Church or to the Catholic Church according to the faith of the ruler.  At Otterberg they decided to share the building. A wall was constructed inside the building to divide the space.  Protestants went in the main door in the front of the edifice.  The Catholics used a side entrance.

When I was searching for a place to hold services, I tried the front door.  It was locked and I thought it probably was a Protestant church.  I went around to the side door.  It was open.  I went in.  It was quite evident that it was a Catholic church.

I went to a nearby house and inquired for the location of the Protestant church.  They pointed to the building I had just left, and explained its dual nature.  It was in this building we conducted a memorial service for President Roosevelt.  General Dahlquist, the Division Commander, and Colonel John J. Albright, the division Chief of Staff, attended the memorial service.  The division band played appropriate music and supplied a bugler to sound taps.  We also conducted a Special Memorial Service at the Division Rear Echelon.

While we were at Kaiserlautern we were in contact with the 28th Division.  They informed us that Lieutenant Bernard Altman, formerly of the division chaplainís office, had been killed in the Malmedy massacre.


Copyright 2001 by Mary MacCombie Fietsam
Printed by Permission

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