Chaplains of the
36th Infantry Division


Chaplain (Colonel) Herbert E. MacCombie
Division Chaplain

Memorial Day, 1945

On May 14th we moved to a new location at Kaufbeuren, Germany.  On May 15th I conducted funeral services for ten Protestant soldiers buried at the U.S. Military cemetery at Ulm, Germany.  On May 15th I attended a luncheon given by the Seventh Army Chaplain, Colonel Clarence S. Donnelly, in honor of Bishop Sherrill, Chairman of the Army and Navy Commission of the American Episcopal Church.  I gave him as a souvenir a “Blut and Ehre” knife such as had been used by the Hitler Jugend.  He was from Massachusetts and agreed to contact my wife on his return.  She was living on Cape Cod at the time.

On May 19th I submitted a recommendation to G1 that a chaplain be sent to each cemetery in Italy and France where men of the 36th Division were buried in order that they might conduct appropriate Memorial Services on Memorial Day.  The Commanding General approved the suggestion, and requests were made through proper channels for authority for such visits.  Approval was received and orders were issued.

Chaplains who had never been to Italy were sent there.  At the last minute we received word from ETOUSA that no chaplains could go to Italy as it was under another jurisdiction.  However, the chaplains had left before we received instructions to rescind their orders.  As a result all men who had died while with us in combat were properly honored on Memorial Day.

On Memorial Day, May 30th, 1945, we held a military service in the public square of Kaurbeuren.  All elements of the Division were represented.  I offered a prayer.  General Dahlquist gave an excellent address. At 1000 hours we held religious memorial services in both the local Protestant Church and the local Catholic Church.  In the afternoon I attended a meeting with other chaplains, where we met Major General William R. Arnold, Chief of Chaplains.


Copyright 2001 by Mary MacCombie Fietsam
Printed by Permission

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