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Photo Album Original Photos WW2 US Army Chaplain Father Wolfe


This is an outstanding photo album with original WW2-era photos of US Army Chaplain Father Thomas Wolfe, XX (20th) Corps under Third Army General George S. Patton.

On January 13, 1941, Wolfe entered military service as a chaplain. He trained at Camp Bowie, in Texas. On February 12, 1944, he left for Europe, where he served as chaplain of the XX Corps, which was part of the Third Army, commanded by General George S. Patton. Wolfe’s rank was Colonel.

An Associated Press story in August 1944 related that Wolfe and his jeep driver, Sergeant John C. DeWitt, of Freeport, Pennsylvania, were among the first Americans to enter the Chartres Cathedral after the arrival of Patton’s men. Chartres is about fifty miles miles southwest of Paris; its Gothic-style cathedral was constructed between 1194 and 1250. According to the report, Wolfe and his driver came under sniper fire on their approach to the church. “I could see no damage [to the cathedral] except [for] a few bullet marks,” Wolfe said. The story continued: “During the successful battle to drive out snipers, he related, two middle-aged French women remained alone at devotions before the altar of the Virgin Mary.

Later in the month, Wolfe assisted the Archbishop of New York, Francis J. Spellman, in a Catholic Mass held in the woods at Mars-la-Tour. Spellman was then military vicar to the armed forces; in 1946 he became a cardinal. A memoir by one of Patton’s soldiers recalled that the “Mass was held despite the heavy rain and mud, and my Catholic buddies were thrilled to be a part of it, especially since it was celebrated by this well-known cleric [Spellman], who wore his elegant robe during the service, even in the mud.

Wolfe returned to the United States on February 24, 1946, and was honorably discharged.

Album features two period 8x10 photos of Father Wolfe in his personal Jeep marked "Chaplain", wearing steel Helmet with Chaplain insignia, annotated on the back, a nice 1941-dated photo of Wolfe in his interwar Chaplain's Uniform, plus two 1943 Christmas Cards with Wolfe in field uniform with appears to be IV Armored Corps patch on his M41 Jacket. (Note that some of the photos are shown twice in the listing, but there is one of each photo, except for two of the 1943 Christmas Cards.

Many post-war photos related to his service after the war as the pastor of Saint Mary’s parish in Riverside, Iowa and later, Saint Boniface parish in Clinton, Iowa.

There is much documented about him on the Internet, as quoted above, and the album and website info appears to have been coordinated by Meg Geren, Wife of Corporal Bob Geren, Battery A, 788th Anti Aircraft Automated Weapons Battalion (his items are also listed for sale),

  • Model: BI-CHAPLAIN

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