Tag Archives: douglas macarthur

WWII US Military Chapel Still Stands in Australia

The Stars and Stripes has an interesting write up on Saint Christopher’s Chapel, an open-air church built by the US Army during World War II:

The nondenominational Saint Christophers Chapel, built in 1943 by the Army’s 542nd Engineer Battalion, is the only structure remaining from when Rockhampton served as a springboard and training location for Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s World War II island-hopping campaign. The city hosted the 1st Cavalry Division and the 24th, 32nd and 41st infantry divisions on a half-dozen camps between 1942-44.

Somewhat interesting that journalist Marcus Fichtl makes a Read more

World War II Vet Recalls Preaching to Japanese

The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, repeated in the Stars and Stripes, documents a recent local Honor Flight that had just returned from helping World War II vets see the World War II memorial in Washington, DC. The article highlights Phil Crenshaw, a World War II chaplain’s assistant:

At 91, Crenshaw is the last living chaplain’s assistant from World War II, as determined by Army Sgt. Maj. Stephen Stott. Crenshaw recently served as chaplain on last week’s South Plains Honor Flight.

Crenshaw was called to active duty in 1943. He shipped out to Okinawa to assist Louis Wunneburger, the chaplain there.

The article makes a reference to an earlier Avalanche-Journal article in which Crenshaw recalled a surprise shipment the chaplain received:

One day, a merchant vessel unexpectedly delivered several boxes to Wunneberger. No one knew where they came from or who sent them.

They contained 1,000 New Testaments — all printed in Japanese.  Read more

Military Missionaries Deployed Abroad

When the media mentions “military” and “missionary” in the same sentence, it often causes a near cacophony of criticism from conspiracy theorists about attempts at religious world domination.  Recent accusations of impropriety make the sensitivity of the subject evident.

A few decades ago, it wasn’t so.

General Douglas MacArthur, one of the few men to reach the nation’s highest military rank of General of the Armies, was the American face of reconstruction of post-war Japan.  The self-proclaimed “soldier of God and the republic” famously encouraged the influx of “a thousand missionaries” into Japan in the hopes that Christianity would overcome Shinto Buddhism in the Japanese isles.  Documents from the Truman library reportedly indicate the Joint Chiefs, the Secretary of the Army, and Truman himself supported MacArthur in this endeavor.  (Most modern summaries indicate the “Christianization” of Japan largely failed.)

Such an emphasis was likely influential on military members themselves.  A recent article in The Deseret News of Utah highlights the Mormon soldiers who “spread the gospel in post-war Japan.” Among those is the current President of the Mormon church, Read more