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Five-Oh-First Parachute Infantry Regiment
WWII Chaplaincy and the 501st

ChaliceThe 501st regiment has a rich history involving Army Chaplaincy thanks to the writings of Cpt. Francis Sampson. He chronicled his duty in two books and in doing so, helped chronicle the activities of the 501st in the ETO.

Paratrooper chaplains received Combat Medic Certification

Chaplains were typically assigned a Chaplain Assistant. Chaplain assistants drove and maintained jeeps and trailers, typed, played the organ, led choirs, carried weapons to protect themselves and the chaplains, set up altars for all three religious groups, maintained records and prepared reports. Assistants were usually versatile individuals who, very often, served as intermediaries between chaplains and troops. Their enlisted status enabled them to inform chaplains on unit morals and opinions.Mass Jeep

During World War II, the chaplaincy suffered 478 casualties. The branch was third in percentage of casualties, behind the Infantry and the Air Corps. This is attributed to the "be there" philosophy which played such a big part of the Army chaplains ministry. Catholic chaplains felt that their rightful place was with the dying and many were killed while giving last rites. Other chaplains felt they should be "up front" with their soldiers. Frontline chaplains often suffered from overwork, the terrors of war and the exposure of danger.

The 501st seeks to honor these servants of God, living and dead, in our portrayal of army chaplains. Our services offered will be actual worship services to the Most High God and will always bring honor to Him.

1Lt. Chris Newcomb, Chaplain, I/501st/101st AB

Equipment for Paratrooper Chaplain

Standard Jump gear
 Helmet
 Jump uniform, wools or extra jump
 Geneva Red Cross Brassard
 Boots
 Web gear, canteen, carlisle kit
 M3 trench knife
 Paratroop first aid kit and others
 4 K ration boxes, mess kit
 gas mask and gas mask bag
 Entrenching tool
 personal articles in musette bag
 Parachutes, standard and reserve
 Mae West life preserver
 
Extra gear
 Doctor's field kit
 Extra blood plasma sets
 Complete Mass Communion kit
 Stole, anointing oil and wafers

Equipment for regimental Chaplain, (garrison specific items)

3-5 accepted Theology books (as relating to denomination)
1 field desk
2  wooden chairs
1 folding table
misc. assorted paperwork for field desk
XX number of pamphlets
1  full size KJV Bible
1  hymnal crate
1  Geneva Arm Brassard
5 Hymnals, US Army
1  Communion set
1 Chaplain stole and applicable vestments
3 US Army Issued New Testaments
3 Gideons Bibles
1  portable organ
1  Jeep and driver