Naval History and Heritage Command

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U.S. Navy Chaplain Corps


Iwo Jima Operation, 1945 U.S. Navy doctors and corpsmen administer to wounded Marines at an Iwo Jima first aid station, 20 February 1945. Navy Chaplain Lieutenant (Junior Grade) John H. Galbreath (right center) is kneeling beside a man who has severe flash burns, received in an artillery battery fifty yards or so away.

Iwo Jima, 1945. U.S. Navy doctors and corpsmen administer to wounded Marines at a first aid station, 20 February 1945. Navy Chaplain Lieutenant (Junior Grade) John H. Galbreath (right center) is kneeling beside a man who has severe flash burns, received in an artillery battery 50 yards or so away (80-G-435702).


The history of the Chaplain Corps of the U.S. Navy necessarily parallels the history of the Navy itself. During the past century and a half, chaplains of the Navy have shared the hardships and rewards that come to other naval personnel and have ministered to these in many ways. The chronicle of the activities of these padres of the sea—representing many religions and denominations—began with the Continental Navy and carries on to the present day. Explore the following resources to learn more.

Digital Resources

       Banners

       Selected Images

Oral History

Valor Awards to U.S. Navy Chaplains

    Lieutenant Vincent Capodanno

    Lieutenant Commander Joseph T. O’Callahan

    Ships Named for Chaplains

Related Reading

  •   The Navy Chaplain's Manual, 1918
  •   Z-gram 116: "Expanded opportunities for women, including calling for acceptance of applications from women officers for Chaplain Corps"
  •  Chief of Chaplains Organization and Administration/Historical Leadership/Chief of Chaplains (List of Chaplains Holding the Office )

Additional Resources


Chaplain delivers message to wounded Marine

IT'S A BOY! Bearing glad tidings of the birth of a son, Chaplain Rickel delivers a field message to Corporal Edward J. Combs. The young Marine is recovering from injuries suffered in Korea. Photograph taken by Sgt. Martin Bolhower. Original print bears no date, but it was filed with illustrations for the August 1952 issue of All Hands magazine, and was presumably taken a few months previously (NH 97120).


Published:Tue Nov 28 14:06:11 EST 2017