Colonel Braddock and Father Vincent Capodanno

Missing in Action (MIA)Before you read this blogpost, know that I just saw Chuck Norris’ Missing in Action this weekend. If you are not in the know, allow me to wet your shoot-em-up palette. . .

Missing in Action is a 1984 action B-movie directed by Joseph Zito and starring Chuck Norris, M. Emmet Walsh, James Hong, Lenore Kasdorf,  and Robert Rawson.

It is set in the context of the Vietnam War POW/MIA issue. Colonel Braddock, who escaped a Vietnamese prisoner of war camp 10 years earlier, returns to Vietnam to find American soldiers listed as missing in action during the Vietnam War.

So after seeing James Braddock kick a little Bắc mông ViệtI jumped on this story of Father Vincent Capodanno, a chaplain killed during the Vietnam War:

Ted Bronson and Bishop Joseph Tri stand in front of a banner of Servant of God Fr. Vincent Capodanno in Vietnam.
Ted Bronson and Bishop Joseph Tri stand in front of a banner of Servant of God Fr. Vincent Capodanno in Vietnam.

Bishop Joseph Chau Ngoc Tri of Da Nang recently said Mass in honor of Father Vincent Capodanno, a U.S. chaplain killed during the Vietnam War, and encouraged his people to ask the priest’s intercession.

Ted Bronson, a retired Navy Captain, told CNA June 26 that Bishop Tri “is a brave bishop, fostering Capodanno under the umbrella” of Vietnamese communism.

The Mass, said on June 14, marked the 55th anniversary of Fr. Capodanno’s priestly ordination. Fr. Capodanno was ordained for the Maryknoll Missionary order, and later became a chaplain for the U.S. Navy.

While with Maryknoll, Fr. Capodanno served in Taiwan and Hong Kong, and then requested to be reassigned as a chaplain with the Marines. He was sent to Vietnam in 1966, and requested an extension to his tour of duty when it was up.

On Sept. 4, 1967 his unit was in the Que Son Valley near Da Nang, and became outnumbered by North Vietnamese forces. As American soldiers were being gunned down, Fr. Capodanno went about giving Viaticum and Anointing to the dying, and medical aid to the wounded.

Shortly after reassuring a wounded Marine, Fr. Capodanno went to another soldier who had called out for help. Both he and the solider were shot, and died. He was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1969.

Do go read what Beth Crumley (a writer at the Marine Corps Association and Foundation) uncovered about the good Father.

4 thoughts on “Colonel Braddock and Father Vincent Capodanno”

  1. Only the bravest of the brave would go into action with a bible and a cross for personal protection. Father Vincent Capodanno was one from a long line who have given their all in sacrifice, whilst offering comfort and solitude to the wounded and dying.

    I have the utmost respect for the Chaplains serving within the Armed Forces. I have been very fortunate to have met, and served alongside some great commando trained ‘Padres’.

    Yours Aye.

    1. I agree. I always befriend the chaps. I like talking to them, they are always in the know. When I was Japan the chaplain “by mistake” paid for my dinner. And we were out with a big group at a good sushi place. I protested, of course. 3600 Yen. A Godly man indeed. . .

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