Thursday, January 30, 2014

Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima 

US Marines Took Iwo Jima

Joe Rosenthal Took the picture
Everyone is familiar with Joe Rosenthal’s photograph Raising the Flag On Iwo Jima. The iconic image of the US Marines struggling together to raise the US flag atop Mount Suribachi has been reprinted in thousands of publications, and recreated on millions of posters, both pro- and anti-war.
It won the Pulitzer Prize for Photography the same year it was published (the only photograph at the time ever to have done so), and even appeared on a commemorative US dollar in 1945. What few people know is that this inspiring moment was actually a second version of the original event.
On 23 February 1945, 2nd Battalion Commander Chandler Johnson was ordered to send a platoon to take the Japanese mountain of Suribachi. First Lieutenant Harold G Schrier was chosen to lead the platoon, and as they embarked, Johnson handed Schrier a small US  flag which had been taken from the USS Missoula, and said, ‘If you get to the top, put it up.’ The Battle of Iwo Jima had seen some of the  fiercest  fighting of the Pacific Campaign, and this was the  final throe.
As apprehensive as they were, Schrier led his platoon to the summit without incident. The team assembled, the small flag was erected, and the whole anti-climactic affair was captured by Staff -Sergeant Louis R Lowery, a photographer with Leatherneck magazine. What should have been a moment of great patriotic significance turned out to be a rather deflated declaration of ownership, with a  flag too small to be seen even from the nearby landing beaches.
Take two, and by now rumour the of mountain’s capture had reached Secretary of the Navy, James Forrestal. He had decided the previous night that he wanted to go ashore and witness the final stage of the fight for the mountain himself. The first flag was raised as his boat touched shore, and the mood among the high command on seeing the red, white, and blue spec against the sky was one of jubilance and victory. So caught up in the moment was Forrestal that he requested the Suribachi flag as a souvenir. Johnson, who believed that the flag should remain flying as a symbol of the battalion’s heroism, was disgusted by Forrestal’s demand.
Forced to accept that Forrestal would have his way, Johnson decided to send Lieutenant Ted Tuttle to retrieve a replacement flag to fly once the original had been removed. After glancing once more at the tiny flag, barely visible against the sky, Johnson told Tuttle to ‘make it a bigger one.’ Tuttle returned with a larger flag he had found in a nearby Tank Landing Ship and up the mountain it went, in the safe hands of the Marines. Joe Rosenthal set on shortly after with two other Marine photographers.
As they arrived, the Marines were already attaching the flag to an old Japanese water-pipe. Rosenthal nearly missed the shot while working out how to best view the action. He turned round just in time to snap the five Marines raising the US flag, and, without even knowing it, took one of themost iconic images ever captured.
Had Lowery been at the right place at the right time, would he have caught so powerful a shot? On his descent from Suribachi, did he believe that he had taken the sort of photograph that Rosenthal’s would turn out to be? Ten years later, Rosenthal wrote of the moment: ‘Out of the corner of my eye, I had seen the men start the flag up. I swung my camera and shot the scene. That is how the picture was taken, and when you take a picture like that, you don’t come away saying you got a great shot. You don’t know.’

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Hershel W. Williams

United States Marine

Hershel Woodrow "Woody" Williams (born October 2, 1923) is a retired United States Marine who received the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II. He is also the last surviving recipient of the Medal of Honor from that battle.

Early years

Born in Fairmont, West Virginia, on October 2, 1923, Williams grew up on a dairy farm in nearby Quiet Dell. He worked a series of odd jobs in the area, including as a truck driver for W.S. Harr Construction Company of Fairmont and as a taxi driver. After being turned away once from the U.S. military for being too short, he successfully enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve in Charleston, West Virginia, on May 26, 1943.

World War II service

Williams received his recruit training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, California. Upon completion, he was sent to the Camp Elliott training center in San Diego, where he joined the tank training battalion on August 21, 1943. The following month he was transferred to the training center's infantry battalion for instruction as a demolition man and in the use of flamethrowers.

Williams joined the 32nd Replacement Battalion on October 30, 1943, and left for New Caledonia in the southwest Pacific on December 3 aboard the M.S. Weltey Reden. In January 1944, he joined the 3rd Marine Division at Guadalcanal. He was attached to the 1st Battalion, 21st Marines, first to Company C and then to Headquarters Company.

During July and August 1944, he participated in action against the Japanese at Guam, and in October he rejoined Company C.

Medal of Honor action

His next campaign was at Iwo Jima where he distinguished himself with actions "above and beyond the call of duty" - for which he would be awarded the Medal of Honor. Landing on February 21, 1945, Williams, by then a corporal, distinguished himself two days later when American tanks, trying to open a lane for infantry, encountered a network of reinforced concrete pillboxes, buried mines, and black volcanic sands. Williams went forward alone with his 70-pound (32 kg) flamethrower to attempt the reduction of devastating machine gun fire from the unyielding positions.

Covered by only four riflemen, he fought for four hours under terrific enemy small-arms fire and repeatedly returned to his own lines to prepare demolition charges and obtain serviced flame throwers. He returned to the front, frequently to the rear of hostile emplacements, to wipe out one position after another. At one point, a wisp of smoke alerted him to the air vent of a Japanese bunker, and he approached close enough to put the nozzle of his flamethrower through the hole, killing the occupants. On another occasion, he charged enemy riflemen who attempted to stop him with bayonets and destroyed them with a burst of flame from his weapon.

These actions occurred on the same day as the raising of the U.S. flag on the island's Mount Suribachi, although Williams was not able to witness the event. He fought through the remainder of the five-week-long battle and was wounded on March 6, for which he was awarded the Purple Heart.

In September 1945, he returned to the United States, and on October 1 he joined Marine Corps Headquarters in Washington, D.C. He was presented the Medal of Honor by President Harry S. Truman on October 5, 1945, at the White House.

Later career

On October 22, 1945, he was transferred to the Marine Barracks, Naval Training Center, Bainbridge, Maryland, for discharge. He was discharged from the Marine Corps Reserve on November 6, 1945. In March 1948, he reenlisted in the inactive Marine Corps Reserve, but was again discharged on August 4, 1949.

On October 20, 1954, he joined the Organized Marine Reserve when the 98th Special Infantry Company was authorized by Marine Corps Headquarters, Clarksburg, West Virginia. He transferred to the 25th Infantry Company in Huntington, West Virginia on June 9, 1957. He later became the (Interim) Commanding Officer of that unit as a warrant officer on June 6, 1960. He was designated the Mobilization Officer for the 25th Infantry Company and surrounding Huntington area on June 11, 1963.

He was advanced through the warrant officer ranks during his time in the Reserves until reaching his final rank of Chief Warrant Officer 4 (CWO-4). Although CWO-4 Williams technically did not meet retirement requirements, he was honorarily retired from the Marine Corps Reserve in 1969 after approximately 17 years of service.

Williams struggled with the after-effects of combat stress until 1962, when he experienced a religious renewal. He later served as chaplain of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society for 35 years.

On February 2, 2011, Williams appeared on an episode of Sons of Guns where his unservicable flamethrower was refurbished back to working condition. The episode ended with Williams successfully firing the weapon at the age of 87.

Medal of Honor citation

The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to

 for service as set forth in the following CITATION:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Demolition Sergeant serving with the First Battalion, Twenty-First Marines, Third Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, Volcano Island, 23 February 1945. Quick to volunteer his services when our tanks were maneuvering vainly to open a lane for the infantry through the network of reinforced concrete pillboxes, buried mines and black, volcanic sands, Corporal Williams daringly went forward alone to attempt the reduction of devastating machine-gun fire from the unyielding positions. Covered only by four riflemen, he fought desperately for four hours under terrific enemy small-arms fire and repeatedly returned to his own lines to prepare demolition charges and obtain serviced flame throwers, struggling back, frequently to the rear of hostile emplacements, to wipe out one position after another. On one occasion he daringly mounted a pillbox to insert the nozzle of his flame thrower through the air vent, kill the occupants and silence the gun; on another he grimly charged enemy riflemen who attempted to stop him with bayonets and destroyed them with a burst of flame from his weapon. His unyielding determination and extraordinary heroism in the face of ruthless enemy resistance were directly instrumental in neutralizing one of the most fanatically defended Japanese strong points encountered by his regiment and aided in enabling his company to reach its'  objective. Corporal Williams' aggressive fighting spirit and valiant devotion to duty throughout this fiercely contested action sustain and enhance the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

His citation and a Medal of Honor tapestry are on display in the Medal of Honor exhibit of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library.


In 1965, Williams received West Virginia's Distinguished Service Medal. In 1967, he was honored by the Veteran's Administration with the Vietnam Service Medal for service as a civilian counselor to the armed forces. In 1999, he was added to the City of Huntington Foundation's "Wall of Fame".

Named in his honor:
  • the West Virginia National Guard Armory in Fairmont, West Virginia;
  • a bridge at Barboursville, West Virginia; and
  • an athletic field at Huntington, West Virginia.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Battle on Iwo Jima

On 19 February 1945 U.S. Marines stormed ashore on Iwo Jima, a small volcanic island half way between the Mariana Islands and Japan. These landings opened more than a month of extremely bloody ground fighting between three Marine divisions and more than 20,000 Japanese defenders. By late March 1945, when the Marines were relieved by a U.S. Army garrison, over six thousand Americans had been killed, along with about ninety percent of the Japanese. However, by then the island was already a refuge for U.S. bombers, with more facilities being actively developed.

The mid-1944 conquest of the Marianas, providing base sites for a strategic bombing campaign against the Japanese home islands, made Iwo Jima an invasion target. The attack decision was formalized early in October 1944, by which time the U.S. Army Air Force was frequently bombing the island. These raids, supplemented by periodic warship gunfire attacks, became daily occurances later in the year, after the B-29 bombers began hitting Japan and Iwo Jima had been used to stage several destructive air raids against the B-29s' own bases. The Japanese, clearly understanding the importance of the place, had been fortifying it since March 1944. After the Marianas fell, they greatly expanded this work, which was not seriously hindered by the air and sea bombardment. By early 1945, it was obvious that capturing Iwo Jima, though essential, would be very costly.

The Iwo Jima invasion began on 16 February 1945, when a formidible U.S. Navy armada started three days of pre-landing preparations. As minesweepers and underwater demolition teams cleared the nearby waters, warships and aircraft methodically tried to destroy the island's defenses. However, given the abundance of well-concealed strongpoints and deeply buried underground facilities, this was not nearly enough. Thus, when the Marines landed, they confronted intense opposing fire from the landing area and from flanking positions on Mount Suribachi in the south and the rugged terrain of northern Iwo Jima. Securing Mount Suribachi and the rest of southern Iwo Jima required more than four days of intense combat. Another week's bloodshed brought the Marines into the middle of the desperately defended north, where the bitter fight to eliminate organized Japanese resistance took nearly four additional weeks.

For the U.S. Marines, Iwo Jima was the most difficult of World War II's many tough fights. It remains an enduring demonstration of the essential role of infantry when ground must be captured, even when seemingly overwhelming air and sea power is present. The abundant heroism of the attackers was recognized by the award of no fewer than twenty-seven Medals of Honor, more than half given posthumously. In American hands, Iwo Jima soon became an important base for the air campaign that ended with Japan's August 1945 capitulation, thus justifying the blood spilled to take it. Had the war continued, its role would have been even more critical.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Marine Corps Medal of Honor Recipients
Featuring Marine Medal of Honor Recipients From WWII-Korea-Viet Nam And Iraqi Freedom

United States Marine Corps Reserve
Joseph Foss

Captain Joseph J. Foss
United States Marine Corps Reserve
For outstanding heroism and courage above and beyond the call of duty as Executive Officer of a Marine Fighting Squadron, at Guadacanal, Solomon Islands. Engaging in almost daily combat with the enemy from October 9 to November 19, 1942, Captain Foss personally shot down twenty-three Japanese planes and damaged others so severely that their destruction was extremely probable. In addition, during this period, he successfully led a large number of excort missions, skillfully covering reconnaissance, bombing and photographic planes as well as surface craft. On January 15, 1943, he added three more enemy planes to his already brilliant successes for a record of aerial combat achievement unsurpassed in this war. Boldly searching out an approaching enemy force on January 25, Captain Foss led his eight F4F Marine Planes and four Army P-38s into action and, undaunted by tremendously superior numbers,  intercepted and struck with such force that four Japanese fighters were shot down and the bombers were turned back without releasing a single bomb. His remarkable flying skill, inspiring leadership and indomitable fighting spirit were distinctive factors in the defense of strategic American positions on Guadalcanal.

Franklin D. Roosevelt
President of the United States

Brigadier General Joseph Jacob Foss, one of the United States’ outstanding aces of World War II and holder of the Nation’s highest military award, the Medal of Honor, was born 17 April 1915, on a farm near Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Following his graduation from high school in Sioux Falls, Joe Foss attended Augustana College for one year and Sioux Falls College for three semesters. He then enrolled at the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, and graduated in 1940 with a degree in Business Administration. In college he fought on the boxing team and was a member of the track and football teams.

The future Marine ace first became interested in flying when a squadron of Marine flyers staged an air show at Sioux Falls in 1932. Three years later he had his first airplane ride, paying five dollars to go up with a barnstormer. In 1937 he paid $65 on the installment plan for his first course in flying. Now and then he rented a Taylorcraft. In 1939 he took a Civil Aeronautics Authority flying course at the University of South Dakota and by the time he graduated from college he had 100 hours of flying to his credit.

While in college, he served in the South Dakota National Guard from October 1939 to March 1940. Three months later he hitchhiked to Minneapolis to enlist in the Marine Corps Reserve. Of the 28 men applying, only he and another were accepted on 14 June 1940 and assigned to inactive duty.

Honorably discharged from the Reserve on 8 August 1940, he accepted an appointment as an aviation cadet in the Marine Corps Reserve the following day. He was called to active duty 23 August and sent to Pensacola, Florida, for training. He completed further training at Miami, received his Marine wings and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps Reserve on 31 March 1941. He was advanced to first lieutenant 10 April 1942 while serving as an instructor at Pensacola and was promoted to captain 11 August 1942 at Camp Kearney, California.

Captain Foss arrived at Guadalcanal in September 1942 and became a Marine Corps ace on 29 October. Flying almost daily for one month he shot down 23 enemy planes during that period. Bagging three more later raised his total to 26, which tied the World War I record of the noted Capt Eddie Rickenbacker and set a new record for World War II. His 26 planes included 20 Zero fighters, four bombers and two bi-planes.

While at Guadalcanal, Capt Foss was forced to make three dead-stick landings on Henderson Field as a result of enemy bullets crippling his engine. In November, he was shot down over the island of Malaita after accounting for three Zeros himself. Not being a good swimmer, he had trouble getting ashore. He was picked out of the water by natives in a small boat and learned from them that, had he been able to swim, the direction in which he was headed would have carried him to a place on the beach that was infested with crocodiles.

Captain Foss received the Distinguished Flying Cross from Adm William F. Halsey for his heroism and extraordinary achievement in shooting down six Zeros and one bomber from 13 October to 30 October 1942.

Returning to the United States in April 1943, he reported to Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C., and was presented the Medal of Honor by President Franklin D. Roosevelt at ceremonies in the White House on 18 May 1943. Also in May of 1943, he was sent on a tour of Navy preflight schools and Naval Air Stations where Marines underwent training. After his 30-day rehabilitation leave, he went on a bond-selling tour of the United States and then he became engaged in a training assignment. He was promoted to major on 1 June 1943.

Back in the Pacific in February 1944, Maj Foss was appointed squadron commander of Marine Fighting Squadron 115. He served in the combat zone around Emirau, St. Mathias Group, but failed to better his “shoot-down” record. Maj Foss returned to the United States in September 1944 and was ordered to Klamath Falls, Oregon. In February 1945, he became operations and training officer at the Marine Corps Air Station, Santa Barbara, California.

With the end of the war in August 1945, he requested to be released to inactive duty. He went on terminal leave in October but was ordered to Iowa that month to appear at Navy Day ceremonies in four cities there. Finally relieved from active duty on 8 December 1945, he was retained in the Marine Corps Reserve on inactive duty. Maj Foss was appointed a lieutenant colonel in the South Dakota Air National Guard in September 1946. He tendered his resignation from the Marine Corps Reserve on 29 January 1947. It was accepted effective 19 September 1946, the day prior to his acceptance of the Air National Guard commission. On 20 September 1953, he was advanced to the rank of brigadier general in the South Dakota Air National Guard.

In 1948, the future governor went into politics and won an election to South Dakota’s State House of Representatives. Two years later he made an unsuccessful bid in the Republican gubernatorial primary. He returned to the State Legislature and in June 1954, won an overwhelming victory for the gubernatorial nomination. He was elected Governor of South Dakota the following November, and was re-elected two years later.

In 1960 he was named as the first commissioner of the American Football League and served in that position until 1966. From 1988 through 1990 he served as president of the National Rifle Association.

Brigadier General Foss died 1 January 2003 at a hospital near his home in Scottsdale, Arizona, following a stroke. He was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.

In addition to the Medal of Honor and Distinguished Flying Cross, his decorations and medals include: the Presidential Unit Citation, American-Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with three bronze stars, and the World War II Victory Medal.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Secretary Chuck Hagel is considering Medal of Honor for Marine Sgt. Rafael Peralta

Department of Defense is giving Marine Sgt. Rafael Peralta's actions another round of consideration for the Medal of Honor. Peralta saved the lives of fellow Marines before he was killed by a grenade blast in Iraq in 2004. (Marine Corps)

Rafael Peralta, a Marine sergeant who saved the lives of fellow Marines before he was killed by a grenade blast in Iraq in 2004 may get another look for the Medal of Honor.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., wrote to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Oct. 22 to ask for a re-examination of Peralta's award decision, based on video evidence, pathology reports and other supporting evidence. The congressman has just received a call from the defense secretary, Hunter spokesman Joe Kasper said on Dec. 4.

"He is looking at (the petition), and he is looking at it very seriously," Kasper said.

Defense Department Assistant Press Secretary Carl Woog told The San Diego Union-Tribune that "Secretary Hagel is familiarizing himself with the history of the case so that he may appropriately respond to Rep. Hunter's letter."

Hagel has not formally reopened Peralta's case, however, a defense official said.

The Marine Corps recommended Peralta for the military's highest valor award, crediting him with covering a grenade with his body to save the lives of fellow Marines. Then, Secretary Robert Gates questioned the evidence that Peralta had acted consciously to absorb the blast because he had also received a ricocheting rifle round to the head. Peralta was instead posthumously awarded the Navy Cross in 2008. Though Hunter's office later petitioned Gates - successor as defense secretary, Leon Panetta, to reconsider Gates decision on the matter, Panetta opted not to overturn Gates decision.

Hunter has new optimism regarding the petition for two reasons, Kasper said. The first is the recent presentation of the Medal of Honor to Army Capt. Will Swenson, whose award nomination was lost for years after his heroic battlefield actions in Afghanistan in 2009. Hunter had publicly pushed for a Pentagon inspector general probe into the bureaucratic errors and delays that kept Swenson from receiving his award.

Hunter spoke with Hagel at Swenson's award ceremony Oct. 15, and renewed his request on Peralta's behalf shortly thereafter.

"With everything that occurred specific to Captain Swenson's nomination, the fact that he was presented the award, more than four years after he was first recommended, goes a very long way to restore integrity and confidence to the Medal of Honor award process," Hunter wrote. "The case of Sergeant Peralta presents the same opportunity. By awarding him the Medal of Honor, a major error in judgment can be corrected and much of the criticism pointed toward the awards process can be addressed - not by words, but by actions."

Hunter was hopeful of getting traction with Hagel, Kasper said, because the new defense secretary was an enlisted infantry squad leader in Vietnam, while the previous two secretaries served as officers in non-infantry roles.

"He knows what it means to be in a situation like that," Kasper said. "He also knows what would happen if a grenade detonated 1 to 3 feet from someone's body."

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., have also endorsed the renewed Medal of Honor petition for Peralta.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Vincent R. Capodanno

Servant of God Vincent Robert Capodanno (February 13, 1929 - September 4, 1967) was a United States Navy Roman Catholic chaplain and a posthumous recipient of America's highest military decoration " the Medal of Honor " for actions during the Vietnam War.


Vincent R. Capodanno was born in Staten Island, New York, on February 13, 1929. He graduated from Curtis High School, Staten Island, and attended Fordham University for a year before entering the Maryknoll Missionary Seminary in Ossining, New York. He was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in June 1957.

Father Capodanno's first assignment as a missionary was with aboriginal Taiwanese in the mountains of Taiwan where he served in a parish and later in a school. After seven years, Father Capodanno returned to the United States for leave and then was assigned to a Maryknoll school in Hong Kong.

Military service

In December 1965, Father Capodanno received his commission as a lieutenant in the Navy Chaplain Corps. He was assigned to the First Marine Division in Vietnam in April 1966.

At 4:30 am, September 4, 1967, during Operation Swift in the Thang Binh District of the Que Son Valley, elements of the 1st Battalion 5th Marines encountered a large North Vietnamese unit of approximately 2,500 men near the village of Dong Son. The outnumbered and disorganized Company D was in need of reinforcements. By 9:14 am, 26 Marines were confirmed dead, and another company of Marines was committed to the battle. At 9:25 am, the commander of 1st Battalion 5th Marine requested further reinforcements.

Father Capodanno went among the wounded and dying, giving last rites. Wounded in the face and hand, he went to help a wounded corpsman only yards from an enemy machine gun and was killed. His body was recovered and interred in his family's plot in Saint Peters Cemetery, West New Brighton, Staten Island, New York.

On December 27, 1968, Secretary of the Navy Paul Ignatius notified the Capodanno family that Lieutenant Capodanno would posthumously be awarded the Medal of Honor in recognition of his selfless sacrifice. The official ceremony was held January 7, 1969.

Cause for Canonization

On May 19, 2002, Capodanno's Cause for Canonization was officially opened, and he is now referred to as a Servant of God. In May 2004 the Initial Documentation was submitted to The Congregation for the Causes of Saints with CatholicMil, later renamed Mission Capodanno, acting as Petitioner and Father Daniel Mode named Postulator. On May 21, 2006 a Public Decree of Servant of God was issued by the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA. The statement was made by Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien in Washington D.C.

Awards and decorations

Medal of Honor citation

Father Capodanno's official Medal of Honor citation is as follows:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Chaplain of the 3d Battalion, in connection with operations against enemy forces. In response to reports that the 2d Platoon of M Company was in danger of being overrun by a massed enemy assaulting force, Lt. Capodanno left the relative safety of the company command post and ran through an open area raked with fire, directly to the beleaguered platoon. Disregarding the intense enemy small-arms, automatic-weapons, and mortar fire, he moved about the battlefield administering last rites to the dying and giving medical aid to the wounded. When an exploding mortar round inflicted painful multiple wounds to his arms and legs, and severed a portion of his right hand, he steadfastly refused all medical aid. Instead, he directed the corpsmen to help their wounded comrades and, with calm vigor, continued to move about the battlefield as he provided encouragement by voice and example to the valiant Marines. Upon encountering a wounded corpsman in the direct line of fire of an enemy machine gunner positioned approximately 15 yards away, Lt. Capodanno rushed a daring attempt to aid and assist the mortally wounded corpsman. At that instant, only inches from his goal, he was struck down by a burst of machine gun fire. By his heroic conduct on the battlefield, and his inspiring example, Lt. Capodanno upheld the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the cause of freedom.

USS Capodanno

USS Capodanno (FF-1093) was named in honor of Lieutenant Capodanno. The Capodanno was commissioned September 17, 1973, and was decommissioned July 30, 1993, and sold to Turkey. It became the first ship in the U.S fleet to receive a Papal Blessing when it was blessed by Pope John Paul II in Naples, Italy, September 4, 1981.

New York City honors

In March 1971, the Knights of Columbus, Madonna Council in Staten Island sought to have a permanent public memorial honoring Father Capodanno. In October 1974, a bill was proposed to change the name of Seaside Boulevard to Father Capodanno Boulevard; a year later, the bill was passed by the Mayor of New York.

The city of New York declared July 3, 1976, "Father Capodanno Day" and held a Mass, followed by a parade that included the United States Marine Corps Color Guard, bands from the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps, and Boy and Girl Scouts.

A monument was erected at the corner of Midland Avenue and Father Capodanno Blvd on Staten Island. It is made of light gray Barre granite, stands 8' high and 4' wide and has a bronze plaque.

Saint Vincent Chapel, Taiwan

Saint Vincent's Chapel was the Capodanno family's first choice as a memorial. Within four months after his death, almost $4,000 had been raised by organizations such as The American Legion, The Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Knights of Columbus and the Marine Corps League. The chapel was completed in 1993. It was built in the small mountain town of Thiankou with the help of Father Dan Dolan, another Maryknoller and Father Capodanno's former pastor when he was a missionary in Taiwan.

Capodanno Hall, San Francisco Bay Naval Shipyard

The San Francisco Bay Naval Shipyard dedicated Capodanno Hall on November 3, 1969. The hall serves as a Bachelor Officers' Quarters. Phillip Capodanno unveiled the plaque which describes Father Capodanno's heroic deed:
Lieutenant Capodanno made the ultimate sacrifice ministering to the wounded and dying during savage fighting in Vietnam. He has become the third chaplain in our country's history to receive the Medal of Honor and the second Navy chaplain to be so honored.