Joseph Timothy O’Callahan Known as “Father Joe” (May 14, 1905 – March 18, 1964) “was a Jesuit priest and, during World War II, a United States Navy chaplain. He was awarded the U.S. military’s highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions during and after an attack on the aircraft carrier aboard which he was serving, the USS Franklin.”
“While in active service, O’Callahan reported aboard the USS Franklin on March 2, 1945, just 17 days before the ship was severely damaged at dawn by two bombs from a lone Japanese aircraft. The hangar deck immediately became an inferno of exploding gas tanks and ammunition. Although wounded by one of the explosions after the attack, Chaplain O’Callahan moved about the exposed and slanting flight deck, administering the last rites to the dying, comforting the wounded, and leading officers and crewmen into the flames to carry hot bombs and shells to the edge of the deck for jettisoning. He personally recruited a damage control party and led it into one of the main ammunition magazines to wet it down and prevent its exploding. For this action he received the Navy Cross, which he publicly refused (the only man to do so in World War II.) At the time, it was speculated that O’Callahan was offered the Navy Cross in lieu of the Medal of Honor since his heroic actions on the USS.”
This is a signed note from Father Joe, probably given to a sailor that was wounded.
Super Nice Note.
The name of the sailor who recevied this note is fading off of the face.