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Foxhole Padre


Thomas J. Tracy was born in St. Paul on this date in 1911. After graduating from seminary, Father Tracy became the ‘Fox Hole Padre’ for North Dakota’s famed 164th Infantry Regiment, beginning with their action at Guadalcanal in 1942. According to army sources, Father Tracy was the first American Army chaplain to see action in World War II.

The Reverend laid in the foxholes with his troops during their arduous duty of fighting waves of Japan’s most elite soldiers as they poured down out of the jungle night after night. Father Tracy was in for more than two years, during which he was awarded a Bronze Star for his selfless devotion to his fellow soldiers.

Source: Bismarck Tribune. 19 Oct 1960.

Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm