A Soldier's Story: Captain Father Lawrence Edward Lynch

Captain Father Lawrence Edward Lynch was born in Brooklyn, New York, on October 17, 1906. He attended Brooklyn area schools before entering the seminary at Redemptorist Preparatory Academy in August 1919. He took formal religious vows on August 2, 1927, and was ordained a priest 1932 at Mount St Alphonsus in New York City.

His early years as a priest were spent within the New York Diocese; however, in September 1941, knowing the country was facing war, Captain Father Lawrence E. Lynch enlisted in the US Army as a chaplain.

He was first assigned to the 8th Infantry at Camp Wheeler, Georiga, before being transferred to the 7th Armored Division. In December 1943, Captain Father Lawrence Lynch deployed to the Pacific and was assigned to the Headquarters Service Command at New Caledonia.

While at New Caledonia, Captain Father Lawrence Lynch organized the assignments of other priest chaplains, created a radio broadcast called "The Catholic Hour," and established a regular devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help through prayer card distributions. He is rumored to have created a poker club, using his winnings to support a nearby leper colony. Captain Father Lawrence Lynch was known to be a good poker player and is believed to have made substantial donations to the colony.

The men in his unit called him "Father Cyclone."

In February 1945, Captain Father Lawrence Lynch requested transfer to the 165th Infantry Regiment, which contained the "Fighting 69th", the New York National Guard unit. He went to the front line on the Island of Okinawa.  

He was noted several times for gallantry during the late April offensive, and on April 25, 1945, Captain Father Lawrence Edward Lynch was killed by an exploding shell while performing the Last Rites for a mortally wounded soldier. 

Originally laid to rest on the Island of Okinawa, Captain Father Lawrence Lynch was repatriated and now rests in the Redemptorist Cemetery at Mount St Alphonsus In New York.

Father Cyclone, pray for us.


a.d. elliott is a wanderer, photographer, and storyteller currently living in Salem, Virginia. 

In addition to the travel writings at www.takethebackroads.com, you can also read her book reviews at www.riteoffancy.com and US military biographies at www.everydaypatriot.com

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