The Library of Congress Veterans History Project Home 
Experiencing War: Stories from the Veterans History Project
Home » Terence Patrick Finnegan
 

"They look to the chaplain for guidance and they expect you to follow them into attack against the enemy. Are you coming along? They will ask you. The chaplain never lets them down." (Biography, page 27)

   Terence Patrick Finnegan
Placeholder Image
War: World War, 1939-1945; Korean War, 1950-1953
Branch: Army; Air Force
Unit: 25th Infantry Division; Air Force Chief of Chaplains
Service Location: Pearl Harbor; Guadalcanal (Solomon Islands); Italy; Japan; United States
Rank: Major General
View Full Description

Terence Patrick Finnegan was ordained a Catholic priest in 1930 and enlisted in the Army in 1937, recruited by a chaplain who said the service needed more priests. Finnegan was stationed in Hawaii on December 7, 1941, and he didn't sleep for several days, ministering to the wounded and dying. On Guadalcanal, he saw more casualties and understood that his men wanted him close by at all times. In 1949, Finnegan transferred to the newly formed Air Force, and within ten years he had risen to the post of Air Force Chief of Chaplains. A transcript of a 1974 interview provides important details about Finnegan's policies in his four years as Chief of Chaplains. A biography, written by a reporter who interviewed him in 1989, a year before his death, fills in more personal details. (A second interview, conducted in 1989, is also included.)

Interview (Audio)
»Complete Interview  (94 min.)
»Transcript
 Other Materials
»Biography of Monsignor Terence P. Finnegan by Peggy Schenk
More like this
»Chaplains: On a Divine Mission
 
Home » Terence Patrick Finnegan
  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
  Legal | External Link Disclaimer Need Help?   
Contact Us