Posted on September 23rd, 2017 by:

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By Sgt. Clyde Biggerstaff

Yank Field Correspondent

SOMEWHERE IN THE CARIBBEAN—They’re rough and they’re tough but they’re putty in the hands of Father Reginald Barry, unofficial chaplain to American soldiers stationed on Chacachacre, lonely Caribbean island outpost known as “The Rock.”

Father Barry is a full-time religious adviser to a British colony and adopted the Americans simply because he wanted to. Or rather the Americans adopted him. They treat the chubby, diminutive priest as affectionately as they would a wayward child. They have taught him to play poker and shoot craps.

Proud of his very mediocre poker-playing, Father Barry indignantly recalls how some of the boys introduced deuces wild in a game without telling him until the pot had grown to considerable proportions. He plays only for pennies.

The priest calls all of the men by their first names and knows their individual weaknesses. He is always on hand when a GI needs a friendly pat on the back or a kick in the pants, and delivers both with impartiality.

Father Barry lives across the bay from the soldiers, and visits the garrison each Sunday to hold mass. His ancient motorboat chugs across the waters at a dizzy speed. More and more soldiers gather at the dock each week to watch the landing. Odds that he’ll pile the boat up on the rocks are growing, but so far Father Barry has managed to shut off the gas in time. GI bookies are offering 10-to-5 that he’ll crash before the end of the year.

wwii caribbean chaplain

Father Reginald Barry talks it over with Yank Friends

Among Father Barry’s soldier-friends are Pfc. John Nemeth of Houston, Tex.; Pvt. Lorence C. Wood of Eldorado Springs, Mo.; S/Sgt. James L. Dudgeon of Hobart, Ind.; S/Sgt. George Austin of Yonkers, N.Y.; Pvt. Lloyd Duffet of Saginaw, Mich.; Pfc. R.E. Miller of Cleveland, Ohio; Pvt. John McQuaid of Franklin, Pa., and Sgt. Carl Warner of Parkersberg, W. Va.

For Further Readings Check Out:

Caribbean Volunteers at War: The Forgotten Story of the RAF’s ‘Tuskegee Airmen’

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