Wednesday, June 10, 2015

“Golden Gloves” Chaplain Floors 3 Berlin Thieves - Historical Headline from 1947

A few days ago I posted a photograph of Mass celebrated on Omaha Beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Reader Susan Pepino then sent me this scan from the June 28, 1947, issue of the American military newspaper Star and Stripes. At the top of the page (see scan below; click to enlarge) is the story of how her uncle, American military chaplain Maj. Maurice Powers, surprised some thieves in more than one sense while stationed in Berlin in 1947.

“Maj. Maurice E. Powers, U.S. Army chaplain, who fought in Golden Gloves tournaments while a student at Notre Dame University, last night threw three punches and knocked flat three of five Germans he found looting his Berlin billet.

The Catholic chaplain, already enraged at the discovery (that) the thieves had desecrated the Blessed Sacrament, went into his old boxing routine as one of the Germans attacked him with a souvenir sword taken from a wall.

Powers knocked down three of the German while the other two fled. MPs took them into custody.

‘I was so angry on seeing the Blessed Sacrament desecrated that I could have whipped Joe Louis,’ Powers said. He described the tussle as his first bout since he became a priest.”

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