John E. Duffy
Huron and Seneca Counties
U.S. Army- WWII
Survivor of the Bataan Death March after being bayoneted and left for dead. Fought with guerrilla units for several months before again being captured and sent to provost jail. Naval officers requested he be assigned as the Catholic Chaplain at the POW hospital where he offered daily Mass, Communion, the Rosary and visitations. Father Duffy was appointed as pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in New London, Ohio in 1947 where he remained until his retirement, March 27, 1958, due to health reasons. Father Duffy was a past Commander of American Legion Post 292, New London, when he was appointed National Chaplain in 1952. He was also a Chaplain of the State of Ohio American Legion.
Articles & Photos
Father Duffy's Plaque Goes to New London - January 6, 1999
Father John E. Duffy, a St. Wendelin priest in the late
1920s, who was recently inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame.
Father Duffy was an authentic American hero during World
War II. He assisted in the defense of Pearl Harbor and survived the Bataan
Death March in spite of being twice bayoneted. He
escaped to serve with Filipino guerrillas before being recaptured by the
On Dec. 14, a delegation from the Seneca County Veterans
Commission presented the plaque to the New London Broome-Wood American
Legion Post 292. Attending were Joe Gehring, Tom Evans, Tom Gernert, Jim
Rochester and Jim McAuliffe.
"I knew Father Duffy when I was 10 or 11 years old," said Joe. "He came to visit me. I had double pneumonia and he gave me last sacraments. That always stuck with me. He tapped me on the left knee, I'll never forget it. He said, 'You're going to make it, kid."
Commander Mahl said that Father Duffy was "a true American and a true humanitarian...and we all share in this great man's life."
Father Duffy is still remembered by several New London
Father Duffy was also an able organ player.
Before going to New London on the 14th, Joe and Tom Gernert met with Rep. Paul Gillmor to request that Father Duffy be considered for the Congressional Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military award, given for distinguished service in combat at the risk of life and above the call of duty.
Father John E. Duffy was also inducted into the Ohio
Veterans Hall of Fame.
Father John Duffy died in San Francisco in 1958 at the
age of 59. He is buried in the presidio in San Francisco CA. Yet the sacrifices
he made, the strength of his character and his devotion to freedom can
touch us still.
Project Manager's Note: I
have been able to find few written articles of Father Duffy, except where
he is mentioned in books or accounts. But the resounding theme of each
memory is always the same;