Chaplains of the
36th Infantry Division
Chaplain (Colonel) Herbert E. MacCombie
The Church At Otterberg
On April 1st we moved again.
This time we were stationed at Otterberg, Germany, near Kaiserlautern.
The church building was very
interesting. When the Reformation came most church buildings were
assigned to either the Protestant Church or to the Catholic Church
according to the faith of the ruler. At Otterberg they decided to share
the building. A wall was constructed inside the building to divide the
space. Protestants went in the main door in the front of the edifice.
The Catholics used a side entrance.
When I was searching for a
place to hold services, I tried the front door. It was locked and I
thought it probably was a Protestant church. I went around to the side
door. It was open. I went in. It was quite evident that it was a
I went to a nearby house and
inquired for the location of the Protestant church. They pointed to the
building I had just left, and explained its dual nature. It was in this
building we conducted a memorial service for President Roosevelt. General
Dahlquist, the Division Commander, and Colonel John J. Albright, the
division Chief of Staff, attended the memorial service. The division band
played appropriate music and supplied a bugler to sound taps. We also
conducted a Special Memorial Service at the Division Rear Echelon.
While we were at Kaiserlautern
we were in contact with the 28th Division. They informed us that
Lieutenant Bernard Altman, formerly of the division chaplainís office, had
been killed in the Malmedy massacre.
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by Mary MacCombie Fietsam
Printed by Permission