ALOYSIUS P MCGONIGAL
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HONORED ON PANEL 39E, LINE 75 OF THE WALL

ALOYSIUS PAUL MCGONIGAL

WALL NAME

ALOYSIUS P MCGONIGAL

PANEL / LINE

39E/75

DATE OF BIRTH

11/08/1921

CASUALTY PROVINCE

THUA THIEN

DATE OF CASUALTY

02/17/1968

HOME OF RECORD

WASHINGTON

COUNTY OF RECORD

District Of Columbia

STATE

DC

BRANCH OF SERVICE

ARMY

RANK

MAJ

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR ALOYSIUS PAUL MCGONIGAL
POSTED ON 2.2.2004
POSTED BY: Jim McIlhenney

Body of Phila. Priest Found in Hue Rubble

Safety Pleas Ignored
Body of Phila. Priest Found in Hue Rubble

A Communist bullet has ended the restless ministry of Philaddelphia-born Father Aloysius P. McGonigal, the best known battlefield priest with American forces in South Vietnam.
The slim, 46-year-old Jesuit who consistently ignored his safe desk job to follow Marine units into action, was found Sunday in the bloodly rubble of Hue. His spectacles were nearby-unbroken, but a slug had torn away most of his forehead.
Thus Father McGonigal died among the men he most loved, the battle-torn veterans of the Marine Corps.

UNIT HAD NO PRIEST

Though his assignment was to the U.S. Advisory Compound in Hue, he had been expected to leave for a desk job at Da Nang. But Father McGonigal heard that the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, was assaulting the walls of the Imperial Citadel at Hue, and he learned the unit had no priest.
After pacing the advisory compound for three days, Father McGonigal asked Lt. Col. Bruce Petree, of El Paso, Tex., for permission to go to the front.

IGNORED PLEA

"Be careful," warned Petree. A plea to remain within the safety of the compound was delivered by First Sgt. Arcadio Torres, of Mount Holly, N.J. It was unheeded.
So, while American and South Vietnamese troops huddled behind protective embankments, the 5-foot, 6-inch priest made it to the north bank of the bullet-spattered Perfume River and into the thick of battle.
An Army major, Father McGonigal had traveled all over the northern provinces and extended his year-long tour of Vietnam to continue his close friendship with the First Corps.
He attended St. Joseph's High School and in 1940 entered the Novitiate of St. Isaac Jogues at Wernersville, Berks county (PA). He was ordained June 23, 1953, at Woodstock, Md., College.
He was assistant prefect of studies at Gonzaga High School, Washington, D.C., and taught at Loyola High School in Baltimore. Later, he studied physics at Georgetown University.
He served as an Army chaplain from 1961 to 1963 and returned in 1966, going to Vietnam that year.
Surviving are three brothers, James A., Edward J. and John; four sisters, Mrs. Maria Phalan, Sister Rose Letitia, of Our Lady of the Rosary Convent, 339 N. 63rd st., Mrs. Regina Barry and Margaret McGonigal.

Photo and article appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer on February 21, 1968.

SEMPER FIDELIS, FATHER!

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POSTED ON 9.29.2002
POSTED BY: Robert Greer

Comforted the wounded during the battle of Hue

Father Aloysius P. McGonigal
Tacony, Philadelphia

The 46-year-old Roman Catholic priest, the sixth of 12 children, grew up in Tacony and was one of seven men from the neighborhood to die in Vietnam. Six of the seven, including McGonigal attended St. Leo’s Elementary School at Keystone and Unruh streets. McGonigal enjoyed studying foreign languages and loved music and sports, especially tennis, baseball and basketball. He graduated from Northeast Catholic High School and received degrees from Woodstock (Md.) College and Fordham University in New York City. He was attending Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., when he was
called into the Army Chaplain Corps. The major was assigned to units in Korea in 1962-63, and shipped out to Vietnam in December 1966 where he was first assigned to the 1st Infantry Brigade of the 9th Infantry Division, and later to Headquarters, US. Army Vietnam. He had a comfortable desk job at the USARV compound in Saigon, but seldom was there because of his devotion to the men in the field. McGonigal was killed on February 17, 1968, during the Battle of Hue in Thua Thien Province. He administered the last rites to dying soldiers and comforted the wounded through three days of intense fighting near Hue Citadel before being fatally wounded. McGonigal was posthumously awarded the Silver Star. Survivors included several brothers and sisters.
... from The Philadelphia Daily News
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POSTED ON 11.7.2001
POSTED BY: Michael G. Kullas

My Teacher

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