“Chaplain John McNamara of Boston”

One of my hobbies in life is finding connections to Lowell wherever I can. I found one during today’s visit to the photographic exhibit “Visual Dispatches from the Vietnam War” at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester. The above photo, one of only 35 in the exhibit, carries the following caption:

Chaplain John McNamara of Boston makes the sign of the cross as he administers the last rites to photographer Dickey Chapelle in South Vietnam Nov. 4, 1965. Chapelle was covering a U.S. Marine unit on a combat operation near Chu Lai for the National Observer when she was seriously wounded, along with four Marines, by an exploding mine. She died in a helicopter en route to a hospital. She became the first female war correspondent to be killed in Vietnam, as well as the first American female reporter to be killed in action. Her body was repatriated with an honor guard consisting of six Marines and she was given full Marine burial.

“Chaplain John McNamara” later in life was Bishop John McNamara, the regional bishop of the Merrimack Valley who lived right here in Lowell. Two years ago on the tenth anniversary of his death, Marie posted this memorial tribute to Bishop McNamara.

2 Responses to “Chaplain John McNamara of Boston”

  1. Marie says:

    I had a great deal of respect and affection for Bishop McNamara… a priest and spiritual leader to admire. May he rest in peace…

  2. Brian Leahey says:

    With respect to your “Lowell connection” comment, in the October 2013 edition of American History, there is a story about the marriage of “General” Tom Thumb in 1863 and all its fanfare. Apparently, it was the wedding of the year. (PT Barnum did make all arrangements.) So much so that a reception in honor of the bride and groom was held at the White House by President and Mrs. Lincoln. In attendance was General Ben Butler.

    PS. Big fan of Queen City Cupcakes.