Submarine Memorial Chapel

Submarine Memorial Chapel
Submarine Memorial Chapel exterior 2019 (7).jpg
Exterior of Submarine Memorial Chapel (2019)
General information
Type Church
Location Corner of Oakley and Nimitz Streets, Joint Base Pearl Harbor–Hickam, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
Country United States
Coordinates 21°21′19″N 157°56′31″W / 21.35528°N 157.94194°W / 21.35528; -157.94194Coordinates: 21°21′19″N 157°56′31″W / 21.35528°N 157.94194°W / 21.35528; -157.94194
Construction started c. November 1943
Inaugurated September 10, 1944
Owner United States Navy
Height c. 10 m (33 ft)

The Submarine Memorial Chapel is a military chapel onboard Joint Base Pearl Harbor–Hickam, Hawaii, United States. Dedicated in 1944, it is the oldest chapel at Pearl Harbor, built in remembrance of all the submariners who died in World War II. It ceased hosting religious worship services sometime in the 2000s, but regular religious services were re-established by a congregation at the chapel in 2015.

History

The Submarine Memorial Chapel is the oldest chapel at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, built during World War II in remembrance of all the submariners who died in that conflict. In November 1943, Navy Chaplain Lieutenant Commander Thomas H. Reilly conceived of the building and began to organize volunteers to build it.[1]

The dedication ceremony on September 10, 1944, was attended by more than 400 personnel, including Admiral Chester Nimitz and then-Rear Admiral Charles A. Lockwood.[2]

At some point in the early 2000s, the chapel ceased hosting religious worship services, but it continued to be the site of community activities including retirements, weddings, the monthly Tolling of the Boats and other services. On November 22, 2015, regular religious services were re-established by a congregation at the chapel.[2]

Features

Stained glass

The chapel has fourteen stained glass windows at ground level, one over the main door and another over the chancel. They were donated to the Navy by the president of submarine manufacturer Electric Boat Company in 1959.[3] From inside the chapel, a small submarine may be seen in the lower portion of each window.[4]

Ship's bell

The chapel's steeple contains the ship's bell from USS Argonaut, donated just before the submarine put to sea for her 1943 cruise on which she was sunk.[4]

Tolling of the Boats

A bell-tolling ceremony, the "Tolling of the Boats", is held at the chapel every month in remembrance of the submariners killed from the 52 United States Navy submarines lost during World War II.[5][6] The ceremony was initiated by the organization United States Submarine Veterans of World War II, and is a solemn occasion at which "the names of each of the U.S. submarines lost, along with the fate of its crew, are read aloud as a bell is tolled for each in turn".[7] At other bases the tolling of the boats may be held less frequently, for instance on Memorial Day,[8] and may include boats lost before and after World War II.[9]

Gallery

References

  1. ^ Journalist 3rd Class Corwin Colbert (September 30, 2004), Submarine Memorial Chapel Celebrates Six Decades of Service (Press release), Pacific Submarine Force Public Affairs, Commander Submarine Force Pacific, Story number NNS040930-03
  2. ^ a b Michael H. Lee (March 10, 2016), Pearl Harbor’s World War II-Era Submarine Chapel renews weekly services, Pacific Submarine Force Public Affairs, Commander Submarine Force Pacific, retrieved 2019-02-15
  3. ^ Facts recorded on bronze plaque outside the chapel [1]
  4. ^ a b Commander, Navy Region Hawaii (2015), Pearl Harbor Tourist Attractions, retrieved 2019-02-15
  5. ^ Khor, MC1 Steven (January 27, 2015). "Bell tolling ceremony in honor of lost submariners". The Flagship. Norfolk, Virginia: Military Newspapers of Virginia.
  6. ^ Hinman, Charles R., "On Eternal Patrol – Men Lost while in service to the US Submarine Force – A Photographic Presentation", oneternalpatrol.com note – author was Director of Education & Outreach USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park
  7. ^ Base Memorials And Ceremonies Handbook (PDF), United States Submarine Veterans, Inc., May 8, 2009, p. 27
  8. ^ Gray, Amanda (May 26, 2016). "Tolling the Boats Ceremony Held at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor" (press release). Commander, Submarine Group Nine, COMSUBPAC, United States Navy – via Defense Visual Information Distribution Service.
  9. ^ Alexander, Rachel (May 30, 2017). "Tolling of the Boats in Hayden honors submarine crews lost at sea". The Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington.

Further reading

External links

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Navy document "Pearl Harbor’s World War II-Era Submarine Chapel renews weekly services" by Commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet. Retrieved on 2019-02-15.
 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Navy document "Pearl Harbor Tourist Attractions" by Commander, Navy Region Hawaii. Retrieved on 2019-02-15.

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