Joseph Timothy O'Callahan (May 14, 1905 - March 18, 1964) was a Jesuit priest who would later be described as "the bravest man I ever saw" by his commanding officer on the aircraft carrier Franklin.
O' Callahan was awarded the Medal of Honor for actions during World War II. Specializing in mathematics and physics in addition to religious philosophy, he was ordained in the Jesuit Order in 1934.He spent time teaching at Boston College, the Jesuit Seminary of Weston College and the College of Holy Cross. He was appointed Lieutenant, J.G., in the Chaplain Corps of the U.S. Navy Reserve on Aug. 7, 1940.
While in active service, O'Callahan reported aboard the USS Franklin on March 2, 1945, just 17 days before it was severely damaged by two bombs from a Japanese aircraft that attacked the carrier at dawn.Although wounded by one of the explosions after the attack, O'Callahan moved about the exposed and slanting flight deck administering the last rites to the dying, comforting the wounded, and
leading officers and crewmen into the flames to carry hot bombs and shells to the edge of the deck for jettisoning.For his action, he was awarded the Medal of Honor. O'Callahan returned to Holy Cross College in the fall of 1948 as a philosophy professor. He died in 1964 and is buried in the Jesuit cemetery on campus. His Medal of Honor resides in the archives at the college. Fr. O' Callahan also wrote a book about his experiences called, I Was Chaplain on the Franklin .
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