Skip to main content

Rev. John P. Foley, S.J. Naval Diary Collection

 Collection — Box: SC063-FOLE
Identifier: SC063-FOLE

Scope and Contents

This collection includes a typescript copy of the 534-page typescript diary kept by Fr. Foley documented his experience as a naval chaplain during the Second World War. The diary dates from April 1942 to January 1945. The diary mainly gives an account of his day-to-day activities while at sea but also includes battle descriptions and sermons he delivered. Additionally, his missal is included in the collection. A missal is a liturgical book containing all instructions and texts necessary for services throughout the year. Fr. Foley’s military assignments from April 1942 to January 1945 are written on the inside cover.


  • 1942-1945


Conditions Governing Access

No restrictions

Conditions Governing Use

Materials believed to be under copyright or other restrictions are available for limited noncommercial, educational and personal use only, or for fair use as defined by United States copyright law and with proper citation. Please note that the College of the Holy Cross may not hold the rights to all items in this collection. Users assume responsibility for identifying all copyright holders and for determining whether permission is needed to make any use of the content. For permission under rights held by the College, please contact

Biographical Note

John P. Foley was born on June 6, 1904. He entered the Society of Jesus on August 14, 1932, and was ordained on June 21, 1936. Fr. Foley taught at the College of the Holy Cross from 1930 to 1933. He held the position of Freshman Dean at Boston College when joined the Navy as a chaplain in February 1942. After completing his training at the Chaplain School in Norfolk, Virginia, he served on the attack transport USS George Clymer from June 25, 1942 to March 15, 1944. During this period, the ship was a part of the invasion of French Morocco before being transferred to the Pacific Theater in December 1942.

Fr. Foley returned to the United States during the spring of 1944 and was stationed at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda Maryland from May 30, 1944 to January 15, 1945. His next post was on the USS Vella Gulf from January 27, 1945 to November 10, 1945. This escort carrier sailed to the Pacific in July 1945 and participated in the initial occupation operations of the Japanese home islands before returning to the United States in October 1945. Fr. Foley reverted to inactive status on January 14, 1946 and resigned from the Naval Reserve on April 6, 1946. He died on October 21, 1995.


.46 Cubic Feet (1 document box)

Language of Materials


Related Materials

O’Brien, Steven E. Blackrobe in Blue: The Naval Chaplaincy of John P. Foley, S.J., 1942-1946. Writers Club Press, 2002 (Available in the Dinand Library Main Stacks)

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Edition statement
Revised May 2020

Repository Details

Part of the Distinctive Collections Repository

One College Street
Worcester MA 01610