When the U.S. entered the war in 1917, Joyce Kilmer was 30 years old, a poet famous for writing “Trees,” and the father of five children, including a 5-year-old daughter paralyzed from polio. He didn’t have to fight in France, but he did. He deployed with the Fighting 69th Infantry Brigade just four years after converting to Catholicism.
69th Infantry Brigade
Father Duffy: Times Square Sentinel, Faithful Chaplain of the ‘Fighting 69th’
Father Francis Duffy’s legacy as an influential New Yorker began with his service as the chaplain of the 69th New York Infantry Regiment — the celebrated “Fighting 69th” — during World War I.