Chaplain's Hill Project

Telling the stories of almost 250 U.S. Military Chaplains who lost their lives in the service to the nation

Zerfas, Mathias E.

Basic Biographical Details

Branch: U.S. Army
Conflict: World War II
Monument: Catholic
Born: 5/27/1908
Hometown: Twin Lakes
Home State: Wisconsin
Last place of Worship:
Date of Death: Conflicting dates: Some sources list 12/15/1944 while others list 1/9/1945
Resting Place: died at sea on the Japanese POW ship, Oryoky Maru
Military Honors: Purple Heart
POW (Y/N) Yes


Background

 

According to the Knights of Columbus Website for Found du Lac Council 664 which was renamed after Father Mathias Zerfus, he was a chaplain for the CCC in Wisconsin, an assistant priest for St.Marys Catholic church in Fond du Lac and was a military chaplain during WWII.

According to the Website, WisconsinHistoricalMarkers.com Father Zerfus survived the infamous, horrific Bataan Death March. While a prisoner he celebrated Mass and cared for the sick even though weak himself and literally starving to death. He conducted convert classes and led night prayers and a daily rosary. Father Zerfas was killed when the POW ship moving him was mistakenly attacked by U.S. warplanes.


From Military Historical Documents

 

 


Photos/Videos

 


Documents

 


Information from family & friends

 


Links

Father Matthias Zerfes Chaplain US Army Memorial at American Legion Post 544, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin 53181.

National Archives Database of World War II Prisoners of War Data File, 12/7/1941 – 11/19/1946


 

Related entries

Chaplains Hill Project © 2018