Look Out Below by Father Francis Sampson

Has anyone ever read this book? It’s probably hard to find now.

I am a big WWII buff, especially when it comes to American Paratroopers and really thoroughly enjoyed this one.

It’s by Father Francis Sampson who was the Catholic Chaplain during WWII for the 501st Parachute Infantry regiment, 101st Airborne Division. It’s his story about his service during WWII with also a small section about his service in the Korean War as well. Father Sampson has a really enjoyable story telling style that I think you will enjoy, and if you enjoy war stories as I do then you will definitely enjoy his book. He is a personal hero of mine. Anyone read this or heard of him before? I highly recommend it. You can find used copies still on Amazon I believe.

I love stories like this and I just ordered it from Amazon…thanks for the recommendation! Have you read the story of Father Capodanno (The Grunt Padre)? It’s Vietnam, I think, not WWII, but really inspiring.

My Dad is a WWII vet. He’s not Catholic, but he told me that he admired the Catholic chaplains–during the war he remembers that they were out on the front lines, while all the other chaplains hung back, and he was amazed at their bravery, and how they served every soldier, regardless of his religion.

You’ll find from the book that this was definitely true for Father Sampson. He jumped into Normandy with the 501st PIR on D-Day morning. Behind enemy lines.

He also won the Distinguished Service Cross for a really incredible story that you will also read in the book. He was a very brave and very Godly man, as attested by some 501st PIR WWII veterans that I have met who came into contact with him and knew him personally. Hope you enjoy!

PS- tell your Dad I said thank you and God bless for his service. I have a great respect and admiration for all veterans, but especially WWII vets.

Thank you so much for your kind words to my Dad! I’m looking forward to reading the book. Have a very blessed Christmas!

Just wanted to brag on my Dad a little bit :slight_smile: He was in the last unit of horse cavalry – they were called the “Marsmen”–they were sent into Burma to relieve Merrill’s Marauders.

Father Francis Sampson is mentioned on page 137 of Cornelius Ryan’s famed book on D-Day, “The Longest Day” (also made into a John Wayne movie). The story of his complicated landing & him losing & attempting to retrieve his mass kit or so touching, I actually highlighted the paragraph & wrote “WOW” at the end.
“The Longest Day.” Padge 137.


P.S. You can indeed pick up a copy of his autobiography on Amazon:


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