Army Chaplain Markus Lohrmann - "a very compassionate and caring person; a very loving person; a very Godly man"
BRIAN ALBRECHT | Cleveland Plain Dealer (USA)
BROADVIEW HEIGHTS, Ohio – Two years ago on an Easter afternoon, Marcia Luecke waded into the waters off a Pacific island beach where her father had died during World War II, and honoured the sacrifice of a man she never knew.
Luecke was only 18 months old when her father Markus Lohrmann, an Army chaplain, leaped into the waters off Goodenough Island in Papua New Guinea on 6 March 1944.
Lohrmann had been aboard a small boat with other soldiers when the engine suddenly quit. They were unable to radio back to their base for help.
As the craft drifted, potentially toward Japanese-held waters, the chaplain offered to swim to their base on the island.
Two other men joined him, but when the soldiers reached the beach, the chaplain was not among them.
They swam back and found his body. Efforts to resuscitate Lohrmann on the beach failed.
Seventy-three years later his daughter stood on that very same beach, the highlight of a journey that included evading a crocodile, and a forced, emergency helicopter landing.
But it was important for her to be there.
“I was never able to be with him, so I wanted to at least be at the last place he was, where he was called to heaven,” she recently said.