The Diocese of Upper South Carolina reports:
On October 30, the Still Hopes Retirement Community hosted a ceremony to honor the Reverend Canon George Chassey for his outstanding military service.
Father Chassey served in the United States Air Force as crew chief in the 354th fighter group. The 97-year-old helped open the first fighter strip in France and helped liberate a concentration camp near the end of the second World War. He was a participant in D-Day, having gone to France by way of Omaha Beach on that day. At one stage in the action, his aircraft flew 100 missions without mechanical failure.
Major General Scott J. Zobrist presented him the Commander’s Coin for Excellence and a certificate of thanks for his service. In turn, General Zobrist received a model of the P-51 Mustang, the fighter on which Chassey served as crew chief.
Although it was his meticulousness that allowed the P-51 to complete missions time and time again, Father Chassey would not let us forget those who did not live to tell their story.
“I still remember vividly,” Father Chassey told WIS-TV.
“You can’t forget when you strap a young man in a cockpit, pat him on the shoulder, and say ‘I’ll be here when you get back,’ and he didn’t come back. That happened more than once.”
Father Chassey served as an Episcopal priest for 30 years, serving in California and South Carolina. He retired as Canon to the Bishop of the Diocese of Upper South Carolina. He then served at Still Hopes in various capacities, among them, the Director of Development.