3rd Battalion - K Company
30th Infantry Division
Sgt. Frank DeClerck - Prayer Going Into Battle
Before Sergeant Frank DeClerck left his home in World War II to join the 117th Infantry Regiment, his mother gave him the "Prayer of Kiezer Karel." It was actually at set of four prayers. His mother hand wrote the four prayers for Frank in Flemish, a form of Dutch. Carrying a copy of this prayer would to help alleviate any pain of suffering if he was wounded or dying in battle. This was a Flemish tradition passed on in their new country, America. Sgt. DeClerck always carried the prays with him thought-out Europe in World War II.
The origins of this custom started with Kiezer Karel better known as Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire. Charles V(24 February 1500 – 21 September 1558) was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Clement VII in Bologna in 1530, the last emperor to receive a papal coronation. Brussels served as the Imperial capital until his reign ended in 1556. It was thought that the prayer was given to Charles V by the pope prior to the Battle of Pavia.
Here is a translation of the prayer:
Additional Pages (Click Below)
|Capture of Lieutenant General Kurt von Dittmar|
|From Normandy to the Elbe Booklet|
|Sgt. Frank DeClerck - Prayer Going Into Battle|
|117th Infantry Regiment at the Battle of the Bulge|
|117th Infantry Regiment World War II Photos|
|Combat History of First Lieutenant Cyril B. Spicer of the 117th Infantry Regiment|
|The Breakers, 1942-1943 Yearbook of the 117th Infantry Regiment|
1) Special thanks to William DeClerck, son of Sgt. Frank DeClerck, for his contributions to this Web Site.
2) Conversations between Sgt. Frank DeClerck and Darrel Hagberg in Moline IL, from 1986 - 1992.
3) The 30th Infantry Division Veterans of WWII, http://www.30thinfantry.org/index2.shtml
4) 30th Infantry Division (United States) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/30th_Infantry_Division_(United_States)