History of The United States Army's 117th Infantry Regiment

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.

Pope Clement VII and Emperor Charles V on horseback under a canopy, by Jacopo Ligozzic. 1580. It describes the entry of the Pope and the Emperor into Bologna in 1530.


Here is a translation of the prayer:




Additional Pages (Click Below)


117th Infantry Regiment's Military Personnel Records Destroyed

Order of Battle for the 30th Infantry Division

Campaigns in European Theater of War

Significant Combat Events of the 117th Infantry Regiment

Capture of Lieutenant General Kurt von Dittmar
From Normandy to the Elbe Booklet
Sgt. Frank DeClerck - Prayer Going Into Battle

K Company Roster - 117th Infantry Regiment - June 1944 - August 1945

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)




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Copyrighted 2007 by Darrel R Hagberg. All rights reserved.

Moline, Illinois U.S.A.

September 18, 2019

Contact darrelrhagberg@gmail.com for more information