Utah, WWI, World War I, Calvin S. Smith, Joseph F. Smith, U.S. Army, soldier, chaplain, Camp Lewis, battlefield, France, Belgium, Armistice, war, poison gas, Latter-day Saints, Mormon, officer, lieutenant, burials, Church president's son, 91st Division, 362 Infantry Regiment, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


This article shares the World War I experiences of Chaplain Calvin S. Smith, son of Latter-day Saint Church President Joseph F. Smith. From 1910-1913 he served as a missionary from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Chaplain Smith was one of three Latter-day Saint chaplains who served in WWI. After commissioning, he reported for service to Camp Lewis, Washington. He saw extensive combat during three major offensives: St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne, and Lys-Scheldt with service in France and Belgium. He was wounded twice. This article portrays the daily combat life of an American division chaplain, burial duty, support operations, as well as humorous experiences.

Original Publication Citation

Kenneth L. Alford, "Calvin S. Smith: 'Utah’s Fighting Chaplain'," Utah Historical Quarterly 86, no. 3 (Summer 2018), 254-269.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Utah State Historical Society




Religious Education


Church History and Doctrine

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor