He wasn't expected to participate in the fighting because naturally he didn't carry any form of weapon (with the exception of a crucifix, which only works on vampires), so he found a small frontline aid station and began ministering to the wounded. When American units in the area came under attack and had to retreat, the wounded who couldn't be moved had to be left behind. Sampson decided to stay with them, where, despite absurd amounts of danger, he continued to tend to the injured soldiers.
"I'm pretty sure God's got my back on this one."
Unfortunately for everyone, some of the German troops who took over the aid station were Waffen SS and they, being despicable cockholes at the best of times, decided to put Sampson up against a wall and shoot him.
Fortunately, a German Army non-commissioned officer saw what was going on and rescued Sampson, taking him to an intelligence post, ostensibly for interrogation. There he was found to be a priest and therefore not someone the Germans really needed to be threatened by. They let him go, at which point he ran away to join the Allies ... oh, no, wait. He calmly returned to the Nazi-occupied aid station, where he went back to administering to the wounded. The wounded, by the way, now included lots of Germans, to whom he ministered all the same.
"Jesus loves black leather trench coats, but he thoroughly rejects the rest of Nazi ideology."
After the aid station was retaken, Sampson heard of an American soldier whose three brothers had all been reported killed in the same week (although one was actually a POW and survived the war). Moving quickly, he instigated the search for the fourth brother, Fritz Niland. Sampson went out, found him and brought him back to Utah Beach, where he was evacuated back to the States. Does that story sound familiar? It should, because it served as the plot for Saving Private Ryan, where the part of Father Sampson was played by an entire squad of rangers.
"What, no stirring soundtrack? Go back and rescue me again."
Sampson went on to jump with the 101st in Holland later that year, where he was captured again and spent the rest of the war in captivity. Then he got out and ... went right back to war, jumping into Korea. When that was over and Vietnam came along, he was of course on board for that, too, taking the position of Chief of Chaplains.
What the hell was he going to do, stay home?
Check out more men (and a lady) who were impervious to death in 7 Historical Figures Who Were Absurdly Hard To Kill or, for people who opted to just spit in Death's face, read The 11 Most Badass Last Words Ever Uttered.
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