Is a "waxman" another term for a naval ship's chaplain?


Dan Kappes

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I've recently watched the movie USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage and there are a few scenes in which the ship's chaplain is called "waxman". The character is also referred to as "waxman" in the end credits. He is played by Brian Presley in the film.

Is this common naval jargon for a naval ship's chaplain? I can't seem to find any information online about it.
 

Dave Gittins

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I think you'll find that Waxman is the name of a fictional character in the movie. There's no Waxman in the real crew list. It's quite a common name and that's how it's listed in the cast list. A real chaplain was Thomas Conroy. There may have been another.
 
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Dan Kappes

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I think you'll find that Waxman is the name of a fictional character in the movie. There's no Waxman in the real crew list. It's quite a common name and that's how it's listed in the cast list. A real chaplain was Thomas Conroy. There may have been another.
Now I remember that Brian Presley talked about the real chaplain on the Indianapolis in a making-of featurette about the film on the dvd and the real chaplain's photo was seen at the end of the film before the credits with a caption stating that the US Navy denied him a post-humorous Navy cross.
 
May 3, 2005
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I've recently watched the movie USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage and there are a few scenes in which the ship's chaplain is called "waxman". The character is also referred to as "waxman" in the end credits. He is played by Brian Presley in the film.

Is this common naval jargon for a naval ship's chaplain? I can't seem to find any information online about it.
Speaking from my limited Naval Service.,:
In the USN ( 4 years active Duty with only a little over 2 years SeaDuty) I can definitely state that I had never heard a Navy Chaplain refered to as "Waxman" so the last name of Chaplain on the USS Indianapolis must have just been Waxman as explained in previous posts.
He might have been known as "Chaplain Waxman"aboard ship, which was the usual manner.
If he was a Roman Catholic or Protestant Episcopalian Priest he might have been called " Father Waxman"
I'm not sure about the Navy but I believe Chaplains in the other branches of the military are sometimes called "Padre".

This is bit "far out" but maybe "Waxman" might have been a nickname since he might have burned lighted candles at their religious services aboard the ship.

At any rate the name might have been changed to "Waxman" in the movie for some reason to avoid the real name as has been done in many movies.
For example :
"Maude Young" ( Thelma Ritter) in the 1953 movie "Titanic". The character is said to be "loosely based on" that of Mrs Margaret Brown.
 
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May 3, 2005
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I've recently watched the movie USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage and there are a few scenes in which the ship's chaplain is called "waxman". The character is also referred to as "waxman" in the end credits. He is played by Brian Presley in the film.

Is this common naval jargon for a naval ship's chaplain? I can't seem to find any information online about it.
Also many movies are noted for their lack of authentisy.
From some comments of viewers,the movie seems to be one of the worst.
 
May 3, 2005
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"Rotten Tomatoes" gave the movie a 17% rating (out of 0% to 100%) one of the very worst in their listings of "worst movies."
 
May 3, 2005
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Now I remember that Brian Presley talked about the real chaplain on the Indianapolis in a making-of featurette about the film on the dvd and the real chaplain's photo was seen at the end of the film before the credits with a caption stating that the US Navy denied him a post-humorous Navy cross.
Incidentally term is "posthumous".....not "post-humorous".
 

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