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1,500 U.S. Jewish Airmen Hold Rosh Hashonah Services in Guam; Print Special Prayer Book

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Rosh Hashonah services were held here under the doms of an airplane hanger that has just been completed to house B-29 Superfortresses. Against the background of B-29s, and surrounded inside and outside the hangar by the giant aircraft, 1,500 men prayed for a new year of “Peace to him who is far off and to him that is near.”

It was the first Rosh Hashonah on Guam for the B-29 personnel. For many it will be the last. Tears mingled with prayers and joyous hope; farewells and adieux were exchanged with the lucky ones who may soon be on their way home.

The job of converting the hangar into a house of worship for the Jewish members of the 20th Air Force based on Guam was delegated by the Commanding General to an engineer-officer. Although he was not Jewish, he and his men, representing all faiths, built seats, a pulpit, the Holy Ark for the Scrolls, installed special lighting and public address systems. Synagogue decorations lent the final touches. The house designed for planes was an inspiring House of Prayer.

Printing presses which formerly turned out maps and charts for the B-29 missions printed a souvenir prayer book, a beautifully designed supplement to the Jewish Welfare Board Machzor. Chaplain David I. Cedarbaum of the 20th Air Force officiated at the services Edward Mogilefsky of Brooklyn and David Weg of New York City led the choir. Henry Shaw of Cincinnati, who plays the French horn in the band, mastered the intricacies of the Shofar.

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