Fifty years ago this month, the Italian-American Society in Indianapolis decided to restore the Chapel in the Meadow in the Atterbury Fish and Wildlife Area.
The chapel had been built 20 years earlier by Italian prisoners of war and dedicated in the autumn of 1943. So this fall also marks the 70th anniversary of the chapel itself.
In 1943, during World War II, about 3,000 Italian prisoners of war captured in North Africa were brought to the POW camp at Camp Atterbury near Edinburgh. Being Catholic, they sought permission to build a chapel where they could pray and celebrate Mass. Using scrounged materials and paint and even their own blood, they erected and decorated the 11-foot by 16-foot open-front chapel. It included an altar and artwork inside.