John H. Eastwood

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John H. Eastwood
John H. and Shirley Eastwood.jpg
John & Shirley Eastwood, circa 1941
Born John H. Eastwood
(1911-05-12)May 12, 1911
Pawnee County, Nebraska
Died February 13, 2007(2007-02-13) (aged 95)
Munster, Indiana
Education B.A. Tarkio College
D.D. Princeton Theological Seminary
Occupation Evangelist, Chaplain
Spouse(s) Shirley Eastwood (m. 1941–2007)
(his death)
Religion Presbyterian
Writings Pastoral Counseling in the Parish Setting
Bees, Sparrows, Old Prince, and The Prince of Peace
The Wonder of Grace
Offices held
Chaplain, United States Army Air Corps
Title Doctor

John H. Eastwood (May 12, 1911 – February 13, 2007) was an author, seminary professor, army chaplain,[1] and church pastor in the United States. He grew up in rural Nebraska and earned a Doctor of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1941.[2] He served in the United States Army 464th Bombardment Group during World War II,[3] starting at Herington Army Airfield and later in Italy. His final position was as the pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Hammond, Indiana,[4] a church that he led to triple in size during his leadership.[5]

"Our future is made sacred by their sacrifice."--Chaplain John H. Eastwood to the 464th's surviving airmen just after V-E Day 1945[6]

Airman's prayer[edit]

Eastwood delivered (and likely wrote) before every mission what became known as the "Airman's Prayer".[1] In 1943, several of these verses were added to the Navy Hymn.[7]

God guard and guide us as we fly
Through the great spaces of the sky;
Be with us as we take to air
In morning light and sunshine fair.
Eternal Father, strong to save,
Give us courage and make us brave;
Protect us whereso'er we go,
From shell and flak and fire and foe.
Most loved member of our crew.
Ride with us up in the blue.
Direct our bombs upon the foe
But shelter those whom Thou dost know.
Keep us together on our way,
Grant our work success today.
Deliver us from hate and sin,
And bring us safely down again.
O God protect us as we fly
Through lonely ways across the sky.[8]


Eastwood published at least three books during his lifetime, all related to Christianity and Christian counseling.[9]

Title Year Type Pages Notes
Pastoral Counseling in the Parish Setting 1981 hardback 236
Bees, Sparrows, Old Prince, and The Prince of Peace 1989 hardback 166
The Wonder of Grace 1995 hardback 172


  1. ^ a b Shepherd, Raymond F. On Wings of the Wind. pp. 62–64. 
  2. ^ "SEMINARY TO GIVE 71 DEGREES TODAY; Princeton Theological to Hold 129th Commencement". New York Times. May 13, 1941. Retrieved March 20, 2012. 
  3. ^ "The Last Sortie: John H. Eastwood". The 464th in WWII. Retrieved March 20, 2012. 
  4. ^ "The History of a People". Covenant Presbyterian Church. Retrieved March 20, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Church Triples Its Space". Chicago Tribune. November 26, 1961. Retrieved March 20, 2012. 
  6. ^ "My Father's Story: Staff Sgt. John T. Dempsey". Family Veterans of World War II. Retrieved September 24, 2012. 
  7. ^ "The Navy Hymn". United States Navy. Retrieved September 30, 2012. 
  8. ^ "For Our Morale: An Airman's Prayer". The 464th in WWII. Retrieved September 30, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Search Author: John H. Eastwood". Google Books. Retrieved September 24, 2012.