Whitworth Veterans History

Captain Frank Tiffany (Chaplain) - Army

Tiffany Senior Profile

Tiffany Chapel

Tiffany Bio

Frank Tiffany was born in 1898 in South Dakota and grew up mostly in Alberta, Canada. Tiffany joined the Royal Air Force in 1918 during World War I and served out the year on a Canadian base as an airplane mechanic.  Tiffany’s uncle, Orin Tiffany was dean at Whitworth in the 1920s which drew Tiffany to Spokane. While at Whitworth he played football, wrote for the newspaper and saw the original Ballard Hall burn down in 1927. At some point he must have become a Canadian citizen because in 1926, he declared for American Citizenship. After he graduated in 1929 he went to seminary at Princeton and joined ROTC. From there he served several churches in North Dakota and Sandpoint, Idaho. At the outbreak of WWII Tiffany was sent to serve in the Philippines as a chaplain. He ended up ministering at Camp O’Donnell which was the final stop for American and Filipino prisoners of war after the Bataan Death March. Once at Camp O’Donnell an estimated 2,200 Americans and 27,000 Filipinos died, adding to the tragedy of the 6,000-10,000 POWs who had died during the Death March.

As chaplain, Tiffany served in this unhuman enviroment and helped organize underground work in order to secure food and medicine for hundreds of suffering prisoners. Eventually his covert work was discovered and he was imprisoned and likely tortured. Chaplain Tiffany lost his life aboard a Japanese prisoner of war ship which was mistakenly torpedoed by US forces in 1944. His widow joined Whitworth’s education faculty in 1949.  Tiffany Chapel would be named in honor of Tiffany’s life of selfless service. Tiffany Chapel became Whitworth Community Presbyterian Church and is still present after the church building grew around it in a reception room named Tiffany Hall.