Police Officer Charles Aloysius Prendergast

Police Officer Charles Aloysius Prendergast

Philadelphia Police Department, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Sunday, October 20, 1918

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Charles Aloysius Prendergast

Police Officer Charles Prendergast died as a result of complications of Spanish Influenza while acting as a stretcher-bearer for Spanish Influenza victims.

Officer Prendergast and seven other officers volunteered to be stretcher-bearers at various hospitals in the city after the department had made a request for volunteers due to the impact of the Spanish Influenza. Officer Prendergast had fallen ill shortly after the assignment and died at his home due to complications of the Spanish Influenza.

Due to the devastation of the Spanish Influenza pandemic, Philadelphia Police districts were used as makeshift hospitals. Police officers were ordered to fill and deliver prescriptions, act as pallbearers of victims, placard homes, collect bodies of victims of homes, assist doctors and health officers, and make sure establishments were closed and following guidelines to stop the spread of the flu.

Police Officer Prendergast was a U.S. Army veteran and had served with the Philadelphia Police Department for more than 10 years. He was survived by his wife and infant son. Officer Prendergast was attached to the 29th Police District.


Effects of Spanish Flu on Law Enforcement

From 1918 to early 1919, the Spanish Flu pandemic infected an estimated 500 million people worldwide—about one-third of the planet’s population—and killed approximately 675,000 Americans. Many officers contracted this virus due to the requirements of their job.

The names of every officer who died in the line of duty from the Spanish Flu will likely never be known, but ODMP researchers continue to uncover new cases as part of our mission to never forget the fallen.

Please click here to view ODMP's Spanish Flu memorial listing all known fallen officers from the pandemic.

Bio

  • Age 37
  • Tour 10 years, 1 month
  • Badge 2972
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Duty related illness
  • Incident Date Sunday, October 13, 1918

communicable disease, Spanish Influenza

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“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."
Matthew 5:9

Chris Di Gerolamo
Federal Air Marshal Service

December 22, 2021

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