Skip to comments."The Four Immortal Chaplains"
Posted on 02/03/2009 5:28:03 AM PST by incredulous joe
Just after midnight on Feb. 3, 1943, an act of extraordinary unselfishness by a group of men became a legend of martyrdom and sacrifice.
When the Army ship Dorchester was torpedoed by the Germans just south of Greenland that night, its passengers and crew had 25 minutes to get off the boat. As 902 people went for the life jackets, it quickly was discovered there weren't near enough. Of the 13 lifeboats, only two functioned.
In the ship's final minutes, Methodist senior chaplain George Lansing Fox, Rabbi Alexander Goode, Dutch Reformed minister Clark V. Poling and John P. Washington, a Roman Catholic priest, were helping passengers leave the vessel. Then four men appeared, all of them without life jackets.
The chaplains quickly gave up their own vests and went down with the ship, perishing in the freezing water. Survivors saw them, locked arm in arm, praying and singing the Navy hymn, "Eternal Father, Strong to Save" just before the ship dove beneath the waves.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
It's worthwhile getting to know Reverends Fox and Poling, Rabbi Goode and Father Washington and their story of courage and sacrifice.
In these times, people of faith will need to draw together in spite of their differences, and without compromise of their individual doctrine, to get our nation back on the right track and to do so in service to our common Creator.
I remember, as a child, 45+ years ago, a mural on the wall of the YMWHA (that would be Young Men and Women’s Hebrew Association) of Pittsburgh depicting this incident in World War II. It was an inspiring story then and still is today.
The building now belongs to the University of Pittsburgh, and I wonder if that mural is still there.
There is actually a public school in central PA (York), where Rabbi Goode was from, which is named after him.
The book that I mentioned said that there is a mosaic in the school which even has a bit of scripture in it.
Hopefully, the students are not victims of the whole “separation of church and state scam” and they know who the school is named after.
“The building now belongs to the University of Pittsburgh, and I wonder if that mural is still there.”
I wonder if there might be any Pittsburg FReeps who might know ~ they may be still celebrating!
I remember this from my stamp collection.
I never knew the story of The Immortal Chaplains. Thanks for posting. “No greater love . . . .”
If someone does go in there, it was on the second floor in a big open area in the front of the building (facing Bellefield Avenue).
I found the answer to my own question: the mural was moved when the Jewish Community Center moved:
Pittsburgh had its own symbol of remembrance. A large, dramatic mural commemorating the chaplains, commissioned by philanthropist Hyman Rogal and dedicated in 1956, hung for many years in the former Jewish Community Center on Bellefield Avenue in Oakland. It has since been transferred to the new JCC building in Squirrel Hill.
To read a 65th anniversary article about the chaplains and see the mural, go to:
Thank you for the post and the image of the stamp. I was hoping some one would post it.