Skip to comments.February 3rd - Four Chaplain's Day
Posted on 02/03/2013 10:30:32 AM PST by NKP_Vet
On the frigid night of FEBRUARY 3, 1943, the overcrowded Allied ship U.S.A.T. Dorchester, carrying 902 servicemen, plowed through the dark waters near Greenland.
At 1:00am, a Nazi submarine fired a torpedo into the transport's flank, killing many in the explosion and trapping others below deck.
It sank in 27 minutes.
The two escort ships, Coast Guard cutters Comanche & Escanaba, were able to rescue only 231 survivors.
In the chaos of fire, smoke, oil and ammonia, four chaplains calmed the sailors and distributed lifejackets:
Lt. George L. Fox, Methodist; Lt. Clark V. Poling, Dutch Reformed; Lt. John P. Washington, Roman Catholic; and Lt. Alexander D. Goode, Jewish.
When there were no more lifejackets, the four chaplains ripped off their own and put them on four young men.
As the ship went down, survivors floating in rafts could see the four chaplains linking arms and bracing themselves on the slanting deck.
They bowed their heads in prayer as they sank to their icy deaths.
Congress honored them by declaring this "Four Chaplains Day."
On February 7, 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower spoke from the White House in support of the American Legion Back-to-God Program:
"And we remember that, only a decade ago, aboard the transport Dorchester, four chaplains of four faiths together willingly sacrificed their lives so that four others might live.
In the three centuries that separate the Pilgrims of the Mayflower from the chaplains of the Dorchester, America's freedom, her courage, her strength, and her progress have had their foundation in faith."
(Excerpt) Read more at americanminute.com ...
beautiful, inspiring. thanks for the post.
I am sad to say that the world is differant now.
Thanks. great post!
THANK YOU for posting this! I didn’t know this bit of history and you’ve motivated me to learn more about it. How inspiring it is to read about such valor from true men of God. And to be reminded that until recently we had presidents who could speak of God without derision. This post really made my day and I thank you again!
RIP, heroes and true men of God!
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I learned of them through my stamp collection.