I got around to this late. It has been a little crazy around here. You’ll see why in another post. Today is the anniversary of the sinking of the Dorchester.
The Four Chaplains, also sometimes referred to as the “Immortal Chaplains” or the “Dorchester Chaplains”, were four United States Army chaplains who gave their lives to save other civilian and military personnel as the troop ship SS Dorchester sank on February 3, 1943, during World War II. They helped other soldiers board lifeboats and gave up their own life jackets when the supply ran out. The chaplains joined arms, said prayers, and sang hymns as they went down with the ship.
The relatively new chaplains all held the rank of first lieutenant. They included Methodist minister the Reverend George L. Fox, Reform Rabbi Alexander D. Goode (Ph.D.), Roman Catholic priest Father John P. Washington, and Reformed Church in America minister the Reverend Clark V. Poling. Their backgrounds, personalities, and denominations were different, although Goode, Poling and Washington had all served as leaders in the Boy Scouts of America. They met at the Army Chaplains School at Harvard University, where they prepared for assignments in the European theater, sailing on board Dorchester to report to their new assignments.
Today we remember the self-less sacrifice of these chaplains, who served God and Country.