Newsline

Newsline , Society

The Four Chaplains: They Died So That Others Could Live

Posted on Friday, January 29, 2021
|
by The Association of Mature American Citizens
|
12 Comments

WASHINGTON, DC, Jan 29 – “If you believe in anything, believe in these four guys and the ultimate sacrifices they made for their country.  They died saving the lives of hapless servicemen aboard a sinking troop carrier attacked at sea on February 3, 1943.  They are the Four Chaplains and on Wednesday, February 3, a date set aside by Congress in their honor, we can pay homage to their selfless deed privately with a simple prayer of remembrance or publicly at multi-faith memorial services,” explains Rebecca Weber, CEO of the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC].

The United States Army Transport SS Dorchester was part of a convoy that departed New York City on January 23, 1943 carrying war materials and, more important, a holdful of troops.  World War II was well underway and the thought of engaging in the fight must have been daunting for the 904 servicemen on board, not to mention that the convoy was on high alert on the lookout for Nazi submarines out hunting in wolf packs.

The convoy was in the North Atlantic, off the coast of Newfoundland.  Because of the danger of a surprise attack, the GIs were ordered to sleep in their uniforms and life jackets.  But many of them disobeyed that command, making themselves more comfortable by removing their bulky flotation devices and were caught unprepared when their ship was attacked in the middle of the night.

A torpedo fired by the German submarine U-223 hit its target and, as one report put it: “four Army chaplains brought hope in despair and light in darkness: Lt. George L. Fox [Methodist], Lt. Alexander D. Goode [Jewish], Lt. John P. Washington [Roman Catholic] and Lt. Clark V. Poling [Dutch Reformed].  As the ship sank and life jackets ran out, the chaplains removed theirs and gave them to four frightened young men.  Men in nearby rafts saw the chaplains, arms linked and braced against the slanting deck, praying aloud.  That night, they became an enduring example of extraordinary faith, courage and selflessness.”

The attack on the Dorchester resulted in what has been called, “the worst single loss of American personnel in any American convoy during the war.”

Four Chaplains Day is an official commemoration sanctioned by Congress in 1988 when the legislative branch officially established the observance.  Flags are flown at half-mast and ceremonies are held throughout the nation, most notably at the more than 1,663 American Legion posts nationwide.  Visit the Legion’s Four Chaplains 2021 observance site located on the Web at: https://www.legion.org/honor/251626/78-years-remembering-bravery-four-army-chaplains for more information.

Share this article:
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
12 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
020421 – San Jose Police Benevolent Association

[…] WASHINGTON, DC, Jan 29 – “If you believe in anything, believe in these four guys and the ultimate sacrifices they made for their country.  They died saving the lives of hapless servicemen aboard a sinking troop carrier attacked at sea on February 3, 1943.  They are the Four Chaplains and on Wednesday, February 3, a date set aside by Congress in their honor, we can pay homage to their selfless deed privately with a simple prayer of remembrance or publicly at multi-faith memorial services,” explains Rebecca Weber, CEO of the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC]. See Full Story HERE […]

rafael DE ECHEANDIA
rafael DE ECHEANDIA
3 years ago

I WAS THE CHAPLAIN’S YEOMAN ON THE BATTLESHIP USS IOWA BB-61 AND HAVE PERSONNALLY OBSERVD THIS KIND OF BEHAVIOR. GOD BLESS THEM ALL!!!

John Gawaluck
John Gawaluck
3 years ago

I enjoy these articles about our American heroes and historical facts–especially during these times of high anxiety!!

Centurion
Centurion
3 years ago

As a Life Member of the American Legion I am pleased to see AMAC cite the Legion as a reference. I have been tapped by the local American Legion District to be a participant in the District’s memorial remembrance of the Four Chaplains.

Howard Daniel Soper
Howard Daniel Soper
3 years ago

I am glad to read the article about the four service chaplains-they were self-sacrificial, making sure the soldiers were going to be safe.

Janet Poling
Janet Poling
3 years ago

Thank you for this story. I get very emotional when I read it. Clark Poling is on my husband’s side of the family. Four brave men…heroes.

Jeffrey Blair
Jeffrey Blair
3 years ago

Now this is what faith and service is about. The importance of religion in the armed forces is critical in times of crisis and combat. God bless their souls. There isn’t a soldier, sailor, airman or marine that doesn’t appreciate what these chaplains did.

Gloria P. Sterling
Gloria P. Sterling
3 years ago

I was just short of my 12th birthday and remember it well.

Judy Jamison
Judy Jamison
3 years ago

I had read about the four chaplains before, but it’s always good to see honor and recognition for those who live out their faith. And I’d like to think that even people who don’t ascribe to Judeo-Christian faith would be inspired anyway just learning about such selflessness. May they rest in peace.

Donna Wofford
Donna Wofford
3 years ago

What a sacrifice! Yes,proud to honor them !

Mary
Mary
3 years ago

Happy to see US Army Chaplins remembered for their faith and their love of the troops. No greater love………

An older blonde women laughing in the kitchen with a grey haired man.
AMAC’s Medicare Advisory Service
The knowledge, guidance, and choices of coverage you’re looking for. The exceptional service you deserve.
The AMAC App on 3 different iPhone
Download the AMAC App
The AMAC App is the place to go for insightful news wherever you are and whenever you want.
President Joe Biden holds a press conference at the JW Marriot Hotel Hanoi, Sunday, September 10, 2023 in Hanoi, Vietnam. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)
Railroad worker with adjustable wrench on railway in spring in summer day
Vote here sign board placed near polling booth for showing direction to voters showing with copy space
Pro-life supporters holding a banner wlak in annual March for Life

Stay informed! Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter.

"*" indicates required fields

12
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x

Subscribe to AMAC Daily News and Games