remembering 4 Army chaplains

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends..  John 15: 13

 

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honoring the WWII sacrifice of 4 chaplains (1948)

 

Valor and sacrifice cannot be identified by a gene, nor can someone learn through force of will.   But there are many stories that inspire others.  This is one such story from World War II that also inspires people as an act of faith.

On February 2, 1943, the USS Dorchester was transporting 902 servicemen from Newfoundland to Greenland when it was torpedoed by a German U-boat.   Many of the men were not wearing their life jackets that made it difficult sleeping, and others because the engineering room made their quarters too hot with all their gear on. With the ship power out, the rapid sinking meant many would drown in the icy water.

Four Army chaplains passed their life jackets to others in line.  Lt. George L. Fox, Methodist; Lt. Alexander D. Goode, Jewish; Lt. John P. Washington, Roman Catholic; and Lt. Clark V. Poling, Dutch Reformed perished with 670 of their fellow servicemen.  Survivors reported hearing them singing to encourage the wounded and dying as the ship went down. Many were killed in the explosions and fire from the torpedoes, and the others from exposure and drowning.  Only 230 survived the sinking.

Read more about their sacrifice here.

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