Chaplain’s Corner

Four Chaplains

Greater love has no one than this to lay down ones life for ones friends

February 3, 1943 the USS Dorchester was pushing treacherous water know as Torpedo Alley with 900 American service when it was hit by a torpedo. The missile struck the boiler room mid-ship exploding in the boiler room. Many on board died instantly, other were trapped below deck, the ship taking on water rapidly. Because of security reasons it prevented use of radio or distress flares so escort vessels close pushed on unaware the Dorchester was sinking.

On deck, Army Chaplains George I. Box, Alexander D. Goodie, Clark W. Poling, and John O. Washington moved about calming frightened and bewildered soldiers, getting them to life boats and distributing life jackets. Soon the supply of life jackets were exhausted and yet four young soldiers, afraid and without life jackets, stood waiting. Quickly the chaplains stripped their own jackets and forced them upon the young soldiers. 

Four men of God, one Catholic, one Jewish, and two Protestants, had given their means of saving themselves in order to save others.

Men rowing away from the sinking ship saw the Chaplains cling to each other, their arms were linked together, their heads were bowed, and they prayed to the one God whom each of them loved and served. 

The Dorchester sank beneath the icy waters of the North Atlantic, carrying with it four chaplains and 668 servicemen.