Re: Four Chaplains Day! - Forwarded!
- The life jackets the four chaplains surrendered wouldn't have been of any help to them, unless they were required wear for admission to a lifeboat. With air and water temperatures near freezing, everyone not in a lifeboat died of hypothermia anyway, the life jackets merely serving to keep the bodies afloat until they could be recovered.
--- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com, "rlbaty50" wrote:
> Tomorrow is a national holiday that will probably pass unnoticed. No, not
> Super Bowl Sunday; that's more like a High Holy Day.
> I'm referring to Four
> Chaplains Day, memorializing an event that occurred 70 years ago, on
> February 3, 1943.
> Shortly after midnight, the USAT Dorchester, with 904
> troops and crew aboard, was torpedoed by a German submarine off the coast of
> Only 230 of those aboard survived, with most of the casualties
> dying of hypothermia.
> George L. Fox lied about his age to enlist in the Army during WWI where he
> was awarded several medals, including the Purple Heart. He was ordained a
> Methodist minister in 1934, and reentered the Army as a Chaplain in 1942.
> Alexander D. Goode was a Jewish Rabbi and the son of a Rabbi. He was
> educated at Hebrew Union College and earned the PhD at Johns Hopkins. After
> Pearl Harbor he volunteered as an Army Chaplain.
> Clark V. Poling was the son of a Baptist minister. Educated at Yale Divinity
> School, he volunteered as an Army Chaplain because he wanted to face the
> same dangers other men were facing.
> John P. Washington, a Catholic priest, was educated at Seton Hall and
> Immaculate Conception Seminary.
> When the Dorchester, originally a cruise ship designed to carry 400
> passengers and crew, was torpedoed, many troops were trapped below decks and
> confusion reigned.
> The Four Chaplains quickly began to restore calm, escort
> the troops to the top deck, and see that they had life jackets and a place
> in the lifeboats.
> When the life jackets were all gone, the four men took off
> their own jackets and gave them to the troops.
> When they were last seen,
> they were standing arm-in-arm, saying prayers, and singing hymns as they
> went down with the ship. All four were First Lieutenants, newly graduated
> from Army Chaplain School at Harvard, and on their way to their first
> European assignments.
> All were awarded the Purple Heart posthumously, but
> were denied the Medal of Honor on the technicality that they were not under
> fire while performing their heroic deeds.
> Two Protestant pastors, a Rabbi, and a priest. I will remember those heroes
> tomorrow when I look in the mirror and wonder....