The Four Chaplains


“Anyone who has sailed the North Atlantic in winter knows its weather and its waters can be unforgiving. The U.S. Army transport vessel Dorchester was bound for Greenland with 902 servicemen aboard when a torpedo rammed into its starboard side, exploding in the boiler room.

“In the next few minutes 668 men would perish, including four chaplains. The chaplains helped load men into the lifeboat, handing out life jackets and, when there were no more to hand out surrendering their own life jackets to the young soldiers abandoning the rapidly sinking ship. The “Four Chaplains” became an enduring symbol of the chaplaincy and are memorialized every year at American Legion posts across the country. The chaplains were Catholic priest John Washington, Jewish rabbi Alexander Goode, and two Protestant pastors, a Methodist named George Fox and a Dutch Reformed minister named Clark Poling.”