View Full Version : The Chapel of the Four Chaplains....

Bubba Dawg
05-22-2009, 09:39 PM
This is a good story for Memorial Day.


Torpedo Alley, just the shear mention of it was enough to strike terror into the heart of soldiers. It was the 1940s, World War II, the latest war to end all wars. America was at what was defined as �total war.� Every sector of American society was focused on winning this war.

Automobile factories stopped making cars. Some built tanks; others built jeeps. Women who had been housewives took up the slack in factories, filling the shoes of men who had enlisted. These women would do as much to win the war as anyone. They would become affectionately known as �Rosie Riveters.�
An American ship, the Dorchester, with 902 soldiers aboard was about to sail through Torpedo Alley. In peace time, the Dorchester had been a luxury liner. But now, in this scenario of total war, the Dorchester was stripped of its amenities and used as a troop transport ship.

Torpedo Alley was a stretch of ocean in the northern Atlantic known to be infested with German subs. Time and again, the Germans would attack American ships in Torpedo Alley. Time and again, American ships and the souls on board would sink into the frigid abyss of the northern Atlantic.
A week out of New York, the captain of the Dorchester receives word: German subs are lurking in Torpedo Alley. His orders: full steam ahead.

On February 2, 1943, in the dark of the night, only 150 miles from its destination of Greenland, a German torpedo would slice though the hull of the Dorchester. The water poured in. The lights went dark. Panic ensued. Every man�s thought was to get to deck.
Amid the chaos would rise four men � four men who spoke calmly, four men who were able to bring a measure of order, four men who, before the night was over, would save many lives and go down in history as the legendary four chaplains.
The four were an unlikely match of fellows: a Catholic priest, a Jewish rabbi, a Methodist minister and a minister from the Dutch reform faith. And as unlikely a match as they were, they had become best of friends. They had gone through chaplain�s training together.

There on the icy deck of the Dorchester, the chaplains gave calming words of encouragement. They handed out life jackets and directed soldiers toward the life boats. And when the life jackets ran out, the chaplains � almost as if in unison, without any discussion � removed their own life jackets and gave them to men who had none.
As the Dorchester sank into the cold northern Atlantic, the four chaplains could be seen on deck from the lifeboats, linked arm and arm, braced against the railing as the waves crashed in over their heads.
- Rabbi Alexander Goode, Pennsylvania, age 32, a wife and three-year-old daughter
- Reverend George Fox, Vermont, age 42, a wife and two children
- Father John Washington, age 32, New Jersey, a large family of eight brothers and sisters
- Reverend Clark Poling, age 30, Ohio, a wife and two children

One observer from a life boat said it was the finest thing he�d seen, this side of heaven.


Eternal Father...