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  2005-02-03 Four Chaplains—62nd anniversary
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2005 blog


62nd anniversary of Four Chaplains
recalled in House of Representatives
,  Feb. 3, 2005

U.S. Rep. Todd Russell Platts (R-Penn) has recalled the 62nd anniversary of the fabled Four Chaplains who died together on Feb. 3, 1943, following the torpedoing of the USS Dorchester. One of those chaplains, Rabbi Alexander Goode, had been a resident of Platts' hometown of York, Penn.

Platts on Feb. 1 related on the floor of the House of Representatives that the Dorchester "was torpedoed in the icy waters off the coast of Greenland. Over 900 men were on board. Only 230 survived. Many of the survivors recounted the story of the heroic actions of four chaplains of different faiths: A Jewish rabbi, Lieutenant Alexander Goode, from York, Pennsylvania, my hometown; a Catholic priest, Lieutenant John Washington; and two Protestant ministers, Lieutenants George Fox and Clark Poling. 

"These four servants of God spent the 18 minutes of the Dorchester's sinking, their last 18 minutes in this life, helping their fellow human beings to safety. When there were no more life jackets to hand out, the chaplains removed their own and gave them to four shipmates. The four chaplains were last seen on the hull of the ship arm and arm in prayer as the ship sank into the icy waters. 

"There is no greater example of love than the four chaplains' selfless service to and sacrifice for their fellow human beings. A love that did not discriminate based on race or creed. A love that required the ultimate of sacrifices." 

  Donald H. Harrison