On Feb. 3, 1943, the USAT Dorchester was stuck by an enemy torpedo. The blast and its aftermath instantly or almost immediately after killed many onboard. Others died while in the cold, turbulent waters of the north Atlantic Ocean. Lifejackets were in short supply. The four chaplains aboard, two Protestants, one Catholic and one Jew, either gave or forced upon crew members their own lifejackets. Then, as the ship was sinking, they gathered together, arms linked, prayed and sang hymns. One witness said, â€œIt was the finest thing I have ever seen, or hope to see, this side of heaven. On Saturday, American Legion Post 30 held a service at Gainsville Baptist Church commemorating the 64th anniversary of this noble, sacrificial act of four men laying down their lives so that others might live.
(Editorâ€™s note: Much of the information in this article supplied by The Chapel of Four Chaplains.)
About The Chapel of Four Chaplains
The Chapel of Four Chaplains is a non-profit organization that among numerous activities, honors the sacrifice of the four chaplains; assists survivors and family members of the Dorchester; conducts youth programs; awards scholarships; and advises in the development and construction of interfaith memorials and chapels throughout the U.S.
The Chapel of the Four Chaplains is located at 1201 Constitution Ave., Philadelphia Naval Business Center, Building 649, Philadelphia, Pa. 19112. Its phone number is (215) 218-1943. Visit:
www.fourchaplains.org, or email:firstname.lastname@example.org
by Special to the LTN