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Photos: Back to God Four Chaplains Remembrance Ceremony

Ceremony held at Temple Beth El in Patchogue.

The Back To God Four Chaplains Remembrance Ceremony took place at Temple Beth El of Patchogue on Feb. 3.

Information below courtesy of Cathy Leggio-Beer, Photo credit Morris Beer Post 269:

This Service is in remembrance of four chaplains that gave their life vests to save four more men from drowning in the icy waters off a troop transport on Feb 3 1943. The ship was the USAT DORCHESTER.

She was hit by a Nazi submarine and the boiler rooms exploded. Many died instantly. Others were trapped below deck. The supply of life jackets were soon exhausted, and these four chaplains stripped off theirs to give to four young soldiers waiting.

These Chaplains gave away their only means of survival. They were: Alexander D. Goode, a Rabbi,Clark V Poling and George L. Fox, Protestant Ministers, and John P. Washington a Roman Catholic priest.

As the men were rowing away from the stricken ship in lifeboats they saw the four chaplains clinging to each other and their heads bowed. The USAT Dorchester sank beneath the icy waters of the North Atlantic, carrying with it the four Chaplains, and 668 soldiers and sailors.    

Attending this ceremony were The Suffolk County American Legion Commander Bob Smith, Suffolk County American Legion Aux President Lois Meyer, along with other American Legion Past Commanders and American Legion Auxiliary Presidents, and members of both the Legion and Auxiliary were present.


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