May 30, 2021

The Four (Military) Chaplains

Jack Kemp

This true story was common knowledge in the 1950s. A lot of young people have never the heard of the four military chaplains whose ship was torpedoed in the Atlantic and the chaplains who gave up their life vests so that four other service members could live. It is a story worth telling one's children and grandchildren. The Four Chaplains received many honors, including stained glass windows and paintings made of them in various houses of worship. The U.S. Post Office issued a stamp in 1948 in their honor. President Harry  Truman dedicated a chapel in their honor in 1951. There have been many other honors in this unique group's name.

From Wikipedia:

Four Chaplains
 

The Four Chaplains, also referred to as the "Immortal Chaplains" or the "Dorchester Chaplains", were four World War II chaplains who died rescuing civilian and military personnel as the troop ship SS Dorchester sank on February 3, 1943. The Dorchester was a civilian liner converted for military service in World War II as a War Shipping Administration troop transport. She was able to carry slightly more than 900 military passengers and crew.[1]

The ship left New York on January 23, 1943, en route to Greenland, carrying approximately 900 others, as part of a convoy of three ships escorted by Coast Guard Cutters Tampa, Escanaba, and Comanche.[2] During the early morning hours of February 3 the vessel was torpedoed by the German submarine U-223 off Newfoundland in the North Atlantic.[3] The chaplains helped the other soldiers board lifeboats and gave up their own life jackets when the supply ran out.[4] The chaplains joined arms, said prayers, and sang hymns as they went down with the ship.

The impact of the chaplains story was deep, with many memorials and coverage in the media. Each of the four chaplains was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Purple Heart.[5] The chaplains were nominated for the Medal of Honor, but were found ineligible as they had not engaged in combat with the enemy. Instead, Congress created a medal for them, with the same weight and importance as the Medal of Honor.[5]

The chaplains

The relatively new chaplains all held the rank of first lieutenant. They included Methodist minister the Reverend George L. Fox, Reform Rabbi Alexander D. Goode (PhD), Catholic priest Father John P. Washington, and Reformed Church in America minister the Reverend Clark V. Poling. Their backgrounds, personalities, and denominations were different, although Goode, Poling and Washington had all served as leaders in the Boy Scouts of America.[6] They met at the Army Chaplains School at Harvard University, where they prepared for assignments in the European theater, sailing on board Dorchester to report to their new assignments.

SECTION OMITTED


The chaplains were honored with a commemorative stamp that was issued in 1948, and was designed by Louis Schwimmer, the head of the Art Department of the New York branch of the U.S. Post Office Department (now called the USPS).[49] This stamp is highly unusual, because until 2011,[50] U.S. stamps were not normally issued in honor of someone other than a President of the United States until at least ten years after his or her death.[51]


The stamp went through three revisions before the final design was chosen.[52] None of the names of the chaplains were included on the stamp, nor were their faiths (although the faiths had been listed on one of the earlier designs): instead, the words on the stamp were "These Immortal Chaplains...Interfaith in Action."[52] Another phrase included in an earlier design that was not part of the final stamp was "died to save men of all faiths."[52] By the omission of their names, the stamp commemorated the event, rather than the individuals per se, thus obfuscating the ten-year rule in the same way as did later stamps honoring Neil Armstrong in 1969[53] and Buzz Aldrin in 1994.[54]

Chapel of Four Chaplains

The Chapel of the Four Chaplains was dedicated on February 3, 1951, by President Harry S. Truman to honor these chaplains of different faiths in the basement of Grace Baptist Church of Philadelphia. In his dedication speech, the President said, "This interfaith shrine... will stand through long generations to teach Americans that as men can die heroically as brothers so should they live together in mutual faith and goodwill."[55]

The Chapel dedication included a reminder that the interfaith team represented by the Four Chaplains was unusual. Although the Chapel was dedicated as an All-Faiths Chapel, no Catholic priest took part in the dedication ceremony, because, as Msgr. Thomas McCarthy of the National Catholic Welfare Conference explained to Time magazine, "canon law forbids joint worship."[56]

In addition to supporting work that exemplifies the idea of Interfaith in Action, recalling the story of the Four Chaplains, the Chapel presents awards to individuals whose work reflects interfaith goals. 1984 was the first time that the award went to a military chaplain team composed of a rabbi, priest, and minister, recalling in a special way the four chaplains themselves, when the Rabbi Louis Parris Hall of Heroes Gold Medallion was presented to Rabbi Arnold Resnicoff; Catholic Priest Fr. George Pucciarelli; and Protestant Minister Danny Wheeler—the three chaplains present at the scene of the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing. The story of these three United States Navy Chaplains was itself memorialized in a Presidential speech by President Ronald Reagan, on April 12, 1984.[57]

In 1972, Grace Baptist Church moved to Blue Bell and sold the building to Temple University two years later. Temple University eventually decided to renovate the building as the Temple Performing Arts Center.[58] In February 2001, the Chapel of the Four Chaplains moved to the chapel at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard.[59]

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 12:43 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
Post contains 951 words, total size 14 kb.

1 Excellent account, Jack. And very timely. Thanks!

Posted by: Dana Mathewson at May 31, 2021 11:15 AM (aTfFy)

2 What a beautiful story, one I've never heard Jack!  And to think those men came out of HARVARD too!  My how that institution has changed!

That was when America still understood the value of religious faith, alas. Now these guys wouldn't even be footnotes.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at June 01, 2021 06:07 AM (RRum6)

3 I have been searching the internet for fun and came upon your website.

Posted by: paycheckrecords at July 14, 2021 03:50 AM (Xgecd)

4 I have express a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style of blogging. I added it to my favorite’s blog site list and will be checking back soon

Posted by: rapidfs at August 24, 2021 05:51 AM (lAw7v)

5

Your writing style is engaging and easy to follow. I appreciate the effort you put into making complex ideas accessible to readers. Looking forward to reading more from you! Natural Pearls

Posted by: onenaturalpearl at August 15, 2023 08:09 PM (PHO/8)

6 "I completely agree with your perspective on the importance of self-care. It's crucial to prioritize our mental and emotional well-being in today's fast-paced world." luxury flats in gwalior

Posted by: dbcity at June 10, 2024 12:58 AM (QC951)

Hide Comments | Add Comment




What colour is a green orange?




34kb generated in CPU 0.0172, elapsed 0.2715 seconds.
37 queries taking 0.2639 seconds, 167 records returned.
Powered by Minx 1.1.6c-pink.
Always on Watch
The American Thinker
Bird`s Articles
Old Birdblog
Birdblog`s Literary Corner
Behind the Black Borngino Report
Canada Free Press
Common Sense and Wonder < br/ > Christian Daily Reporter
Citizens Free Press
Climatescepticsparty,,a>
_+
Daren Jonescu
Dana and Martha Music On my Mind Conservative Victory
Eco-Imperialism
Gelbspan Files Infidel Bloggers Alliance
Let the Truth be Told
Newsmax
>Numbers Watch
OANN
Real Climate Science
The Reform Club
Revolver
FTP Student Action
Veritas PAC
FunMurphys
The Galileo Movement
Intellectual Conservative
br /> Liberty Unboound
One Jerusalem
Powerline
Publius Forum
Ready Rants
The Gateway Pundit
The Jeffersonian Ideal
Thinking Democrat
Ultima Thule
Young Craig Music
Contact Tim at bgocciaatoutlook.com

Monthly Traffic

  • Pages: 82841
  • Files: 14145
  • Bytes: 4.4G
  • CPU Time: 112:42
  • Queries: 2964696

Content

  • Posts: 28987
  • Comments: 129467

Feeds


RSS 2.0 Atom 1.0