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Sunday, 05 January 2014 07:57

Four Chaplains Sunday

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At about 1am on 3rd February 1943 a US Army troopship with more than 900 men on board was sailing about 100 miles off the coast of Greenland.  There were also four chaplains on board, namely

 

Father John Washington (Catholic), Reverend Clark Poling (Dutch Reformed), Rabbi Alexander Goode (Jewish) and Rev. George Fox (Methodist).

The ship was hit by a torpedo, and large quantities of ammonia and oil were spilt on the ship and on the freezing sea.  There were 230 survivors, but the four chaplains were the last to be seen when the ship went down.

The First Sergeant on the ship said that the chaplains ". . . were always together, they carried their faith together."  It was said that they demonstrated throughout the voyage and in their last moments, interfaith compassion in their relationship with the men and with each other. 

In 1960 their acts of compassing and faith were recognised when Congress gave a special Medal of Valour to the next of kin of the chaplains.

Read 1293 times Last modified on Sunday, 05 January 2014 08:09
Elsabe Smit

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