The Hudson County Committee of The American Legion will conduct its Fourteenth Annual Four Chaplains Memorial Service, Sunday, February 11, 2001, at 2 p.m. at The First Baptist Church of Arlington, 650 Kearny Avenue, Kearny, NJ.
The Memorial Service honors the Four Chaplains who gave their lives so that four troops would be saved. On February 3, 1943, during World War II, the U.S.A.T. Dorchester, an Army troop transport, with 900 troops on board, was headed for Greenland. In the middle of the night, a German submarine torpedoed the ship. The ship started to sink rapidly as the troops on board rushed to get off. Of the 902 men aboard, 672 died and 230 survived.
On board were four Army chaplains. George L. Fox, who was a Medical Corpsman in the Army during World War I, was a Methodist Minister. When World War II developed, he signed up as a Chaplain. Alexander D. Goode, while studying to be a Rabbi, was in the National Guard and was serving a synagogue in Pennsylvania when World War II broke out. In 1942, he joined the Army as a Chaplain. Clark V. Poling was the youngest of the four chaplains. He was a Dutch Reformed Church Minister from Schenectady, New York, and joined the Army in June 1942. John P. Washington grew up in Newark, New Jersey and became a priest in the Diocese of Newark. Father Washington was serving in St. Stephens Church in Kearny, New Jersey, prior to joining the Army in May 1942.
The four chaplains gave their life jackets to four soldiers and stood on the deck of the sinking Dorchester praying together as the ship sank off the coast of Greenland. The four chaplains are memorialized in a Chapel in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Father Washington is also memorialized in a window in St. Stephens Church in Kearny.
All Veterans, families and friends are invited to join in the Memorial Service at 2 p.m., Sunday, February 11, 2001 at the First Baptist Church of Arlington, in Kearny.
For God and Country.
Harold J. Rodriguez
Hudson County Committee of The American Legion