Sunday February 2nd at the Hastings House on Oak Street at 2:00 Pm Beverly Farms, a service will take place with a light lunch to follow, All are welcome.
The American Legion District 8, along with the Beverly Veteran Council, and Michael J. Cadigan Post 46 American Legion in Beverly Farms, will honor the four chaplains on this the 77th anniversary of the sinking of the USS Dorchester.
On Feb. 3, 1943, the U.S.A.T. Dorchester, a military transport ship carrying 902 American servicemen and civilian workers, was torpedoed by a German submarine about 100 miles off the cost of Greenland. In 18 minutes, the ship would be lost under the frigid sea.
Panic ensued. The sailors who were not killed in the explosion or trapped below rushed to the decks, where some of the lifeboats had frozen to the ship, survivors recounted. But four chaplains standing on the decks remained calm, distributing life jackets. When the supply ran out, the chaplains gave the sailors their own.
Only 230 men survived the sinking of the Dorchester, making it one of the worst naval tragedies for the Americans in World War II. Witnesses recalled seeing the four chaplains standing with arms interlocked, each praying in his own way, as the ship sunk. They were Catholic, Jewish and Protestant: Rabbi Alexander D. Goode, the Rev. George L. Fox, a Methodist Minister, the Rev. Clark V. Poling of the Reformed Church in America, and the Rev. John P. Washington, a Roman Catholic priest.