Ceremony remembers army chaplains sacrifice - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Ceremony remembers army chaplains sacrifice

By Bob Hallmark - bio | email

LONGVIEW,TX (KLTV)- In a moving ceremony in Gladewater, former military and American Legion members observed a little known chapter of World War Two heroism, remembering 4 army chaplains who sacrificed their life so that others could live.

It was February 2nd 1943, the U.S. Army transport Dorchester carrying 902 men, was torpedoed by a U-boat and sank in the Atlantic. 4 army chaplains are remembered as heroes.

"Though they were chaplains, their ultimate sacrifice was to take care of these brave men and yet they took their own lives in doing that," says American Legion 3rd District Commander Linda Reed.

Lieutenants George Fox, Alexander Goode, John Washington and Clark Poling all gave their life jackets to other men so they could be saved, and act that still touches veterans.

"Hard to describe, its one of the greatest , there's probably thousands out there," says veteran Jerry Holsworth.

"It is a history lesson, because we get to learn their personal stories, each 4 of theses chaplains their lives their combat experiences," says Civil Air Patrol Cadet Ryan Cobb.

The chaplains encouraged others, then according went down with the ship.

"They had to make decisions that normally most people wouldn't make, that's what defines these men as heroes," Cobb says.

Of the 902 men aboard the Dorchester, 672 died, leaving 230 survivors. The distinguished service cross and purple heart were awarded posthumously to the chaplains in December of 1944. A one-time only posthumous special medal for heroism was authorized by congress and awarded by then-president Eisenhower in January 1961.

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