80th Four Chaplains Memorial Service.
The Four Chaplains were US Army chaplains who gave their
lives to save others during the sinking of the troop ship
Dorchester during WW II. On the night of February 3, 1943,
the USAT Dorchester, travelling in convoy, was torpedoed by
the German submarine U-223 off Newfoundland. The torpedo
knocked out the Dorchester’s electrical system, leaving the
ship dark. Panic set in among the men on board, many of them
trapped below decks. The chaplains sought to calm the men
and organize an orderly evacuation of the ship and helped
guide wounded men to safety. As life jackets were passed out
to the men, the supply ran out before each man had one. The
chaplains removed their own life jackets and gave them to
others. They helped as many men as they could into lifeboats,
and then linked arms and, saying prayers and singing
hymns, went down with the ship.