TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - This Sunday, Feb. 3 the Tucson Veterans Affairs Committee will hosting a memorial service at the Kino Veterans Memorial Park to honor the 4 Chaplains.
The four Chaplains gave their lives during World War II on board the U.S.A.T. Dorchester shortly after midnight on February 3, 1943. As the ship was sinking, having been hit by a torpedo from U-223, these four men gave out all the life jackets and helped the troops into life rafts. They gave up their own life jackets to four who did not have one and then gathered themselves together and kneeled in prayer on the deck as the ship sank.
The ceremony will include posting of colors by the Sons of the American Revolution; wreath laying by various Veteran Service Organizations; guest speaker Honorable Mayor Rothschild; rifle salute by the American Legion Oro Valley Post 132, taps by Old Arizona Brass Band, and vocalist Amanda Sinner, USMC.
The event is free and open to the public on Sunday, Feb. 3 starting at 1 p.m. at the Kino Veterans Memorial Park at 2805 East Ajo Way.
By vote of Congress on January 18, 1961 a special “Medal of Heroism” was given posthumously to the four chaplains:
- Ch.(Lt.) Alexander Goode was a Jewish Rabbi
- Ch.(Lt.) George Fox was a Methodist Minister
- Ch. (Lt.) Clark Poling was a Dutch Reformed Minister
- Ch. (Lt.) John Washington was a Roman Catholic Priest