Four chaplains honored at ceremony in South Korea
February 14, 2011
- The Yongsan Memorial Chapel Conference Room was renamed to Four Chaplains Room during a ceremony Feb. 3.
- The chaplains gave up their life jackets to save others after their troop transport was torpeoded by a German U-boat in 1943.
- Gen. Walter L. Sharp, the top American military commander in Korea, paid tribute to the four chaplains.
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea - During a ceremony at Memorial Chapel here Feb. 3, the chapel conference room was dedicated to four chaplains who made the ultimate sacrifice in 1943.
The chaplains, Methodist Minister George L. Fox, Reformed Church in America Minister Clark V. Poling, Roman Catholic Priest John P. Washington and Rabbi Alexander B. Goode, were on board the troop transport USAT Dorchester during World War II.
On Feb. 3., 1943, while steaming toward Greenland, the Dorchester was torpeoded by German U-boat. The four chaplains gave up their life jackets to save others.
Gen. Walter L. Sharp, commander of United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command and U.S. Forces Korea, paid tribute to the chaplains, calling them "four men of different faiths who truly exemplified selfless service."
Four candles were lit in memory of the chaplains. The official party also unveiled an illustration of the four chaplains and cut a cake.
The Memorial Chapel Conference Room is now called the "Four Chaplains Room."
"It was a very humbling experience," said Petty Officer 2nd Class Charles Wilton, who rang the bell during the ceremony.
Master Sgt. Elian Strachan, who coordinated the ceremony, is planning to make it an annual event.