Four Chaplains to be honored in Murphy on Thursday
Murphy – The heroic four chaplains who sacrificed themselves for their fellow service members went down with the ship in February 1943 will be remembered at 7 p.m. Thursday at Murphy First Baptist Church, 517 Hiwassee St. at U.S. 64 West.
“Every year, we honor the memory of the four chaplains with a ceremony,” veteran Glen Gale said. “We will get four [local] pastors to represent the four chaplains.
“This year, we will add bagpipes. There will also be a flag folding. It is a super, solemn ceremony.”
A similar ceremony was held on the night of Feb. 6 at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Hayesville.
The USS Dorchester was torpedoed by a German U-boat during the middle of World War II. Of the 902 service members on board, only 230 survived.
According to records, the four chaplains gave up their life vests – and as the ship disappeared beneath the waves, they linked arms, prayed and sang hymns.
The four chaplains are John P. Washington, a Catholic priest; Jewish Rabbi Alexander D. Goode; Clark V. Poling, a minister of the Reformed Church in America; and George L. Fox, a decorated World War I veteran and Methodist minister.
Nationally, this will be the 50th year the Four Chaplains Memorial service has been performed. The ceremony in Murphy will be presented by Joe Miller Elkins American Legion Post 96 in Murphy and George Lee American Legion Post 532 in Hayesville.