Col. Lewis L. Millett Memorial Post 38 of The American Legion in South Korea conducted three observance ceremonies during February 2018 for the Four Chaplains. Two ceremonies were held on Feb. 4 at the Yongsan Army Garrison’s South Post Chapel, and one ceremony was held on Feb. 11 at Yongsan Army Garrison’s Memorial Chapel. The observance ceremonies honored the actions of four Army chaplains who gave their lives to save others.
During World War II, when their transport ship, U.S.A.T Dorchester, was torpedoed, the Four Chaplains spread out on the ship, comforted the wounded and directed the others to safety. The Four Chaplains distributed life jackets, and when they ran out they removed their life jackets and gave them to four young men. As Dorchester sank, the chaplains were seen linked arm in arm, praying.
These four U.S. chaplains came from different faiths and backgrounds. John P. Washington was a Catholic priest from Kearny, New Jersey, Rabbi Alexander D. Goode was a native of York, Pennsylvania. Clark V. Poling was a minister in the Reformed Church in America at the First Reformed Church in Schenectady, New York. George L. Fox, a decorated World War I veteran, was a Methodist minister in Gilman, Vermont.
During each of the Four Chaplains observance ceremonies, William Wight, commander of Post 38, spoke of the sacrifice, courage and bravery of the Four Chaplains. Wight read the biography of each of the Four Chaplains. A flower was placed individually in front of the photo of each of the Four Chaplains in their honor, to include a salute by a Legionnaire.