Col. Lewis L. Millett Memorial Post 38 of The American Legion in South Korea conducted the observance ceremony for the Four Chaplains at Yongsan Army Garrison’s South Post Chapel on Feb. 3, in conjunction with Sunday services. The ceremony has been an annual event conducted by Post 38. The observance ceremony honored the actions of four Army chaplains who gave their lives to save others. Since Yongsan Army Garrison will be closing by the end of this year, this was the last Four Chaplains ceremony there.
During World War II, when their transport ship USAT 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, N.J. Rabbi Alexander D. Goode was a native of York, Pa. Clark V. Poling was a minister in the Reformed Church in America at the First Reformed Church in Schenectady, N.Y. George L. Fox, a decorated World War I veteran, was a Methodist minister in Gilman, Vt.
During the Four Chaplains observance ceremony, 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.