The Four Chaplains Ceremony on Feb. 5 at Mt. Gilead Baptist Church will honor four men of the U.S. Army who gave their lives during WWII, helping save others lives after their ship was hit by a torpoedo.
Members of the American Legion Auxiliary, Fourth District, and the American Legion Family Pike County 197 will present the Four Chaplains Ceremony at 2 p.m Sunday, Feb. 5 at Mt. Gilead Baptist Church, 14550 Highway 19 north. A reception will be held afterwards.
The program will tell the true story of four chaplains - two were Protestant, one was Catholic and one was Jewish - who were on board a ship that was torpedoed in the middle of the night on Feb. 3, 1943. There were a little more than 900 people on board the ship. According to eye witnesses, the four chaplains did everything they could to save as many people as they could, giving up their life jackets, getting men in life boats and praying for them all.
“It was a very unselfish service on their parts and it’s a very unique story that is well worth being retold,” said Peggi Payton, Post 197 historian and American Legion Auxiliary Unit 197 president. “This is a moving patriotic and spiritual program about the sacrifices of four Army chaplains during WWII and everyone is invited to attend,” said Payton.
The four U.S. Army chaplains gave their lives to save others during the sinking of the Dorchester during World War II. They all held the rank of lieutenant and it is reported that as the ship went under, they joined arms and prayed together. Of the 904 men aboard the ship, only 230 were rescued.