Sea Heroes

On this 3rd day of February, faith filled Sea Heroes were recognized.

Captain Hans J. Danielsen of the mighty ship Dorchester was uneasy. The coast guard had warned him that a U-boat was prowling the shipping lane off the coast of Newfoundland. As icy night fell, he ordered the 902 troops he was ferrying to turn in with their life vests on in case the ship was torpedoed. 888 men aboard the ship ignored the order. Inside the belly of the ship was hot and the life jackets were too bulky to sleep in. Alas, their disobedience cost many of them their lives. The 4 who obeyed the captain’s command were the ship’s chaplains. Lt. George Fox, Lt. Alexander Goode; Lt. John Washington; and Lt. Clark Poling.

At 12:55 a.m. on February 3, 1943, the German U-boat launched a torpedo at the Dorchester. The bomb hit with deadly accuracy. Many men were killed by the explosion. Others were flung wounded. Ammonia gas swirled through strangling others. In the darkness and cold, men struggled to find their way out. Above the din, the chaplains could be heard calming the men, comforting them, urging them to be brave and directing the sailors.

It was evident the ship could not stay afloat. The torpedo struck the starboard side of the ship, opening a hole in the hull which flooded the engine room. The engines were destroyed as were two life boats. Orders to abandon ship were issued within three minutes. 230 survivors were later picked up by CGC. Men scrambled for life boats, overloading them. On deck, the chaplains preached courage. They opened a locker with life vests and handed them to the men who needed them. Quickly the supply was exhausted. Each of the faith filled “four chaplains” chose to peel off his own jacket and give it to a sailor.

“It was the finest thing I have seen or hope to see this side of heaven,” said John Ladd, one of the 230 men who survived the attack. 27 minutes after the Dorchester was struck, it sank. Survivors said the last thing they saw was the four chaplains linked arm in arm on the deck, praying. Moved by their heroism, Congress afterward marked February 3rd as “Four Chaplains Day” and issued a Special Medal of Heroism to the four.

“You have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also. As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.” ❤️ 1 John 2:20-24 NIV

Be honest, search your heart and respond in faith. Do you believe in God? Do you believe that hell is real? Do you know for certain where you will spend eternity? In eternal peace or pain? “The one who believes in Him is not judged; the one who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” John 3:18

4 thoughts on “Sea Heroes

  1. Pingback: A Changed Life | Living Abroad

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