Sure, the headline of this article sounds like a joke, but it’s actually a tragedy. A real life one!
On February 3, 1943 the troop carrier the Dorchester was torpedoed by a U-boat; as the ship went down four Army chaplains – the Methodist Reverend George L. Fox, the Jewish rabbi Alexander D. Goode, the Roman Catholic Priest John P. Washington and the Reformed Church in America Reverend Clark V. Poling – helped calm down the evacuating soldiers and then gave up their lifejackets for the men. The Four Chaplains were honored with a stamp in 1949, and Congress has declared February 3rd to be Four Chaplains Day.
Michel Shane and Anthony Romano, producers of I, Robot and Catch Me If You Can, are developing the story of the Four Chaplains into a film called Lifeboat 13. They’re adding a black Coast Guardsman to the mix, but they’re not going to be able to add a happy ending. The Chaplains all died, and so did 700 of the 900 men on the Dorchester; even with the life jackets the holy men gave up, the 30 degree North Atlantic water killed most of the men. The life jackets did keep their corpses afloat, though. Grim.
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