American Legion to Host Memorial for Four Chaplains

American Legion to Host Memorial for Four Chaplains

By Zach Hester, Reporter •

FORT PAYNE, Ala. — Fort Payne’s American Legion Post 89 will conduct a memorial service in remembrance of four armed forces chaplains who died in midst of World War II. The service will be held on Sunday, February 2 at 2 pm at Minvale Baptist Church.

The chaplains honored include a rabbi, priest, and two Protestant ministers who selflessly gave their life belts to four soldiers during the sinking of the USAT Dorchester, which had been hit by a torpedo in the early morning hours of February 3, 1943. These men’s sacrifice resulted in the saving of more than 200 lives. 

After giving their life belts to the soldiers, the four chaplains linked arms with heads bowed in prayer as they sank alongside the ship. 

Governor Kay Ivey (R-AL) has declared Sunday, February 2 as “Four Chaplains Sunday” in the State of Alabama. 

Fort Payne Post 89 joins other American Legion posts around the nation in marking the anniversary of the sacrifice these four men of God made for their country, and for their fellow man. The service will include guest speakers Ron Bradstreet, the American Legion Alabama State Commander, and Shirley Deerman, sister of PVT Harvie Hicks, who was lost on the USAT Dorchester.

For more information on the service, please contact Chaplain Don Donaghy at (256) 717-3350 and visit the Four Chaplains website at

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