On February 3, 1943 four chaplains from four different denominations gave their lives to save others during the sinking their ship the SS Dorchester. They helped other soldiers board lifeboats and gave up their own life jackets when the supply ran out. The chaplains joined arms, said prayers, and sang hymns as they went down with the ship. The four chaplains were Methodist Reverend George L. Fox, Rabbi Alexander D. Goode, Roman Catholic Priest John P. Washington, and the Reformed Church in America Reverend Clark V. Poling.
The Four Chaplains Memorial Foundation was established on February 3, 1951to impart the principles of selfless service to humanity without regard to race, creed, ethnicity, or religious beliefs.
“The chaplains were honored with a commemorative stamp that was issued in 1948, and was designed by Louis Schwimmer, the head of the Art Department of the New York branch of the U.S. Post Office Department (now called the USPD). This stamp is highly unusual, because until 2011, U.S. stamps were not normally issued in honor of someone other than a President of the United States until at least ten years after his or her death.”