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Father John Washington, a Catholic priest (pictured above); Rev. George L. Fox, a Methodist minister; Rabbi Alexander Goode; and Rev. Clark Poling, a Reformed Church in America minister gave their life jackets to save others when their ship was torpedoed in the frigid North Atlantic in 1943.

The ‘Four Chaplains’: Selfless Heroes of World War II Honored on 80th Anniversary of Their Deaths

Mass commemorating the chaplains’ sacrifice took place at St. Stephen’s Church in Kearney, New Jersey — the last parish where Father John Washington served before being dispatched for war. On Feb. 3, 1943, Father Washington had celebrated Mass just hours before the ship was hit and began to offer absolution. His fellow chaplains exhibited selfless heroism, too.

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