Four WWII chaplains honored at Tucson ceremony

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- They gave their lives to save others nearly 70 years ago, but the fate of four service members killed in World War II are remembered in Tucson every year.

A special ceremony Sunday at Kino Veterans Memorial Park honored the the four chaplains.

The sun shone bright on the brass as war veterans looked back on a dark day.

"When they saw bobbing lights in the water, these were usually people who were dead already," said Chairman of the Veteran's Affairs committee Vern Pall.

Veterans recounted the day the USAT Dorchester went down in frigid waters, after it was torpedoed by the Germans in World War II.

"They realized they didn't have enough life preservers for everyone so these four chaplains, four different faiths, gave their life jackets to four of the troops and the troops survived and the four chaplains went down with the ship," Pall said.

They were Lieutenants Clark Poling, Alexander Goode, Rabbie George Fox and John Washington.

"Veterans of all conflicts should be honored daily.  They should be remembered for their service especially those who never made it home," said American Legion Post 36 Adjunct Adam Grose.

For many in attendendance it wasn't a memorial for four, it's a tribute to all.

"People giving of themselves fully and constantly, our men and women overseas and even our men and women at Davis-Monthan," said Grose.

It's a plot with universal appeal. A story including men of different faiths,acts of bravery and a true test of character.

Veterans say they see a piece of themselves in that ill-fated mission marked by sacrifice.