County Mayor, American Legion Post 172, honor WWII chaplains

Photo by Anderson County Government
County Mayor Terry Frank presents a proclamation to Sgt. First Class (U.S. Army, retired) Hugh Turpin, member of Anderson County American Legion Post 172. The proclamation honors the actions of four World War II Army chaplains.

CLINTON-Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank is proud to join members of Anderson County American Legion Post 172 to commemorate the actions of four U.S. Army chaplains during World War II.

Frank, on Thursday, issued a proclamation designating Sunday, February 6, 2022, as Four Chaplains Sunday in Anderson County. The designation honors the actions of Reverend George L. Fox of the Methodist faith, Jewish Rabbi Alexander D. Goode, Father John P. Washington of the Catholic faith, and Reverend Clark V. Poling from the Dutch Reformed Church.

“I am very thankful for American Legion Post 172 for their efforts to help us come together as a community in grateful recognition of the selfless and courageous service of the Four Chaplains. I also commend American Legion Post 172 for the many valuable programs and activities they host, sponsor or participate in each month,” Frank said.

Legion posts and others around the United States honor these four men each year with a variety of services and programs.

In the early morning hours of February 3, 1943, an enemy torpedo struck the U.S. Army Transport Dorchester as it sailed across the Northern Atlantic, just 150 miles away from its destination at an American base in Greenland. The transport carried 902 officers and enlisted men, as well as merchant seamen and civilian workers, according to Four Chaplains Memorial Foundation.

As the Dorchester took on water, the four Army chaplains spread out among the men – calming the frightened, tending the wounded, and guiding the disoriented toward safety. Once on deck, the chaplains, who all held the rank of Lieutenant, opened a storage locker and began distributing life jackets. When there were no more life jackets available, the chaplains removed their own life jackets and gave them to four frightened young men.

Of the 902 men aboard the Dorchester, only 230 survived. Survivors recalled watching from life rafts nearby as the ship sank; the four chaplains could be seen – with their arms linked and bracing themselves against the slanting deck – singing hymns and praying.

The four chaplains each were honored posthumously with the Distinguished Service Cross and Purple Heart presented on December 19, 1944. Congress also attempted to confer the Medal of Honor but was blocked by the stringent requirements of heroism performed under fire. Congress designated Four Chaplains Day in 1948, and it authorized a one-time posthumous Special Medal for Heroism, awarded by President Eisenhower on January 18, 1961.

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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