Date(s) - 02/17/2018
The American Legion
It was the evening of Feb. 2, 1943, and the U.S.A.T. (United States Army Transport) Dorchester was crowded to capacity, carrying 902 service men, merchant seamen and civilian workers.
The Dorchester, one of three ships in the SG-19 convoy, was moving steadily across the icy waters from Newfoundland toward an American base in Greenland. SG-19 was escorted by Coast Guard Cutters Tampa, Escanaba and Comanche. On Feb. 3, at 12:55am, a periscope broke the chilly Atlantic waters. Through the cross hairs, an officer aboard the German submarine U-223 spotted the Dorchester. The U-223 approached the convoy on the surface, and after identifying and targeting the ship, he gave orders to fire the torpedoes, a fan of three were fired. The one that hit was decisive–and deadly–striking the starboard side, amid ship, far below the water line.
Four Army chaplains brought hope in despair and light in darkness. Quickly and quietly, the four chaplains spread out among the soldiers. There they tried to calm the frightened, tend the wounded and guide the disoriented toward safety. This is not the end of their story.
To hear the rest of the story the public is invited to attend a special ceremony at the American Legion Post 55, 338 N. Railroad St. on Saturday, February 17, 2018 at 1pm. We will honor these men for what they did 75 years ago. Questions call 719-836-4899.
Jan Quick, Post Chaplain
Darryl Atherton, Post Sr. Vice Commander