LEWISTON – Special services were conducted at the Jesus Party Headquarters to commemorate the 63rd anniversary of the sinking of the U.S. Army Transport SS Dorchester off the coast of Greenland in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Post 22, American Legion. Adjutant Jerry DerBoghosian gave an account of how the SS Dorchester, almost near her destination with 902 servicemen, merchant seamen and civilian workers aboard, sank in 27 minutes after being torpedoed on Feb. 3, 1943, by a German U-boat.

Panic and chaos set in and many came topside without their life jackets.

Four U.S. Army chaplains aboard tried to quiet the panic and they gave their life jackets to those who didn’t have one.

As the ship went down, survivors in nearby rafts could see the four chaplains, arms linked and braced along the slanting deck. Their voices could be heard offering prayers for the men. The sinking left 672 dead and 230 survivors.

The Rev. Douglas Taylor of the Jesus Party gave the invocation. The service closed with the assembly singing “God Bless America.” A special patriotic prize was given. Winner was Antoinette Namuryango.


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