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Lieut Alexander David Goode

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Lieut Alexander David Goode

  • Birth 10 May 1911 Brooklyn, Kings County (Brooklyn), New York, USA
  • Death 3 Feb 1943 At Sea
  • Cenotaph Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
  • Plot Memorial Section F
  • Memorial ID 22272138

Army Chaplain. Born in Brooklyn, New York, one of four children of Fannie and Rabbi Hyman Goodkowitz. He attended the University of Cincinnati, and graduated in 1934, then Hebrew Union College in 1937, and received a Ph.D. from John Hopkins University in 1940. From July 1937 until 1942, he served Beth Israel synagogue in York, Pennsylvania. In early 1941, he applied to the US Navy as a chaplain but was declined. After Pearl Harbor, he applied to the US Army, and was accepted as a chaplain, receiving his appointment July 21, 1942. He was assigned to training at the Chaplain School at Harvard, where he first met his classmates, Methodist chaplain, George Fox; Dutch Reformed chaplain, Clark Poling; and Catholic chaplain, John Washington. He was then assigned to the 333rd Airbase Squadron in Goldsboro, North Carolina. In October 1942, he was transferred to Camp Myles Standish in Taunton, Massachusetts where he was, by chance, reunited with his three classmates. In January 1943, the four chaplains embarked on the converted ocean liner USAT Dorchester, which was transporting 902 soldiers to Britain via Greenland as part of convoy SG-19. On February 2, 1943, a German u-boat fired on the convoy; a torpedo struck the Dorchester shortly after midnight. The Dorchester lost all power, and in the cold and dark men scrambled for the lifeboats. The four chaplains organized the men as best they could, handing out life jackets from storage, encouraged the men with prayers, and tending wounded as best as was possible. When it became apparent that there were not enough life jackets, each of the chaplains took off his own life jacket and gave each to a young soldier. When the last of the undamaged lifeboats were away, the chaplains prayed with those left behind on the sinking ship. Less than thirty minutes after being hit, the Dorchester sank with the loss of 672 men, including the Four Chaplains. The survival of some 230 men was directly credited to the chaplains' actions. On December 19, 1944 each of the chaplains was posthumously awarded a purple heart and a distinguished service cross. A US postage stamp was issued in 1948 commemorating the Four Chaplains. A chapel in their honor was dedicated on February 3, 1951, by President Harry Truman at Grace Baptist Church in Philadelphia. On July 14, 1960 Congress created the Four Chaplains Medal which was presented to each of the chaplains' next of kin by the Secretary of the Army. For their courage and self-sacrifice, by Act of Congress, February 3 is designated Four Chaplains Day.

Bio by: Iola

Family Members


1st LT.
DSC (Distinguish Service Cross)
PH (Purple Heart)





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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Hope
  • Added: 17 Oct 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 22272138
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Lieut Alexander David Goode (10 May 1911–3 Feb 1943), Find A Grave Memorial no. 22272138, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .