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1LT George Lansing Fox

1LT George Lansing Fox

Birth
Pennsylvania, USA
Death 3 Feb 1943 (aged 42)
At Sea
Burial Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Memorial ID 8432 · View Source
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Army Chaplain. Born in Pennsylvania, at age 17 he lied about his age and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and was trained to be an ambulance driver. He served on the Western Front and earned a Silver Star for the rescue of a wounded soldier from a battlefield filled with poison gas; the Croix de Guerre for outstanding bravery during an artillery barrage, after which he spent months in hospital with wounds, for which he received the Purple Heart. After returning home, he became an itinerant Methodist preacher and held a student pastorate in Downs, Illinois. He attended Wesleyan University in 1929 and graduated with an A.B. degree in 1931. He was ordained a Methodist minister on June 10, 1934. In 1936, he accepted a pastorate in Vermont. After Pearl Harbor, he decided he was needed and volunteered for the Army Chaplain Service. He went on active duty August 8, 1942, the same day his son 18 year old son enlisted in the Marine Corps. He was assigned to the Chaplains school at Harvard where he first met his classmates, Jewish chaplain, Alexander Goode; Dutch Reformed chaplain, Clark Poling; and Catholic chaplain, John Washington. He then reported to the 411th Coast Artillery Battalion at Camp Davis. In January 1943, he was reunited with his classmates as 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 some time 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 stained glass window in memory of the Four Chaplains was installed in the A-ring of the Pentagon on the third floor. 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


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 11 Feb 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 8432
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for 1LT George Lansing Fox (15 Mar 1900–3 Feb 1943), Find A Grave Memorial no. 8432, citing Chapel of Four Chaplains, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .