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State flags at half-staff Friday to honor WWII chaplains

Flags on Minnesota state buildings will fly at half-staff Friday, to honor four chaplains who went down with a ship during World War II.

A proclamation from Gov. Mark Dayton says the four chaplains bravely helped soldiers aboard an Army transport ship that was torpedoed off the coast of Greenland in 1943.

Records show that the four chaplains of different faiths — Lt. George L. Fox, Methodist; Lt. Alexander D. Goode, Jewish; Lt. John P. Washington, Catholic; and Lt. Clark V. Poling, Dutch Reformed — comforted soldiers as the ship sank, then gave their life jackets to others who needed them. While many survived, the chaplains went down with the ship, last seen praying together.

The American Legion and many congregrations recognize the event each year.

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