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Tragic Loss, Astonishing Heroism Remembered

Wreaths Across America on Wednesday is retelling the tragic yet inspiring story of the World War II sinking of the troop ship Dorchester, the heroic sacrifice of the "Four Chaplains" aboard, and the bravery of the Black Coast Guard steward who gave his life swimming through icy seas to rescue a shipmate.

The 368-foot steamship Dorchester, operated by the War Shipping Administration, was part of a convoy that left New York in January 1943 bound for the Army Command Base at Narsarsuaq in southern Greenland.

After midnight Feb. 3, 1943, the Dorchester was torpedoed by a U-boat in the Labrador Sea off Greenland and went down in 20 minutes, according to official records.

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