Chaplain Alexander Goode (1911-1943)

Gave His Life for the Highest Duty
At age 32, Alexander Goode enlisted as a military chaplain. He was assigned to the Dorchester, an overcrowded ship carrying more than 900 soldiers and civilian workers to the European front.

In February 1943, just miles off the Greenland coast, a German U-boat torpedoed the ship. In the ensuing pandemonium, Chaplain Goode and three Christian chaplains calmly directed their fellow soldiers to lifeboats. Chaplain Goode gave away his life jacket, and the four chaplains joined arms at the ship’s railing—praying and singing hymns to men on lifeboats and in the water.

The ship sank 27 minutes later, taking the chaplains with it.

Large photo of Goode

Chaplain Goode grew up in Washington, graduated from Eastern High School, and served Washington Hebrew Congregation during the summers while studying for his ordination at Hebrew Union College.

JHSGW Collections. Gift of Theresa G. Kaplan. 1995.06

1948: Chaplain Goode (far right on the stamp) and three Christian chaplains were memorialized on this 3-cent stamp for their heroism during World War II.

JHSGW Collections. Gift of Theresa G. Kaplan. 1995.06

Large photo of Goode