Throwback Thursday: The Chapel at the Navy Yard

by Navy Yard
October 19, 2017

Categories: History,

Built in 1942, and resting in the core of the Navy Yard Historic District, the Chapel is a fitting place to honor the memory and promote the legacy of four of the nation’s most revered brothers in arms.

Propsed Chapel Rending, Flickr amry.arch
Proposed Chapel Rendering, Photo Source: Flickr “amry.arch’
Chapel Construction Photo, Flickr amry.arch
Chapel Construction, Photo Source flickr: ‘amry.arch’

John P. Washington, Alexander D. Goode, Clark V. Poling and George L. Fox were four U.S. Army Chaplains, of different faith, that gave up their life jackets when their transport ship, the U.S.A.T Dorchester, was torpedoed eighty miles south of Greenland on February 3, 1943.

Since the late 1940’s the Chapel of the Four Chaplains have been telling the story of the Four Chaplains and encouraging sacrifice and interfaith cooperation.

On February 3, 1951, the first Chapel of the Four Chaplains was dedicated by President Harry S. Truman to honor the chaplains in the basement of Grace Baptist Church of Philadelphia. In 1972, the Chapel of the Four Chaplains moved to Blue Bell, Pennsylvania and later sold the Grace Baptist Church of Philadelphia to Temple University later becoming the Temple Performing Arts Center.

Spending the next 30 years in Blue Bell, the Chapel of the Four Chaplains decided to return to Philadelphia in February 2001, moving into the Chapel at the Navy Yard.

Today, the Chapel of the Four Chaplains has a strong presence at the Navy Yard and newly celebrated its 49th annual Four Chaplains Awards Banquet. Recently, the Chapel became the home of the memorial honoring all of those “Lost At Sea”. The Lost At Sea memorial anchor is permanently placed on a marble pedestal with a bronze plaque, and memorial paving bricks found at the intersection of 12th Street and Constitution Avenue.

Photo Source: Flickr "amry.arch'
Photo Source: Flickr “amry.arch’


You can visit the memorial and the Chapel of the Four Chaplains, Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 am and 5:00 pm or schedule a tour with Christine Beady, Executive Director,