Coast Guardsmen Arrighi and Deyampert
On 3 February 1943, the U.S. Army Transport (USAT) Dorchester steamed 100 miles off the coast of Greenland, loaded with soldiers headed for the war in Europe. At about 0100, a torpedo from a German submarine struck the converted passenger liner's starboard side. The ship immediately lost power and, as she began listing to starboard, the order was given to abandon ship. The story has many times been told of the four chaplains who were immortalized when they selflessly gave their lifejackets to other men and went down with the ship. But they were not the only heroes that night.
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba (WPG-77) moved in to rescue those soldiers and crewmen who had gone into the foreboding waters. Ensign Richard Arrighi was the first to go over the side and was soon followed by others, including Steward's Mate Third Class Warren Deyampert. The two men worked in the dark, frigid, oil-covered water, assisting those men who were injured or otherwise unable to help themselves.