Go Back   SOCNET: The Special Operations Community Network > General Topics > History

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10 June 2019, 17:52
Expatmedic's Avatar
Expatmedic Expatmedic is offline
Anesthetized User
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Northern California
Posts: 3,743
US Merchant Marine

I would love to learn more about the Merchant Marine, their history, training, what do they do in addition to moving cargo. Esteemed members, service to our country.

I am ignorant on the Merchant Marine, but would love to read about their history, hopefully posted here.

Thank you.
Support SOCNET.

It don't come easy.--Ringo Starr
Reply With Quote
Old 12 June 2019, 06:00
TennesseeDave's Avatar
TennesseeDave TennesseeDave is offline
Confirmed User
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: The Volunteer State
Posts: 1,362
My granddad was one of 15 kids, so when he turned 18 it was “hit the road Jack.” He hitchhiked from Virginia to LA and joined the Merchant Marine. I’m not sure how long he was in it before WWII broke out and he joined the Marines. I’ll talk to my dad later and see if he knows much about it.
Reply With Quote
Old 13 June 2019, 17:11
wildman43's Avatar
wildman43 wildman43 is offline
Never to old to learn
Join Date: May 2012
Location: California
Posts: 2,401
Some history on the U.S. Merchant Marine, For years after WW2, they were not. VETERANS an did not qualify for any V.A. benefits. I don't remember the date that they were given V.A. Benefits.

I have known a few of them that have passed away now.

The U.S. Merchant Marine played a vital role in the Allied victory of World War II. They moved great quantities of war matériel from their principle source of supply across as many as 6,000 miles of ocean to the battlefronts of the Far East.
They held to high standards and contributed countless accomplishments in every war throughout history, participating in landing operations in cooperation with the U.S. Marine Corps, from Guadalcanal to Iwo Jima.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt realized that winning the war would require many ships to carry much-needed supplies to the war front. He ordered the mass production of Liberty Ships and established the U.S. Maritime Service (USMS), in early 1938.
The U.S. Merchant Marine Corps was officially founded on March 15, 1938, chaired by Joseph P. Kennedy (father of President John F. Kennedy). Cadet training was initially given aboard the government’s subsidized ships.

Desperate for mariners at the onset of World War II, the U.S. Maritime Service officially accepted youngsters who were as young as 16 years old. Some who were physically impaired or unfit for the regular service went into the Merchant Marine.
The prewar total of 55,000 mariners suddenly increased to 215,000 by virtue of the U.S. Maritime Service Program`s massive recruiting efforts. They also brought in retired seamen capable of shipping out immediately on the Liberty ships.
In February 1942, the training was turned over to the U.S. Coast Guard, then soon afterward transferred to the War Shipping Administration, in July.
Cadets went to sea after eight weeks of preliminary shore training. Cadets were paid $50 per month, but were still required to pay for textbooks and uniforms.
Upon the third year of service the cadets were allowed to return to shore and work in the shipyards, and by the fourth year they were returned to sea again at $70 per month.

The Merchant Marine Academy’s campus was dedicated by President Roosevelt on September 30, 1943, and is the only federal academy to display a battle standard, by virtue of its war dead. Graduation was as honorable and significant as graduation from West Point, Annapolis, or the Coast Guard Academy.
At sea, the men’s lives depended highly on the rapidity of an individual’s response in a state of emergency. Drills were taken seriously as the Maritime Service strived to develop highly efficient emergency procedures.
Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 00:13
mjl mjl is offline
Confirmed User
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: TX/ID
Posts: 54
Read “Looking for a Ship” by John McPhee. Excellent book following a merchant marine ship on a voyage to South America, author sailed with the crew and gives an awesome accounting of the state of the merchant marines at that time (written somewhere around 1990) and some of the history, but the individual portraits and just the account of the trip are informative and great reading. Picked it up last week and finished it a few days ago, coincidentally.
Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 17:57
1RiserSlip's Avatar
1RiserSlip 1RiserSlip is offline
Been There Done That
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Po Dunk, WV
Posts: 6,114
When I was young there were several merchant marines who you only seen about twice a year. Then lookout. They were rowdy, ass kickers with a lot of beer and bail money in their pocket.
I don't reckon I got no reason to kill nobody...

Karl Childers
Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 19:36
DCH's Avatar
DCH DCH is offline
Callsign: Turkey Bacon
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: SoCAL
Posts: 2,309
Senior from oc choppers fame was a merchant marine IIRC.
No matter.
Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 20:58
Ferryman's Avatar
Ferryman Ferryman is offline
Confirmed User
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Port Orchard, WA
Posts: 653
Originally Posted by Expatmedic View Post
I would love to learn more about the Merchant Marine, their history, training, what do they do in addition to moving cargo.
I'm an engineering officer in the Merchant Marine. Not really an expert in the history, but I'll be happy to answer any questions I actually know the answer to...
Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 21:35
Mingo Kane's Avatar
Mingo Kane Mingo Kane is offline
Been There Done That
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Virginia
Posts: 4,446
I thought about it, talked to the Army recruiter and got offered a job being a Ranger--the only Rangers I knew were park Rangers. I got about three weeks into basic and realized...well.
Reply With Quote
Old Today, 07:27
Gsniper Gsniper is online now
Shakin' the bush Boss
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Virginia
Posts: 6,876
got offered a job being a Ranger--the only Rangers I knew were park Rangers.
Oops. Shoulda done some research on that one.

I had a neighbor once that was a merchant marine. Like 1RS said, when he hit town it was on like donkey kong.
Reply With Quote
Old Today, 09:12
Shark0311 Shark0311 is offline
Been There Done That
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: IL
Posts: 785
I had some friends that graduated from the USMMA and I think that it's one of the coolest schools on the planet. They spend over a 100 days at sea, live in beautiful Kings Point NY next to Great Neck (The Great Gatsby took place here) and gain real world experience with amazing job opportunities. I wish I would have known about it earlier in life.

One guy lived like a rockstar for several years going from ship to ship all over the world. He received his masters in Rotterdam and now works as a harbor pilot in AL making great money.

Last edited by Shark0311; Today at 09:23.
Reply With Quote
Old Today, 12:50
leopardprey's Avatar
leopardprey leopardprey is online now
Been There Done That
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Indiana
Posts: 13,384
President Trump recently did an EA making military skills sets transferable and certifiable to the Merchant Marines.
"Look Sharp, Act Sharp, Be Sharp - But don't cut yourself!"
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Our new posting rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:59.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions Inc. All Rights Reserved
© SOCNET 1996-2018