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Old 10 June 2019, 17:52
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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.
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Old 12 June 2019, 06:00
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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.
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Old 13 June 2019, 17:11
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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.
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Old 15 June 2019, 00:13
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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.
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Old 15 June 2019, 17:57
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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.
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Old 15 June 2019, 19:36
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Senior from oc choppers fame was a merchant marine IIRC.
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Old 15 June 2019, 20:58
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Quote:
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...
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Old 15 June 2019, 21:35
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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.
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Old 16 June 2019, 07:27
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Quote:
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.
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  #10  
Old 16 June 2019, 09:12
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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; 16 June 2019 at 09:23.
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Old 16 June 2019, 12:50
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President Trump recently did an EA making military skills sets transferable and certifiable to the Merchant Marines.
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Old 16 June 2019, 22:37
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Originally Posted by leopardprey View Post
President Trump recently did an EA making military skills sets transferable and certifiable to the Merchant Marines.
I'm not sure that is a good idea given the incidents that have occurred at sea.
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Old 20 June 2019, 14:33
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Originally Posted by leopardprey View Post
President Trump recently did an EA making military skills sets transferable and certifiable to the Merchant Marines.
Skimmers gotta skim, target riders hang together.
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  #14  
Old 20 June 2019, 19:50
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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

My Grandfather enlisted in the Coast Guard in early 1942 and spent his war years in the Pacific on Attack Transports. I might have taken his statements out of context, or maybe I just misunderstood, but he often referenced spending time with the Merchant Marine. I suppose a Coast Guard manned ship carrying troops or supplies might carry that meaning, or maybe it was an honorary affiliation.

Last edited by mb5417; 20 June 2019 at 19:55.
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  #15  
Old 20 June 2019, 21:24
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I think this is what he was talking about

The Coast Guard continued its supporting role as the Allies moved north and west from Guadalcanal. In June and July 1943, the Army and Marines made landings at several points on Rendova, New Georgia, and Vangunu islands. Five transports with partial Coast Guard crews participated in …

Last edited by wildman43; 20 June 2019 at 21:24. Reason: wording/spelling
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  #16  
Old 20 June 2019, 23:29
Armitage12 Armitage12 is offline
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I'm not finding anything immediately that covers all of what you want. I'm seeing popular and scholarly works that focus almost entirely on either specific bad events (the wreck of the...) or World War Two. If you don't mind a more academic tome, I find the following is reasonably well reviewed:
Rodney Carlisle, Rough Waters: Sovereignty and the American Merchant Flag (Naval Institute Press, 2017).

I'm guessing you want post 1945 coverage, rather than, say 19th century maritime history?
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  #17  
Old 21 June 2019, 01:16
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by mb5417 View Post
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

My Grandfather enlisted in the Coast Guard in early 1942 and spent his war years in the Pacific on Attack Transports. I might have taken his statements out of context, or maybe I just misunderstood, but he often referenced spending time with the Merchant Marine. I suppose a Coast Guard manned ship carrying troops or supplies might carry that meaning, or maybe it was an honorary affiliation.

I think this youtu web link will help you understand what your Grandfather was saying Attack Transports.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...E6&FORM=WRVORC
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  #18  
Old 23 June 2019, 23:30
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An old friend of mine is a Capitan with the Military Sealift Command. I believe he went to the USMMA. Great guy. He really gets around.
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