Please don’t forget contributions, patriotism, of Merchant Marines

Once again, “Veterans’ Day,” with all its celebrations, has come to a close. I am writing this note as a U.S. Navy “Seabee” veteran of World War II serving in the Pacific Theater.

Once again, “Veterans’ Day,” with all its celebrations, has come to a close.

I am writing this note as a U.S. Navy “Seabee” veteran of World War II serving in the Pacific Theater.

For the past five years, my wife and I have been invited to our grandson’s and great-granddaughter’s schools for their assemblies honoring our service veterans. Each veteran is introduced by the branch in which they served. This would be the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard.

There is another group of men and women who served and died for our country during war time. This group is known as the “Merchant Marine.” They are the individuals who manned the ships that carried troops and materials to the war zones. Statistics were not kept by the government, thus casualty lists may vary.

I personally had three high-school classmates who served aboard merchant ships during World War II.

During World War II, 243,000 men and women served aboard these cargo ships; 9,521 personnel died while serving their country. This shows that 3.9 percent of the total personnel were killed as a result of the their ship being sunk, or killed as prisoners of war. In comparison, the Navy had 4,183,466 personnel, with 36,958 killed for a total of .88 percent of that group.

It is my feeling that these men and women “saw to it” that the Marines, Army and Navy got the ammunition, equipment and food where and when they needed it.

I certainly feel these Merchant Mariners should receive the same honor as the military personnel. It is just recent that the Merchant Mariners are entitled to receive and wear the campaign ribbons the same as the armed forces.

Albert Sells

Kent


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