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February 04 , 2011

Merchant Mariners at War


Thousands of cargo ships sailed in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters of World War II manned by young men who braved blockades, torpedoes, and bombings to deliver vital supplies to the Allied forces and make victory possible. These mariners have received little if any credit; they are the forgotten group of "the greatest generation."

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Merchant Mariners at War offers firsthand accounts of the wartime experiences of veterans who graduated from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy – the largest supplier of ships' officers in WWII. Gathered over more than a decade at the academy in Kings Point, New York, the interviews offer a unique portrait of the young officers who delivered the vital war materiel and provide a valuable window into the world of the merchant marine during WWII. The stories often include startling accounts of privation and endurance.

Their stories give voice to a new perspective on WWII maritime history. Chapters cover such subjects as Liberty ships, U-Boats, the Battle of the Atlantic, D-Day, the Philippines, the vast Pacific, and the Murmansk Run. Throughout the book, interesting anecdotes from the veterans enliven the narrative and add to its contribution to the historical record – heretofore non-existent.

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