Payson has an astonishing number of Merchant Marine veterans. My last count was 22. We have a total of 16 World War II veterans, of which seven are deceased. The remaining six are post World War II veterans.
There is not a town in the United States with the population of Payson that has this number of mariners. During World War II we were the minority service with 250 mariners as compared to the Armed Forces total of 1,650,000. The U.S. Merchant Marine suffered a greater percentage of war-related deaths than did the nation’s regular armed forces combined.
We are having a reunion at the airport conference room at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 4. This reunion is for anyone in any way associated with the Merchant Marine — veterans, widows, children, grandchildren, historians and others. Friends are also invited.
Come early and enjoy a supper before the meeting. Those attending will order from the menu and pay, with service in the conference room. For details call (928) 468-1011.