I express my thanks to all that made it possible to have the Merchant Marine plaque placed at the Payson Veterans Memorial. This Veterans Day ceremony we will remember the bravery and sacrifices of the mariners of World War II and other wars.
Payson has at least 30 Merchant Marine veterans, an astonishing number. Twenty-one are WWII veterans which five of us are still living. We have nine mariners that served after WWII.
After the presentation at the high school, please join us at Tiny’s conference room. Most will be hungry at this time. This reunion is for anyone interested or associated with the Merchant Marine: veterans, widows, grandchildren, historians, etc.
The U.S. Merchant Marine was the first to go to war and the last to return. Before Pearl Harbor, six American ships were sunk with the loss of 280 lives. After the war from 1947 to 1950, 30 U.S. ships were sunk or damaged by mines.
The greatest slaughter was by the German U-Boat Drumbeat campaign from January to June 1942 when 400 ships were torpedoed and 5,000 mariners perished. This all happened along our East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico. At this time our allied and U.S. ships had no Navy Armed Guard aboard and the convoy system had not been yet established. Sixty percent of these ships were not U.S. flagged ships. Please go to Wikipedia and dial in the above.
To learn much more, please visit our Web site: www.usmm.org
There ar no roses on a sailor’s grave,
No lilies on an oceans wave;
The only tribute is the seagull sweeps
And the teardrops that a sweetheart weeps.
Corky Mathews, MM WWII combat veteran, Lieutenant JG, U.S. Maritime Service