American Merchant Marine Veterans

STARS AND STRIPES reports on Memorial Day Events, including Dave Yoho, Keynote Speaker

Published: May 29, 2017 by Lauren King

WASHINGTON — They gathered Monday morning at the World War II Memorial to remember the fallen on Memorial Day, but survivors can feel that responsibility every day.

“We are gathered on the last Monday in May in solemn tribute to those who have paid the supreme sacrifice,” said Josiah Bunting III, chairman of the Friends of the National WWII Memorial. “We should honor them not only on the last Monday in May but in the way we conduct our own lives as citizens of this great republic every day of the year.”

Marine veteran Edward S. Kachinske was surrounded by family members following the ceremony. He shook hands with admirers and posed for photos. Behind him, his oldest son, Tim Kachinske, said he never knew much of his father’s war experiences or wounds until he was well into adulthood.

“We really never knew the suffering he went through,” Tim Kachinske said.

Pfc. Kachinske was an amphibious tank driver when he was wounded on Okinawa in 1945. He was riding on top of a tank when it hit a mine. He had a broken pelvis and shrapnel wounds, his son said. After he returned home, he was unable to continue as a dairy farmer because sitting was painful. He got a construction job at which sitting would have gotten him fired, his son quipped.

“He never felt sorry for himself,” Tim Kachinske said.

That selfless mentality also was visible at the dawn of WWII.

Jim Downing, the second-oldest Pearl Harbor survivor, was having breakfast with his wife in Hawaii when he heard the attack at Pearl Harbor in 1941. He got into his car and rushed to the dock, but he couldn’t reach his ship, the USS West Virginia, Mike Hydeck said in his introductory remarks on Monday. The ship was on fire after having been struck by nine torpedoes. Downing jumped onto the nearby USS Tennessee, slid down the gun barrel and landed on the USS West Virginia.

Hydeck said Downing held a firehose in one hand and with his other hand studied the dog tags of dead sailors aboard his ship. He memorized their names so he could write to their families and tell them they were all heroes.

Memorial Day at the World War II Memorial in Washington on May 29, 2017.

This survivor’s work was not finished. That afternoon, he visited the hospital with a notebook and a pencil, Hydeck said. The sailor took down messages from the wounded so they could be sent home. For some of them, those were their last words.

Dave Yoho, a Merchant Marine during World War II, cited the movie “Saving Private Ryan” and said many survivors have asked themselves the same questions for years: “Did I lead a worthy life? Did I lead a worthy life? Did what I do count?” he said, banging on the lectern with each word. “And despite the reassurances from those who love us, the question remains: ‘Did I lead a worthy life?’ ”

Both Yoho and Downing also talked to the crowd about their fellow veterans.

To those who suffered postwar from visible and invisible scars, inequality, survivors’ guilt, unemployment or homelessness, or had committed suicide, Downing said they were heroes to him, and Yoho offered his prayers.

“Some are here with us today. Many more lie in eternal rest in a foreign soil or at the bottom of the sea in a watery grave,” Yoho said. “Others live too distant to be here, and there are those whose health does not permit them to travel. They are all in our prayers.”

king.lauren@stripes.com

Twitter: @laurenking

Fox News Live with Dave Yoho at National WWII Memorial

May 27, 2017, 0900, Washington, DC ·

Fox News was live — at National World War II Memorial.

One of our own, Dave Yoho, is a guest speaker at this event. You can fast forward to about 32 minutes to access his talk.

Memorial Day ceremony at the National WWII Memorial to “honor and remember more than 400,000 Americans who lost their lives during WWII.”

World War II Merchant Marine veteran Dave Yoho gestures as he delivers a keynote speech at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., on Memorial Day 2017.

JOE GROMELSKI/STARS AND STRIPES
By LAUREN KING | STARS AND STRIPES

Published: May 29, 2017

WASHINGTON — They gathered Monday morning at the World War II Memorial to remember the fallen on Memorial Day, but survivors can feel that responsibility every day.

“We are gathered on the last Monday in May in solemn tribute to those who have paid the supreme sacrifice,” said Josiah Bunting III, chairman of the Friends of the National WWII Memorial. “We should honor them not only on the last Monday in May but in the way we conduct our own lives as citizens of this great republic every day of the year.”

Marine veteran Edward S. Kachinske was surrounded by family members following the ceremony. He shook hands with admirers and posed for photos. Behind him, his oldest son, Tim Kachinske, said he never knew much of his father’s war experiences or wounds until he was well into adulthood.

With a fountain at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., in the foreground, a bugler plays taps at the Memorial Day ceremony on May 29, 2017.

JOE GROMELSKI/STARS AND STRIPES

“We really never knew the suffering he went through,” Tim Kachinske said.

Pfc. Kachinske was an amphibious tank driver when he was wounded on Okinawa in 1945. He was riding on top of a tank when it hit a mine. He had a broken pelvis and shrapnel wounds, his son said. After he returned home, he was unable to continue as a dairy farmer because sitting was painful. He got a construction job at which sitting would have gotten him fired, his son quipped.

“He never felt sorry for himself,” Tim Kachinske said.

That selfless mentality also was visible at the dawn of WWII.

Jim Downing, the second-oldest Pearl Harbor survivor, was having breakfast with his wife in Hawaii when he heard the attack at Pearl Harbor in 1941. He got into his car and rushed to the dock, but he couldn’t reach his ship, the USS West Virginia, Mike Hydeck said in his introductory remarks on Monday. The ship was on fire after having been struck by nine torpedoes. Downing jumped onto the nearby USS Tennessee, slid down the gun barrel and landed on the USS West Virginia.

Hydeck said Downing held a firehose in one hand and with his other hand studied the dog tags of dead sailors aboard his ship. He memorized their names so he could write to their families and tell them they were all heroes.

Memorial Day at the World War II Memorial in Washington on May 29, 2017.

This survivor’s work was not finished. That afternoon, he visited the hospital with a notebook and a pencil, Hydeck said. The sailor took down messages from the wounded so they could be sent home. For some of them, those were their last words.

Dave Yoho, a Merchant Marine during World War II, cited the movie “Saving Private Ryan” and said many survivors have asked themselves the same questions for years: “Did I lead a worthy life? Did I lead a worthy life? Did what I do count?” he said, banging on the lectern with each word. “And despite the reassurances from those who love us, the question remains: ‘Did I lead a worthy life?’ ”

Both Yoho and Downing also talked to the crowd about their fellow veterans.

To those who suffered postwar from visible and invisible scars, inequality, survivors’ guilt, unemployment or homelessness, or had committed suicide, Downing said they were heroes to him, and Yoho offered his prayers.

“Some are here with us today. Many more lie in eternal rest in a foreign soil or at the bottom of the sea in a watery grave,” Yoho said. “Others live too distant to be here, and there are those whose health does not permit them to travel. They are all in our prayers.”

king.lauren@stripes.comTwitter: @laurenking

You can fast forward to about 32 minutes to access Dave’s talk.

Happening Now: Memorial Day ceremony at the National WWII Memorial to "honor and remember more than 400,000 Americans who lost their lives during WWII."

Posted by Fox News on Monday, May 29, 2017


31st AMMV Annual Merchant Marine Convention & Reunion – 2017

Go to our bar menu under EVENTS and click on drop down menu item “31st Annual ———-“ to find our final version of the agenda for our 31st Annual  AMMV convention. Join us to enjoy and be informed by the many outstanding speakers lined up to address our assembly. Your attendance will be rewarded with the important and informative content of their presentations.

How to Join, Be a Social Media User and Contact Your Congressperson

FACEBOOK

Submitted by Patti Scafidi, Member-at-Large

WHAT IS FACEBOOK?
Facebook is used by individuals who wish to stay connected with, or reconnect with, people that they know offline. As well as maintaining a personal profile and posting messages on their “wall,” users can upload photo albums and videos, share links, write long notes, send private messages to friends, text, video chat, and play games. And, for our purposes, it allows you to stay in contact with your Legislator.

HOW TO JOIN:
Google website: www.facebook.com. When you see the signup form, fill out your name, email address or phone number, password, birthday and gender. If you don’t see the form, click Sign Up, then fill out the form. Once you sign up, you’ll need to confirm your email address or phone number. Facebook will send you either an email or phone message, depending on which sign-in method you chose. There will be a link to CONFIRM. CONFIRM!

HOW TO USE:
You are now a member of Facebook! Sign on to use and at the top of your page you can look up your Congressperson. Ninety-nine percent of LEGISLATORS have FACEBOOK accounts, whereas only 94 percent have both TWITTER and FACEBOOK accounts. Admittedly, Facebook is the easiest to use, starting out. The good thing about Facebook is that you are not limited to 140 characters or @ signs. With Facebook, you can submit requests/recommendations using as many words as you like. I WILL HELP YOU! My Facebook address is https://www.facebook.com/patti.scafidi or just look for PattiAmmvScafidi. Go to my Facebook address and send me a friend request. I will help you any way I can. See below for all my contact info.

OUR NEW JUST RECOGNITION MOTTO: HELL NO; WE WON’T GO AWAY.
It is very important that we urge our legislators to co-sponsor HR.563; so

TO CONTACT A CONGRESSPERSON ON FACEBOOK ABOUT HR.563:
After you sign on to Facebook, all you have to do is type the name of the Congressperson or Senator in the top search bar and you will find their Facebook page. You will either be able to post right there or send them a Private Message. BE SURE TO follow up with phone calls & letters. Example: I (or person you are writing about) am a WWII Veteran Merchant Mariner and your constituent. Please Co-sponsor our bill #HR563 I am (88-?) AND TIME IS RUNNING OUT for us!

Patti’s note: If you have any questions about these instructions, please email patti.scafidi@gmail.com or send me a private message on my Facebook page. OR call me at 228-671-6384. THEN also be sure to mark “like”, if you do, and comment on our AMMV Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/AMMV1775. Or just search for AMMV in the search box. Need Help? Please don’t hesitate to call! I am here for YOU!

HOW TO TWITTER

Submitted by Sheila Sova, Member-at-Large – email for help at shesova@aol.com

ABOUT TWITTER:
Twitter allows users to post 140 character messages, or tweets, and follow the messages of other users on their Twitter feed. It is mainly used to communicate with other individuals with similar interests, regardless of whether users know one another off Twitter.

4 EASY STEPS TO SIGN UP:

  1. Go to www.twitter.com
  2. Click on SIGN UP
  3. Put in your email address and a password.
  4. Give yourself a Twitter address (it can be your full name if you wish to give it out or just a nickname).

You will receive an email to confirm that you are signed up. After this, when you Google www.twitter. com your account should come up automatically.

USING TWITTER:
Twitter Address @: Just like an email address, each person has their own individual Twitter address. An address on Twitter for a musician might be @ rock-and-roll or @pianokeys, which describes something about them. You can also use your name as your Twitter address such as @johnsmith. Warning, someone may already have your same name so you can always add a number after your name such as @ Johnsmith123

To search for a subject: use Hashtags (#): Have a special topic you want to tweet about? Use a hashtag (#) so if you are looking for a special topic or word you can type it into the search bar and it will come up. A hashtag is almost like a “clue to finding a subject” such as searching for the Jones Act or a Liberty Ship. When you type either of those words in the search bar, any picture or comment about those two things will bring up any comments, pictures or videos about Liberty ships or the Jones Act. Examples of hashtags you might want to use or search for are: #jonesact, #libertyship, #merchantmarine, #WWII, and most importantly, #HR563 and  #MMWWII.

TO CONTACT A CONGRESSPERSON ON TWITTER ABOUT HR.563:
How to tweet Congresspersons your concerns for HR563? All you have to do is type the name of the congressman or senator in the top search bar and you find their Twitter address. OR on the Google search line, type in: https://twitter.com/verified/lists/us-congress – to verify their Twitter address.

Outstanding Volunteers – 2016

AMMV’s Outstanding Volunteers: Meet the Team behind the Dream

At the 30th annual AMMV National Convention held in New Orleans (March 2016), six AMMV members received awards for outstanding service to the AMMV organization.

Morris Harvey: Prior to being elected as AMMV’s National Vice President, Morris served two terms as AMMV National President. He is also a former Regional Vice President and after a 12 year hiatus has resumed presidency of the Ocala, FL Chapter. Additionally, he has spearheaded several AMMV Conventions during these periods of leadership. Morris is the Co-Chairman of AMMV’s Government Affairs Committee and engineered the historic “Storm the Hill” campaign in which five WWII MM Vets spent a week visiting Congress (2015) in promotion of H.R. 563.  The creation and management of the AMMV website is yet another accomplishment attributable to his dedication to the organization. Morris continues to work tirelessly in support of his fellow WWII Merchant Marine Veterans.

Patti Scafidi: Patti is the wife of marine artist Don Scafidi, who was a Kings Point cadet during WWII. Their son, Max, is also a USMMA graduate – 57 years after his father! Patti is a strong activist for the Merchant Marine past and present. She currently is the lead Administrator of the AMMV Facebook page and is part of AMMV’s Membership Committee. Her efforts and promotional drives led to several new members in recent months. Patti also provided critical logistical support during the 2016 National Convention. Her husband’s original artwork display was a boost to the event, and she is credited for netting the Maritime Administrator as one of our Convention speakers.

Sheila Sova: Sheila is the proud daughter of a WWII Merchant Marine & Korean Army Veteran who was part of an IL/MO based AMMV Chapter before crossing the final bar. She is a hard-fisted advocate of the WWII MM and has appeared on TV news interviews and radio talk shows in support of these views. Sheila runs the AMMV Twitter page and has carried out many special assignments as an AMMV volunteer. When it comes to WWII MM legislation, she is one of our top promotors.

Dave Yoho: Dave was a WWII Merchant Mariner who is now a well-known businessman and motivational speaker. He came in touch with AMMV after discovering his young face on a historic reprint of a recruiting publication from the Sheepshead Bay training facility. Dave has since raised significant amounts of money to be used as “Mission Support”, allowing for expanded outreach efforts and better promotion of AMMV’s core causes. He has also crafted promotional videos in support of AMMV & H.R. 563, and was the opening speaker at our 30th Convention. Thanks to Dave, the WWII MM Vets have a new slogan: “Hell no, we won’t go away!”

Sindy Raymond: Saaren “Sindy” Raymond has dedicated many years to the cause of the American Merchant Marine Veteran. Before taking the job as National Office Administrator, she worked for the “Just Compensation Committee” under Ian Allison. She is referred to by AMMV’s National President as “the most important person in AMMV”. Sindy is the Editor of our quarterly News magazine and a member of the North Bay Mariners Chapter in CA.

Carole Gutierrez: (not pictured) Carole has been deeply involved with AMMV for several years. She produces the newsletter for her Oregon Chapter, of which her late husband Max was the President. Carole is the Graphics Design Coordinator for the AMMV News magazine (and other projects) and serves on our Editorial Committee. One of her primary contributions each year is the production of AMMV’s Convention Book (aka Memory Book). If all that is not enough, she is also a Regional Vice President.

New Orleans Book Signing of “The Mathews Men”

Patti Scafidi represented the AMMV at a book signing in New Orleans. The objective was to meet the book author and offer any support that AMMV could offer to promote the sale of his book and to get this Merchant Marine story out to the public.

THE MATHEWS MEN –The Untold Story of an Epic World War II Sea Battle Just Off the Coast of America

Patti Scafidy traveled from her Mississippi home to New Orleans to represent the AMMV at a book signing for the book, “The Mathews Men”. She was able to talk with the author, William Geroux, while he autographed her book.

Patti Scafidy traveled from her Mississippi home to New Orleans to represent the AMMV at a book signing for the book, “The Mathews Men”. She was able to talk with the author, William Geroux, while he autographed her book.

Mathews County, Virginia, is a remote outpost on the Chesapeake Bay with little to offer except
unspoiled scenery, but it sent one of the largest concentrations of sea captains and U.S. merchant mariners of any community in America to fight in World War II. The Mathews Men tells that heroic story through the experiences of the extraordinary Hodges family and their seven seafaring sons.

The Hodges and their neighbors in Mathews suddenly found themselves squarely in the crosshairs of the U-boats bearing down on the coastal United States in 1942. From the late 1930s to 1945, virtually all the fuel, food, and munitions that sustained the Allies in Europe traveled in merchant ships. After Pearl Harbor, those unprotected ships instantly became the U-boats’ prime targets, and the Navy lacked the inclination or resources to defend them until the beginning of 1943. The U-boats aimed to sink every American ship they could find, sometimes within sight of tourist beaches, and to kill as many mariners as possible, in order to frighten their shipmates into staying ashore.

As the war progressed, men from Mathews sailed the North and South Atlantic, the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, and even the icy Barents Sea in the Arctic Circle, where they braved the dreaded Murmansk Run. Some died horrific deaths. Others fought to survive torpedo explosions, flaming oil slicks, storms, shark attacks, mine blasts, and harrowing lifeboat odysseys-only to ship out again on the next boat as soon as they’d returned to safety.

The Mathews Men shows us the war far beyond the traditional battlefields-often the U.S. merchant mariners’ life-and-death struggles took place just off the U.S. coast-and also takes us to the landing beaches on D-Day and to the Pacific. “When final victory is ours,” General Dwight D. Eisenhower had predicted, “there is no organization that will share its credit more deservedly than the Merchant Marine.” Their achievements and sacrifices, however, went largely unheralded- Until now.

WILLIAM GEROUX wrote for the Richmond Times-Dispatch for twenty-five years.

His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Associated Press, and various regional
magazines. He has also worked for Maersk, the largest container-shipping company in the world.
He lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Author William Geroux Shares Little-Known WWII Story

GerouxSeven Brothers and the War Against Hitler’s U-boats

“Vividly drawn and emotionally gripping.”
—Daniel James Brown, #1
New York Times bestselling author of The Boys in the Boat

One of the last unheralded heroic stories of World War II: the U-boat assault off the American coast against the men of the U.S. Merchant Marine who were supplying the European war, and one community’s monumental contribution to that effort.

AMMV President, Captain Chris Edyvean, reported the following thoughts of The Mathews Men:

As I continued to read “The Mathews Men“, I was in for a big treat.  There are 8 pages – including pictures – of the story of the sinking of the SS City of New York.  This was duel cargo/passenger ship, in which a pregnant woman who was fleeing an Axis occupied territory gave birth in a lifeboat following the sinking. In all the books I have read on the WWII MM, this is the first time I have found anything on this story.

BookCover_geroux mathews menIn this year’s Memory Book, my local Shipmaster’s group placed a full page ad which honored two WWII vets who are/were part of our group. One of these featured vets is William Carlson, who was a member of the Navy Armed Guard on the SS City of New York when she was sunk. Bill had told me the story, but I could never find additional information. Now I have the details! Bill was in a different lifeboat, and he explained that he never knew if the baby survived or not. Turns out that the “lifeboat baby” was a well-known story at the time, and the press deemed this child as “the baby Hitler couldn’t get”. The book contains not only photos but names, which makes searching the internet easy in terms of finding later information on this family.

However, the main focus of the book is the war that the German U-boats waged right off our own shores, and how unprepared our country was for these attacks. “Mathews” is a county in Virginia which saw an unusually high number of Merchant Mariners in this struggle. I won’t reveal any more details; go get the book for yourself!

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

SOME REVIEWS AND PURCHASING OPTIONS:

AMAZON:

Click Here to buy the book on Amazon

PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY:

Click Here to read the non-fiction book review by Publisher’s Weekly

STAR TELEGRAM:

Click Here to read the book review by Star Telegram

Korean Service – Status Report for Veteran Recognition

JUST RECOGNITION – MERCHANT MARINERS – KOREAN SERVICE

STATUS REPORT ON APPLICATION FOR VETERAN RECOGNITION 24

March 2016

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:

Group Application to Secretary of the Air Force seeking recognition of the oceangoing service of American Merchant Seamen employed by the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) and by commercial shipping lines aboard public and private vessels of United States registry and sailing in direct support of the Armed Forces of the United States during the “Korean Conflict” (defined by the Department of Veterans Affairs for benefit purposes as 27 June 1950 to 31 January 1955, inclusive).

Established under: “GI Bill Improvement Act of 1977” approved 23 November 1977.  (Citation: Public Law 95-202, Title IV, Section 401; 91 Statutes 1449, as amended.)

Codified as: United States Code, Title 38—Veterans’ Benefits, Section 106 note (2012 Edition).

Implementing regulations: Code of Federal Regulations, Title 32—National Defense, Part 47—Active Duty Service for Civilian or Contractual Groups (7-1-15 Edition).

Governing: Department of Defense (DoD) Directive 1000.20 “Active Duty Service Determinations for Civilian and Contractual Groups” dated 11 September 1989 (Certified Current as of November 21, 2003).

Work Accomplished to Date

104 handwritten pages of text (about 85 type-written, double-spaced pages)

Downloaded or copied about 150 source documents from books, newspaper articles, and Internet websites

Selected tentatively for inclusion in application:  3 crew lists; 4 charts/graphs; 9 maps; 15 photographs and 13 tables.

Identified in the combat zone—Korean waters:  73 U.S.—flagged commercial merchantmen during the first six months of war; 49 United States Naval Ships (USNS), 45 crews of which became eligible for the Korean Service Medal by 1954.  One of these ships, USNS Diphda (T-AKA 59) also served as USS Diphda (AKA 59).

Requirements for Acceptance of Group Application by DoD Civilian/Military Service Review Board (DoD C/MSRB)

Define the Group

Show relationship group had with U. S. Armed Forces; manner in which members employed; service members provided Substantiate and document the application

Burden of Proof rests with the applicant

Policy under regulations of the DoD C/MSRB

Active Duty recognition of civilian service based on extent of similarity of control of group members vs. military personnel Control determined by criteria called “Incidents” or “factors” that are either favorable or unfavorable toward recognition of equivalency:

Favorable

Uniqueness of service

Organizational authority over group

Integration of group into Organization

Subjection to military discipline

Subjection to military justice

Prohibition against group members joining Armed Forces

Receipt of military training and/or achievement of military capability

Unfavorable

Submission to U. S. Armed Forces for Protection Permitted to resign?

Prior recognition of group’s service (by state and local authorities)

Consideration also given to status of group in international law:  Treated as civilians, or assimilated to the Armed Forces?

[Note: Nothing is stated as to which status is considered favorably or unfavorably.]

Reality Check

As previously identified by former AMMV Team Chairman Dr. Larry Kerkow, DoD’s rewrite of these policy regulations after the 1987 defeat in U. S. District Court (Schumacher v. Aldridge; 665 F. Supp. 41) of the Secretary of the Air Force’s decision not to recognize the service of Oceangoing and Invasion Mariner Groups produced arbitrary and capricious factors.  Consequently, what AMMV is facing in this application process is a requirement to fit a square merchant marine peg into a round DoD hole.  My arguments concerning this were stated in my letters of 25 November and 21 December of 2015.  Briefly:

At one time the Mission and its successful accomplishment drove the Armed Forces, especially during wartime.  Performance mattered.  Congress recognized that the service of civilians should be critical in supporting the Armed Forces for favorable recognition as active duty.  None of this is valued in the current criteria.  The emphasis is, rather, on conformity, control and appearance.

The U. S. Merchant Marine is a uniquely adaptable service and is provided for by law to the Armed Forces as auxiliary in time of war.  It is not an organization; it is an institution, an industry.  Mariners are employees who go to work on ships, rather than go on duty wearing a uniform.  Service is supposed to be the issue here, not appearances.

The U. S. Merchant Marine is controlled by federal law and regulations largely administered by the Coast Guard.  The United States Code, Title 46— Shipping governs.  Yet, under the Boards’ regulations, Section 47.5(a)(3), a Coast Guard representative is only appointed as an additional voting member if the Group is claiming active Coast Guard service.  Effectively, we have no representative on the Board.

The “Integration” factor applies only minimally to the extent that USNS and merchant vessels under MSTS control are assigned to task organization’s under operational command by a naval officer.  “Customs and courtesies” are cited as part of this favorable factor, yet when was the last time any civilian rendered such courtesies to uniformed officers?  We have a naval tradition, but we are employees who work on ships.

The Uniform Code of [Military] Justice (Public Law 81-506; 64 Statutes 107), was approved 5 May 1950, just before the start of the Korean Conflict.  This effectively ended the speculation about whether or not civilians accompanying the armed forces during an undeclared war fall under the legal jurisdiction of military commanders.  The Manual for Courts-Martial applies to uniformed service members and not to civilians.  Our disciplinary procedures are dealt with by the ships’ master under regulations, and our justice matters fall under the U. S. Criminal Code.  Based on the current criteria as stated, the U. S. Merchant Marine’s service during the Korean Conflict will not be favorably recognized.

Merchant seamen are not prohibited from joining the armed forces, assuming they can meet the physical, mental and moral standards prescribed for enlistment.  Their service was so essential during WWII that they received occupational deferments rather than be inducted into the Army (and later the Navy and Marine Corps as well).  There was also a shortage of seamen during the Korean Conflict.  This factor is really quite out-of-date since the women’s issue over unfairness and unequal treatment has all but vanished.  Getting killed in combat is now a matter of equal opportunity.  Welcome aboard!

“Protection of Shipping” was made a primary function of the Navy and a collateral function of the Air Force by Direction of President Truman to the Secretary of Defense on 21 April 1948.  The sources for this application show that both services provided surface and air escort to USNS and commercial vessels.  Yet, considering the Unfavorable criterion above, one would expect that seeking such protection automatically results in a negative recommendation of the group’s service.  Why this was ever included and what the motivation was in writing it is uncertain, but it is tailormade for rejection of this application.

In the Works

Several projects are identified that require a “task force” of more than one man.  The 42 sealifts that moved the troops/cargo to Japan/Korea require identification of shipping.  I have the proposals in hand.

To volunteer call Michael Helbig at 907-244-4238 or email at hanshelbig.helbig08@gmail.com.

Submitted to AMMV National Vice President Morris Harvey by Michael J. Helbig