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Opinion Letters Merchant Marines a forgotten ‘branch’ of service

To Mr. Brokaw: You don’t get the usual greeting of Dear sir, as you don’t deserve it for the way you omitted the most important and maligned outfit of World War II on your program the other night.

The U.S. Merchant Marine who had the highest losses of any outfit in WWII. Can’t say service as the VFW won’t recognize us as a branch of the services.

One in every 26 Merchant Seaman were lost in WWII. Many in the VFW may have been overseas but not in harm’s way, but a U.S. Merchant Seaman was in harm’s way as soon as his ship left port.

Also if his ship got sunk, his pay stopped. A prisoner of war, no pay, on the beach awaiting another ship, no pay, also not allowed in U.S.O. club.

All U.S. Merchant Seamen were volunteers, civilians under age, over age, 4 F’s, or were temporarily deferred by their draft boards.

President Roosevelt called us the 4th arm of defense. In the first part of 1942 off the coast of N.C., it was called torpedo alley, I wonder why?

Learn some history, if you are as smart as they all say you are.

Joseph H. Foreman U.S. WWII Merchant Seaman


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