When Stuart Wagner of Port Charlotte sailed out of New York Harbor in a convoy headed for parts unknown during World War II all he knew was he was a member of the Merchant Marine serving as one of three radio operators aboard the tanker “Esso Charleston” taking 10,000 tons of bunker-C oil to the…
Orville Roones of Port Charlotte, Fla. served in the Merchant Marines during World War II. It’s one of the few outfits where men risked their lives serving their country during the Second World War that isn’t recognized for what they did, and he isn’t happy about it.
Harold Power wasn’t physically fit enough to join any of the five military service branches during World War II. They turned him down because he had a bad back. At 18 he got in the U.S. Merchant Marines. He joined the outfit with the highest casualty rate, percentage-wise, in the second World War.
Able-bodied Seaman Felix De Rosa from Orange, N.J. spent most of his time in World War II in U.S. Army’s Floating Transportation. He sailed from ports along the east coast of the U.S. to ports in England. From the continent bringing supplies and soldiers to fight the war and returning wounded servicemen to the U.S.…
Arthur Card of North Port, Fla. made 30 trips across the Atlantic during the closing months of World War II ferrying troops, equipment and supplies to the war front in North Africa and Europe as a member of the U.S. Merchant Marines.
Norm Meissner attended the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, N.Y. in the 1960s. The “Cuban Missile Crisis” was erupting about the time he left the academy. The U. S. was on the verge of going to war with Russia over missiles the Soviets snuck into the island nation that were aimed our…
John Baumer went down to the recruiting office in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he grew up to enlist in the Army in 1942 and ended up in the Merchant Marines before he walked out.
John Andresen of Punta Gorda, Fla. served in the U.S. Merchant Marines during World War II. He is proud of his service to his country.
The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald was more than a popular ballad made famous by Gordon Lightfoot more than three decades ago. It was a way of life for Frank Stelzer who served as second engineer aboard the doomed ore freighter six months before she went down with all hands in a monster storm on Lake Superior Nov. 10, 1975 with 26,000 tons of iron pellets.
John Arens served as a teenage Merchant Mariner in World War II, become an Airborne Ranger in the Korean War, graduated from diving school in the 1960s, spent 11 years as a Navy SCUBA diver in the Arctic before skippering a Navy spy ship during the Cold War and completed his 40-year military career as the captain of a fast transport ship during “Operation Desert Storm” in 1991.
Harold Clark served as a 3rd Mate in the Merchant Marines during World War II. He sailed the Atlantic and Pacific in slow-moving Liberty and Victory ships filled with life-saving cargo for the war front and the home front.