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.
Bernie Harris of Loveland Courtyard condominium in Port Charlotte, Fla. made 40 trips across the Atlantic and Pacific during World War II sailing in Esso tankers bringing aviation gasoline and fuel oil to the troops. After the war he joined the Navy and served four years as a submariner aboard the USS Trout—SS-566.
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.