Mariners in wartime
Jul 1, 2009
I use to read your articles every month and I like your opinion on differents maritime subjects. But this last one about merchant marine seamen who served at time of conflicts realy touch me emotionnally. It appears that Canadian and U.S. merchant seamen got the same treatment after the second world war. Not much gratefulness.
When I was a kid I was proud to listen about the life of my father during the 2nd W.W. He served on canadian tanker and small cargo ships in those years. My father was serving as chief mate on the M.S. de Villers and they rescued 15 survivors of a U.S. navy PBY flying boat that crashed in the ocean off Dominican Republic, 09 April 1944. Other stories of an uncle of my mother on the canadian tanker Canadolite seized by the german raider Kormoran on the 25th march 1941, was in german camps for 4 years, got free only at the end of the war.
Plus many others stories. Finally, the canadian goverment, sortly before my father died in 1997, recognised the service of these seamen and my father got 4 medals to honor these years at sea in those difficult times. After he died my mother received an amount of $25,000.00 in replacement of a pension that all navy seamen got since the end of war. Even those who served in Ottawa during all the war.
Keep going with your straight opinion, you are doing a good job, people appreciate it.
P.S. Excuse my poor English language, I am a canadian with french as mother language. I start sailing in 1971, work my way up and I am a pilot in the St-Lawrence river since 27 years.