MERCHANT MARINERS AT WAR: An Oral History of World War II

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MERCHANT MARINERS AT WAR: An Oral History of World War Il By George J. Billy and Christine M. Billy 336 Pages, Illustrated, 6.125-in x 9.25-in, Hardback. ISBN* 978-0-8130-7 - $30.00. University Press of Florida, 1-800-226-3822; www.upf.com

Compiled & reviewed by Rod E. Redman

While they frequently refer to themselves as the "forgotten veterans" of the "Greatest Generation," the Merchant Marine veterans deservedly have learned to become very vocal when it comes to letting today's generation comprehend what the men who manned the merchant ships of WWII also accomplished. During the great two-ocean war of 1939-1945, thousands of cargo ships were manned by more than 100,000 civilian mariners who faced fire, instant death, blockades, torpedoes, bombs, machine gun bullets and even sometimes the public's wrath as they fought beside the Navy and Coast Guard to deliver the stuff of war to every Allied port from frigid Murmansk, Russia, to sweltering Darwin, Australia. Admittedly, they received very little public acclaim because of their unique semicivilian, semi-military status. …