Liverpool Retired Merchant Seafarers

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Liverpool Retired Merchant Seafarers
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D-DAY Anniversary Tribute to the Merchant Seamen

A D-DAY Anniversary Tribute to the Merchant Seamen of World War Two

As we celebrate the 60th Anniversary of D Day on June 6, 2004,
we wish to present the following article, in honour of those
who are sometimes too easily forgotten. From Tom - LRMS Web Admin.
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The Allied Merchant Navy was manned by sailors from Great Britain and the many nations which made up the British Empire -- now the British Commonwealth. In addition, countries such as Russia, the United States, and China which became Allies of Britian were also members of the Allied Merchant Navy. Other European countries like Poland, Greece and Norway, which came under German occupation, or Asian nations like the Philippines which was overrun by Japan, were also participants. Even neutral countries such as Sweden found that it was safer for their ships to sail with the Allied Merchant Navy rather than on their own. Over 12,000 merchant seamen came from my country, Canada, and from Newfoundland which at that time was not yet a Canadian province. Many joined the Merchant Navy because they were not old enough, or too old, or not physically eligible to enlist in the regular armed forces of their countries. Others joined because they felt it was the best way for them to contribute to the war effort. And although it was not common, even women served in the Allied Merchant Navy.

The merchant seamen faced the same dangers of war as the regular armed forces, but they did so as non-military citizens, or civilians. Their merchant ships were peacetime vessels which even if fitted with guns for defense, were not designed to withstand an enemy attack. The job of the Allied Merchant Navy was to carry vital troops, food, fuel and equipment to wherever they were needed in the fight against the Axis alliance of Germany, Italy, and Japan. Although the Allied Merchant Navy participated in all the theatres of war, it is now generally accepted by historians, that their most crucial struggle was "The Battle of the Atlantic". The battle began on September 3rd, 1939, when the British passenger liner Athenia was torpedoed by a German U-boat, and it continued until Germany surrendered on May 7th, 1945.

READ MORE:
http://members.tripod.com/~merchantships/merchantseamentribute.html

Re: D-DAY Anniversary Tribute to the Merchant Seamen

The D-Day anniversary tribute.

A Great addition to the LRMS site Tom. I enjoyed it immensely.
Gerry

Re: D-DAY Anniversary Tribute to the Merchant Seamen

Hi there fellow seaman, I love going through this website and enjoying the many tales ,it is quite inspiring, and when you live a long way from home its great to read about whats going on, I only learnt about this site after my trip home in April-June 2004.
My Sister sends me out the Legion Mag; and I was reading about the D-Day Celebrations, A subsidised trip on a ship to the Normandy Beaches for Vets and their Wives, etc, So I decided to combine my trip home to visit my family still over there, with the D-Day Celebrations.
I also wanted to call into the War Pensions Office in Blackpool, a couple of Queries, about my War Pension, I get for losing my eye through action on the Salerno ,Italy Invasion, I was discharged as a Deck Boy but eventually reinstated as a Cabin Boy at the old age of 15 yrs, I was on a Tanker on D-Day carrying Octane, So I considered myself a Vet; anyway, after surviving the Rigid Security getting into the Offices at Blackpool, After being told politely that they could do nothing about Australia Govt, pinching 40 cents out of every dollar of my Pension, I felt completely stuffed when I was told That I could not Qualify for the Subsidised trip to the Normandy Beaches, because I was not living there.To which I replied, Maybe not ,but I was there on the day.
THen when I returned back to Aussie, I happened to read in an Aussie Veterans Magazine, about an Aussie that sailed with the British Merchant Navy, THe Article described how he was on a Tanker carrying Octane on D-Day, and that he had been Awarded the French Legion of Honour Medal.by the French Ambassador in Brisbane,, THinking he might have been on the same ship as me "THe Empire Chapman, I contacted him , lives about a 4hour drive from here, WE exchanged a couple of letters, and no he was'nt on the same ship. He was on one called "Voco, and he said that wasn't actually on D-Day, it was three or Four Weeks Later, taking supplies over.
Oh well I guess thats what its all about. Tom Lennon