70 years ago this morning

one of the greatest undertakings of an armed force in the history of man took place…an undertaking which included the men and ships of the merchant marine and merchant navy! A maritime armada of such size and magnitude which will live for all the ages to come and hopefully will never be forgotten even though the men who were there are now rapidly passing from the earth.

each of the following American merchant vessels were present and participated in the battle on that fateful day all manned by civilian US merchant mariners

Artemus Ward
Banjamin Park
Benjamin Contee
Bernard Carter
Black Rock
Bodie Island
Charles Morgan
David O. Saylor
Edwin L. Drake
Eleazar Wheelock
Fisher Ames
Flight Command
Francis O. Harrington
Frank R. Stockton
George S. Wasson
George W. Childs
George W. Woodward
Great Isaac
Hannibal Hamlin
Hillsboro Inlet
Horace Gray
Hutchinson I. Cone
James Iredell
James R. Randall
James W. Marshall
James Woodrow
John S. Mosby
Juan Flaco Brown
Julius Rosenwald
Lee S. Overman
Lucius Q. Lamar
Marine Raven
Matt W. Ransom
Melville Jacoby
Moose Peak
Nathaniel Bacon
Oliver Wolcott
Peregrine White
Sankaty Head
Stephen B. Elkins
Thomas B. Robertson
Trinidad Head
Victory Sword
Walter Hines Page
West Cheswald
West Grama
West Honaker
West Nohno
William H. Prescott
William Phips

for all those men of all nationalities in all armed forces including the civilian mariners who participated in the invasion which liberated western Europe from the Nazi plague goes our everlasting thanks. It was spoken during a different war but the words hold the same truth for the valiant and brave men who died and shed blood during WWII

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

every American should quietly speak these words to themselves today and on every day we honor those who have sacrificed for the honorable and just cause that the US stood for throughout history.

Just mute the sound and read the captions. Then think about what it was to live that day.


Thank you very much for posting that Jet, but why mute the music?..that is the score from the great BBC series “The World at War” which in my opinion was the quintessential documentary series ever produced about that world altering global conflict. Produced in the early 70’s and narrated by Sir Lawrence Olivier, it captured the war as no other series ever did before or after including interviews with many of the leaders who were still alive at the time one of the most notable being Admiral Karl Doernitz.

If you have not seen any of the series, you must if you at all care about WWII!


This is the D-Day episode. Watch and absorb ever second of its story!

[QUOTE=c.captain;138686]Thank you very much for posting that Jet, but why mute the music?..that is the score from the great BBC series [/QUOTE]

The music & sound effects are a distraction. To really appreciate the magnitude of this event, one needs to find a quiet space, mute the sound, view the images then contemplate all that was on June 6th, 1944.

[QUOTE=Jetryder223;138687]The music & sound effects are a distraction. To really appreciate the magnitude of this event, one needs to find a quiet space, mute the sound, view the images then contemplate all that was on June 6th, 1944.[/QUOTE]

agreed that silence gives a gravity to the images that is profound and moving…


Much like the climatic final minutes of the movie “The Battle of Britain” without any sound other than the music. Just men and their machines in mortal combat and attempting to simply survive!

I know that this is somewhat off the maritime aspect of the thread but why didn’t the US do more to protect the first waves ashore like laying down smoke on the bluffs overlooking the landing beach or bringing up “citadel ships” with the troops to beach themselves and provide point blank fire support during the landings? It seems like such a no-brainer to have a platform armed with 5"/38, 40mm and 20mm cannon firing right into the faces of the Germans! Yes, a duty no man should have to perform but a vital one all the same.

US Navy (not Navee mind you) destroyers like the USS EMMONS are credited as having turned the battle on Omaha Beach by coming into shoal water and pouring in suppressing fire to give enough cover to the landing troops to get off the blood soaked beach and into the hills overlooking them! I believe she even went aground for a time but never stopped pumping shells into the German defenses!

I firmly believe that this is something of such incredible magnitude for the planners of D-Day to have missed to be one of the great Allied mistakes of WWII. We almost lost Omaha Beach because of it and likely many thousands of US soldiers died because such a painful oversight!


Off subject a little. My grandfather was in the South Pacific in WWII. He told me before they were to land, the navy would bombard the beaches with everything they had for hours, this was in the middle to later campaign’s. He stated when they reached the beaches , the Japanese would still be dug in like ticks, not letting go of their trenches, caves, etc.

I have nothing but respect for the men and women who served during WWII-of all branches of the service and Merchant Marine/Navy. These people went to war, not knowing when or if they would make it back home. A lot of guys were in Europe for the duration of the war! It wasn’t do a year and come home, it was fight until the war is over, then occupy the country and then we’ll tell when your going home. My hats off to all WWII vets , sailors and the people who supported the war effort!

Captain Crawford told me some great WWII convoy stories before he passed.

The World at War was the best series done on the subject. Lawrence Olivier was almost dropped from the program, because the first recordings he did were thought to be weak and bland, but he had just finished some grueling stage work and he improved in the weeks thereafter. In my opinion, his narration lends just the right amount of gravitas without sounding heavy and pedantic.

And the series is bookended by the massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane, the French village which was destroyed by the Nazis and the ruin left standing as a monument to the brutality of war. The message: Never forget!