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Logs can name assignments for crew members, among other log entries of the day to day activities of the ship. He is Raymond R. Burkholder, able seaman. As I discuss in my Premium eLearning video class Google Books: The Tool I Use Every Day, Google Books is a treasure trove of genealogical information. by Lisa Cooke | Aug 8, 2018 | 01 What's New, Military | 2 comments. The history behind this phrase:  a sandbar can be found at the entrance of many rivers and bays, and crossing the bar has come to mean leaving the safety of a harbor for the unknown. Recently, that search became a little easier for those who are researching in the early 20th century. A reader named Steve endorsed that brief remark in the article’s comments section, and expressed a desire to hear more on the Merchant Marine. Request records with this downloadable form. Do let us know what you find , COPYRIGHT © LISA LOUISE COOKE’S GENEALOGY GEMS -, United States Coast Guard, Record Group 26, United States Merchant Marine applications for the licensing of Officers, 1914-1949, Lists of Merchant Seamen Lost in WWI, 1914-1919, Podcast Episode #159. Click here to learn more about ordering OMPFs. According to the website, American Merchant Marine at War, the Merchant Marine can trace its history to 1775, when “a party of Maine mariners, armed with pitchforks and axes, inspired by the news of the recent victory at Lexington, Massachusetts, used an unarmed lumber schooner to surprise and capture a fully armed British warship, HMS Margaretta, off the coast of Machias, Maine. Individuals beginning a search of military records would be well served by first getting a general overview of the subject area. Able-bodied seaman Louis Bartz, 38, of Philadelphia, and Ralph Mazzucco, 23, and Joaquim R. Vrea, 39, both of New York, said the submarine torpedoed the tanker at 12:45 p. m. and that after the crew got off in lifeboats the enemy craft fired 17 shells into the sinking ship. Merchant Marine have to be creative with their searching, as the records aren't as plentiful as they are for the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force or Coast Guard. The prewar total of 55,000 experienced mariners was increased to over 215,000 through U.S. Maritime Service training programs. The history of the Merchant Marines begins shortly before World War II. Even if you don’t have relatives who served in the Merchant Marine, keep reading because you may get some ideas about records to discover for other family members who may have served in the military in other capacities. These document applicants who applied to be commissioned officers with the Merchant Marines, including men designated as Masters, Pilots, Engineers, or Vessel Operators. As many as 9,500 perished at sea, from their wounds, or in prisoner of war camps. A Google search for NARA U.S. merchant seaman finds several excellent National Archives resource pages there, including some for Ship’s Logs. And that’s what happened during World War II. 5879 & S. 2127 By Capt. People researching members of the U.S. Contact the Archives to request this file. A CASE TO SUPPORT American Merchant Marine Veterans Legislature H.R. The US Navy didn’t come into being until 1797. Vicki writes:“I have a distant relative who was a Merchant Marine during WWII. The medals were claimed and issued from 1946 to 2002. Merchant Marine suffered a higher casualty rate than any service branch. You can find out whether a me… According to the American Merchant Marine at War website, over 1500 merchant ships were sunk during the War, and hundreds of others were damaged by enemy attacks and mines. New Jersey? Application for Merchant Marine Veteran Status DD214. Alert: These pdf documents have been created from scanned images and accordingly are large in file size. Captain and crew of a new Liberty Ship SS Booker T. Washington just after it completed its maiden voyage to England. The Merchant Marine, as an umbrella term, refers to a body of civilian mariners and government-owned merchant vessels: those who typically run commercial shipping in and out of the country. Michael writes that these records during World War II “can be somewhat confusing, but not impossible to search. Where can you find Merchant Marine records for World War II? It refers to the death of a mariner. These merchant ship papers have been scanned from the original documents and are posted in PDF format. I have some records for both and would love to learn more. During wartime, merchant mariners can be called on by the Navy for military transport. To Request WWII Marine Personnel Records please click here: Request a WWII Marine Personnel File WWII Marine Corps military service records can provide genealogical researchers with countless resources for tracing the steps of an ancestor who served during the war. Wartime records for the Merchant Navy, 1939 to 1947 and 1951 to 1953, are held by: Merchant Navy Registry Veterans Affairs Canada PO Box 7700 Charlottetown, PE C1A 8M9 Requests should be submitted through Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) at Veterans Affairs Canada. This book is an invaluable resource that actually provides a detailed, eyewitness account of Raymond Ralph Burkholder’s final acts on the ship before having to abandon it. This file is separate from the OMPF file and is also at the National Personnel Record Center. This is largely due to the nature of the service – most merchant mariners served on privately owned vessels commandeered by the state and sent to war in the national interest. Raymond Ralph Burkholder was a Merchant Marine Able Seaman killed when his ship the Standard Oil tanker W. L. Steed was torpedoed by a German sub off New Jersey Feb. 2, 1942. Well, in a beautiful expression of genealogy serendipity, a Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast listener has written in with a specific question about researching relatives in the Merchant Marines. This collection includes Merchant Navy Seamen records held at The National Archives. Following is a newspaper article about the incident:”. These records come from The National Archives' record series BT112, BT113, BT114, BT115, BT116, BT119 and BT120. The main series of WWII Army unit records is the World War II Operations Reports, 1940-1948 in Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1917- (Record Group 407). Merchant seamen crewed the ships of the British Merchant Navy which kept the United Kingdom supplied with raw materials, arms, ammunition, fuel, food and all of the necessities of a nation at war throughout World War II — literally enabling the country to defend itself. If the file is not in their custody, it is possible it is still in the hands of the Army Human Resource Command located at Ft. Knox, KY. If your Merchant Mariner was killed during World War II, request the Individual Deceased Personnel File (IDPF). In a beautiful expression of genealogy serendipity, a Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast listener has written in with a specific question about researching relatives in the Merchant Marine. Get military service records for the army, Royal Navy, Royal Marines or RAF from 1920 - who can apply, how long it takes, cost, how to apply World War II Draft Cards The page is in English. Wh… Ths US Coast Guard is in charge of the National Maritime Center, which holds US Merchant Marine records. Merchant Marine for this article, I came across the phrase, “crossing the bar.” You may have heard this yourself. (FHL book 942.1/L1 A3pa no. Mariners in “ocean-going service” during World War II have Veteran Status. Note that the service record is likely to be under the heading of the United States Coast Guard when filling out the form—check that box. During World War II, the seamen of the U.S. Discusses records available at The National archives. "Service in the Merchant Marine was considered civilian service under several different civilian personnel agencies. Last night the third naval district reported that a South American steamship sighted a lifeboat containing a number of bodies off the Atlantic coast yesterday, but was forced to flee when a submarine popped up in the vicinity.”. The National Archives website has finding aids for log books. Due to the multifaceted nature of the Merchant Marine, we are very grateful to obtain this collection in order to provide clarity to their service," said Theresa Fitzgerald, “Along with this new series have come some new experiences. Both my father and my uncle served in the USMM during WWII and long after. Raymond Ralph Burkholder was a Merchant Marine Able Seaman killed when his ship the Standard Oil tanker W. L. Steed was torpedoed by a German sub off … Over 6,835 American Merchant Marine were killed and over 11,000 wounded. Excellent resources in this regard include the \"Frequently Asked Questions\" publication prepared by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). I suggested checking the death certificates of the county of his last residence, which may now be held at the state level. U.S. House Approves Bill to Recognize Merchant Mariners of WWII Allied merchant convoy south of Newfoundland, July 28, 1942 (USN) By The Maritime Executive 09-24-2019 04:43:54 He says: “Although not considered to be a military arm of the United States, the Merchant Marines were an integral part of the war efforts in WWI and WWII and should be considered in genealogy. This number made up around one third of the entire global merchant fleet at the time, with many of the seamen coming from all over the Empire, including India, Hong Kong and West Africa. The Revenue Cutter Service, the forerunner of the Coast Guard, wasn’t founded until 15 years later, in 1790, to prevent smuggling. 5.) Over 2,199 Canadian Merchant Navy Seaman were killed in both World Wars. Yes, joining World War II as the crewman on a merchant ship was more dangerous than joining as a Marine, and the Marines had it the worst of all the Department of Defense branches in the war, suffering 10 percent of all U.S. casualties despite being only 5 percent of the total force. USA.gov, The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration A Williamsport, Pa., man was listed as a member of the crew. Legislation was introduced either to provide benefits to merchant mariners comparable to those provided under the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944 (P.L. No metho… Two valuable pamphlets on researching merchant marine records are: Records of the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen. American privateers soon disrupted British shipping all along the Atlantic coast.”. 1. February 8, 1943. He said that instead, he would go directly to the Records of the Merchant Marines. Of the 250,000 merchant mariners deployed, an estimated 8,300 mariners lost their lives, and another 12,000 were wounded. The announcement of the W. L. Steed’s fate was made yesterday with the arrival of three survivors, who had been picked up semi-conscious after drifting for two icy days in an open boat. (Subscription required.). How to obtian a US WWII Merchant Marine Record? Thank you. This collection has 8 boxes of material containing details on Merchant Mariners killed, wounded, and those missing in action as a result of combat during World War II. Don’t send any money; the Archives will notify you if the file is located.”. For details of the Arctic Star see our guide to Merchant seaman’s medals and honours. My Grand-Uncle was in the US Merchant Marines during WWII. The United States Merchant Marine provided the greatest sealift in history between the production army at home and the fighting forces scattered around the globe in World War II. The Merchant Marine, motivated by their deep love of country and noted for valor, were mourned with the loss of 9,300 mariners killed at sea, 12,000 wounded, and 663 men and women taken prisoner. He liked that idea and said it’s worth the effort. 1-86-NARA-NARA or 1-866-272-6272, SAINT LOUIS, December 16, 2019 — The public now has access to previously unavailable information concerning former merchant mariners and their maritime service through Merchant Marine Licensing Files, made available by the, The public can access these records in two ways: through a request made via an. This order was a redistribution of maritime functions and included the United States Merchant Marine.”, Training Officers of the Merchant Marine on the Government Training Ship at New Bedford, Mass. As the outbreak of World War II edged closer in 1939, the British merchant fleet remained the largest in the world, employing some 200,000 men and women. The records for your sailor during the war can be located at several different locations.”. These files have joined our collection in an effort to better serve the public who are looking for proof of their ancestor's service, The first block of this series contained 4,800 cubic feet of records, The Coast Guard National Maritime Center (NMC)  is the approving official for World War II Merchant Marine separation documents. That brings us to Vicki’s question about her relative. At the end of the war, they received no government pensions or … From what I’ve learned, the Master of the vessel would have reported the deaths of his crew to the vessel owners, who would have reported to the Coast Guard, and I asked Michael whether following Coast Guard records through the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots would be a good route to a death record for Raymond. World War II Young American Patriots, 1941-1945 World War II Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Casualties, 1941-1945 World War II Japanese-American Internment Camp Documents, 1942-1946 WWII U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Muster Rolls, 1939-1949 U.S. WWII Military Personnel Missing In Action or Lost At Sea, 1941-1946. Here are six excellent places to look. There was a Continental Navy in 1775, but it ended with the Revolutionary War. The article was on how to find military service records. The collection opened to the public on December 2, 2019. On August 26, 1939, the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) took control of all shipping. ). Vicki’s question is this: Where do you think I would look for a death certificate? Here’s where I put my head together with Michael. You are so welcome Denise! This collection covers both World Wars. Overview. Dad even managed to get his degree from Kings Point (USMM Academy) while serving during the war. You will find Merchant Mariners collections at the National Archives cataloged under the records of the United States Coast Guard, Record Group 26. In fact, early information gathered by British intelligence agents about German ship movements led Canada to conscript all merchant ships two weeks before the war actually began. 178.9 Records of the Division of Research and Statistics 1918-49 . Moreover, more than 250,000 American Merchant Marine sailed the treacherous oceans of the world. United States Merchant Marine applications for the licensing of Officers, 1914-1949 is available on Ancestry.com. This collection of records, BT 395, lists the medals awarded to merchant seamen for their service in the Second World War (1939-1945), with the exception of the Arctic Star. Vicki sent the following article from the Lebanon Daily News, Thursday, February 12, 1942: New York, Today – (AP) The toll of ships officially announced as sunk or attacked off the United States and Canada thus far in the war stood today at 25, after the navy reported the 6,182-ton Standard Oil tanker W. L. Steed was sent to the bottom by an enemy submarine off New Jersey Feb. 2. To determine eligibility for a Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, DD Form 214, or a Report of Casualty, DD Form 1300, customers will be directed to to. You’ve given me plenty of resources to check out. The National Archives at St. Louis does not provide information for benefits or separation documents, such as DD-214s, for these records. During my research of the U.S. The contents of the records vary, but they usually include name, age, place of birth, register ticket, ship names, and dates of voyages. Medals were not automatically issued, but had to be claimed by the merchant seaman. The Archives will let you know the exact location.”. Thank you Lisa for this very useful post. (Subscription required. Conventional history states that the war caught America largely off guard – in 1939, the US Army had only 190,000 soldiers, ranking it 17th in the world – but in fact, shrewd military planners had the foresight to plant the seeds of eventual victory long before war broke out in Europe. Military Minutes contributor Michael Strauss made this comment about the United States Merchant Marine: “Although not officially a branch of the military, the Merchant Marines sacrificed and lost lives since the days of the Revolutionary War, carrying out their missions of supply and logistics during times of war.”. By Jim Davis January 06, 2006 at 08:31:04. The National Maritime Center website has links to records, forms, and general info. Our Military Minutes contributor, Michael Strauss, says that “On February 28, 1942 President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the transfer (Under Executive Order #9083) of all maritime agencies to the United States Coast Guard. Central Index Register (aka Fourth Register of Seamen), 1918-1941. Vicki writes: “I have a distant relative who was a Merchant Marine during WWII. All of these records are part of the Records of the U.S. Maritime Commission, 1917 - 1950 (Record Group 178) and located at the National Archives in College Park, MD: Merchant Marine Ships' Logs, 1918 - 1941-- About half of these logs contain lists relating to officers and crew. 178.10 Records of the San Francisco, CA, Field Office 1942-47 Norwegian Merchant Ships in WW II. The men used the captured guns and ammunition from the ship to bring in additional British ships as prizes. Service Records for Army Transport Service. Related collection: Lists of Merchant Seamen Lost in WWI, 1914-1919. Since these records are considered Archival 62 years after the date of separation, these are open for Merchant Mariners and others who served during World War II who were discharged by the end of the war. A search of Standard Oil tanker W. L. Steed “Burkholder” in Google Books leads to the book Ships of the Esso Fleet in World War II (Standard Oil Company, 1946). Cargo, mail, and passenger reports, 1918- 46 (957 ft.). Making an afternoon time sight (NARA, Public Domain). “You can also access the files by mailing in (Standard Form #180, downloadable here), and fill in the information requested about your Mariner. After World War II, merchant mariners sought through legislation to gain recognition as veterans. Despite the fact that merchant crews were not compelled to sail on the dangerous ocean passages, most indeed did. Michael says, “These files are a wealth of genealogical information about veterans who died during World War II and other war periods. In this Section This section contains the following topics: Topic Topic Name See Page 36 General Information on Veteran Status Based on Merchant Marine Service 2-F-2 37 Information Required for a Claim 2-F-5 38 Merchant Marine Service Record Requests 2-F-8 39 Service Treatment Records (STRs) for Merchant Marine Service Under the Jurisdiction of the Army or Navy 2-F-11 40 … You can hear more about Merchant Marine records in Genealogy Gems Premium  Podcast Episode #159. (L-R) C. Lastic, Second Mate; T. J. The public can access these records in two ways: through a request made via an offsite reference request (with reproduction provided for a fee), or via onsite viewing at the National Archives at St. Louis Research Room. "The World's largest shipping company" When Germany invaded Norway on April 9-1940, the Norwegian ships that were in allied waters at the time were requisitioned by Royal Norwegian Government, which early on in the war managed to escape to the U.K. (the King was evacuated on June 7). The U.S. Navy Armed Guard was a service branch of the United States Navy that was responsible for defending U.S. and Allied merchant ships from attack by enemy aircraft, submarines and surface ships during World War II. London, England: Public Record Office, 1983. Vessel utilization reports, 1946-48. Determining the exact number of fatalities, however, is problematic. circa 1942: A poster showing the role of the Merchant Marines in bringing supplies to soldiers abroad and … "Service in the Merchant Marine was considered civilian service under several different civilian personnel agencies. World War II merchant ship movement records for Australia. Merchant Marine in World War II - A Little-Known Story. If you know the name of the vessel that the Merchant Mariner served on, then try a search for the logbooks. I wish all of you in search of your ancestors who crossed the bar good fortune in your genealogical pursuit. U.S. Navy Armed Guard and U.S. Unlike the armed forces, the merchant navy did not maintain consistent records of its recruits and casualties. It even details his last torturous hours in the lifeboat before he became delirious and died, only hours before the other survivors were rescued! Sadly, the mariners suffered the highest rate of casualties with one in 26 killed in World War II. World War II Shows Why We Need the Merchant Marine. It was known right from the beginning that Canada's merchant ships would have an important role to play in the war effort. Official Military Personnel Files (known as OMPFs) are maintained by the National Personnel Record Center in St. Louis, MO. They suffered the highest per capita casualty rate in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II, with one mariner out of every 26 lost. Young, Midshipman; E. B. Hlubik, Midshipman; C. Blackman, Radio Operator; T. A. Smith, Chief Engineer; Hugh Mulzac, Captain of the ship; Adolphus Fokes, Chief Mate; Lt. H. Kruley; E. P. Rutland, Second Engineer; and H. E. Larson, Third Engineer.” Captain Hugh Mulzac is fourth from the left on the first row. Watts, Christopher T., and Michael J. Watts. No word has come from the remainder of the crew of 38 as three of the tanker’s four lifeboats still are missing. The Merchant Marine actually served in a military capacity before the U.S. Navy OR the Coast Guard ever existed. The men of the Armed Guard served primarily as gunners, signal men and radio … Before the war ended, it is estimated that some 60,000 Allied merchant mariners died in service – 333 of whom were from Newfoundland and Labrador. However, service was considered military in nature for those who served between December 7, 1941, and December 31, 1946. U.S. Army Human Resources Command ATTN: AHRC-PDR-V 1600 Spearhead Division Ave. Fort Knox, KY 40122. Before we jump into answering that questions, let’s learn more about Merchant Marines so we better understand where to search. Instructions and an online form can be found on their website: How to submit an ATIP request to Veterans Affairs Canada. These records consist mostly of unit historical reports, after action reports, unit journals, and general orders. Other records pertain to medals and other citations, court martials, and miscellaneous records. : records of the Registrar general of shipping and Seamen article, I came across the phrase, “ the. Records consist mostly of unit historical reports, unit journals, and Michael J. watts and my served. Passages, most indeed did Revolutionary War, man was listed as a member of the United States Coast is! 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And honours important role to play in the Merchant seaman different locations. ” crew of a New Liberty SS.

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