WWII Merchant Mariners Receive Congressional Gold Medal
World War II Merchant Mariners, the supply line to American and Allied forces during WWII, were presented earlier this week with the Congressional Gold Medal. The 11 participating Gold Medal recipients represent the less than 1,500 World War II Merchant Mariners remaining nationwide.
WWII Merchant Mariners were killed at a higher rate than any branch of the American military in the war, often having no protection from enemy forces. Merchant Mariners enabled the U.S. and its Allies to overcome all odds and defeat the German U-Boats that were hampering the passage of supplies and assets needed to win World War II.
Among the Congressional Medal Recipients are:
Merchant Mariner Dave Yoho: 95-year-old Dave Yoho served in the Engine Department during WWII, having trained at Sheepshead Bay. When the War ended (V-J Day), he was just shy of his 17th birthday.
Merchant Mariner Charles Mills: 101-year-old Charles Mills began his maritime career in 1937 when he climbed the gangway of the SS Carlton (a ship that would later be lost in PQ-17). Mills sailed throughout WWII and was a charter member of the National Maritime Union (NMU). Mills served as an NMU official for four decades.