U.S. National Maritime Day, 22 May

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May 22nd is the date when the American ship Savannah set sail from Savannah, Georgia in 1819 and became the first transoceanic voyage ever made under steam power.  Hence the day was chosen for the date of tribute.

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In 2002, the Military Sealift Command held a memorial service in Washington D.C.  Rear Admiral David Brewer III and Gordon England, Secretary of the Navy, tossed a wreath into the Anacostia River at the Washington Navy Yard in honor of the fallen mariners.

Capt. Susan Dunlap & Capt. Robert Burk during ceremonial in Hawaii

Capt. Susan Dunlap & Capt. Robert Burk during ceremonial in Hawaii

In 2013, National Maritime Day was celebrated with picnics and tours at the Port of San Diego; maritime career fairs in Seattle and Baltimore, as well as the traditional memorial ceremonies.

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Merchant Marine cap insignia

Merchant Marine cap insignia

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For A striking story sent to us from fellow blogger, Argus, we have the story of the N.S. Savannah.

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Also – about the rescue of the crew of the Montebello from Enchanted Seashells – Confessions of a Tugboat Captain’s Wife can be located HERE!

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A very poignant and dramatic story, well worth taking the time to read…

From

From “The Week” news magazine.

Click on images to enlarge!!!

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Farewell Salutes –

Dale L. Blackburn – Huntsville, AL; US Navy, Vietnam

Robert Babin – Beaufort, SC; US Navy WWII

Lilian Bromich – Maunganui, NZ; WAAF, WWII, #W4124flag

Glynn Coster – Sheridan, WY; US Army, WWII, ETO, 10th Mountain Div.

George Dodd – Graceville, FL; US Army, SFC (Ret. 20 yrs.), Korea, Purple Heart/Vietnam, Bronze Star

Ralph “Dean” Fisher – Wichita, KS; US Army, WWII/US Air Force, Korea

James Holmes, Mt. Home, AR; US Navy, Korea

Arthur Kaeseburg – Mesa, AZ; US Army Air Corps, WWII, 194th Glider Infantry/17th A/B Div., Bronze Star

Farley Mowat – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Can.; Royal Canadian Army, WWII

Harold Stelicha – Bethlehem, PA; US Air Force, SAC, B-17 pilot

Gene Watterson – Birmingham, AL; US Navy, WWII, ETO

James Zimmerman – Bradenton, FL; USMC, Korea

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I sincerely want to thank the volunteers of the Little Rock, AR VA Hospital for their care and concern, not only for the veterans but for Sheri deGrom as well.  You all have the spirit of the Greatest Generation!!

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on May 22, 2014, in Korean War, Vietnam, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 102 Comments.

  1. The escape artist intrigued me. What a brave and clever young man.

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    • The kind of story myths and legends are made of eh, Bev?!! This generation had history of their own as you showed in the Zoar village article. Strength and determination!

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  2. Father Paul Lemmen

    Reblogged this on A Conservative Christian Man.

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  3. Reblogged this on Pacific Paratrooper and commented:

    THIS POST HAS BEEN UPDATED FOR THOSE WHO VISITED ON MARITIME DAY LAST YEAR! THANK YOU ALL FOR TAKING THE TIME TO PARTICIPATE IN MILITARY APPRECIATION MONTH.

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  4. Terrific story about William Ash. I am continually amazed at the survival of a sense of humour after such experiences.

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  5. Thanks for the link to the Ash story, that has definitely got to be worth reading.
    Will order it in and have a better insight into this fascinating soldier.
    Ian

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  6. Great post! Wonderful story about William Ash – such a brave and remarkable soul!

    Thanks for sharing!

    ML
    x

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    • It would be hard to pass that one up – the inspiration for Steve McQueen to do his remarkable stunts in the “Great Escape”!! Thanks, Miss Lou.

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  7. Wow, the first transatlantic trip with a steam engine occurred almost two hundred years ago! I had no idea that steam powered ships were around that long ago.

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  8. Wow gpcox ,thank you for sharing about William Ash, he was an incredibly brave man, it sure rings True about him … we never give up! yes 13 times never give up! wonderful that he did escape permanently in the end , his book would be an eye opener for sure.

    I also have a True Story about a Solider that had courage to be different and not settle for the norm, I will leave a link for you and pass onto Ron the story about William Ash, I will post his comment when I receive it from him, he is with his family at the present time attending to some important commitments and has been for awhile, but I keep him up to date.

    Anzac -http://freedomborn.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/anzac-the-man-and-his-donkey/

    Christian Love from both of us and thanks again – Anne

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  9. If there was one person i would like my grandson to be inspired by it would be WILLIAM ASH. Thank you for sharing this story On Thursday, May 22, 2014, pacificparatrooper wrote: > gpcox posted: ” May 22nd is the date when the American ship Savannah set sail from Savannah, Georgia in 1819 and became the first transoceanic voyage ever made under steam power. Hence the day was chosen for the date of tribute. In 2002, the Military Sealift ” >

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    • It is totally my pleasure. You can tell your son that W. Ash’s experiences inspired the old movie “The Great Escape” with Steve McQueen – he might enjoy seeing it.

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  10. The service and heroics of the Merchant Marine during WW 2 is so under presented as part of our history.

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  11. G.P. – Hello and how nice to read your blog and feel as if I’ve come to your living room and we’ve shared a scrapbook and a stroll down memory lane (from those that went before and the stories they told and thankfully still do). Thank you for the shout-out. I haven’t been to the VA in far too long but from what I hear, all is well. Thank you for your continuing support.

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    • No problem, Sheri – you know that. Happy to see you back here reading, everyone has been very concerned about you and Tom as I’ve been telling you. I just hope the shout-out reached everyone – including those who have a say in expanding the program! Thank you very much for taking the time here.

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      • G.P. – I receive a daily update and sometimes twice. The shout-out reached everyone that’s a part of the present program as I’ve received hundreds of phone calls from veterans, family members, staff – some send e-mail wanting to know how to expand the program into other departments. The message usually starts, “How can we make our Veterans as happy and healthy as the ones involved in the volunteer program.
        The community at large continues to send me notices – they stick them in my mail box or however they think they can reach me offering to donate full dinners for groups of veterans of up to 25 of a sitting until all able veterans have been afforded the opportunity. I so enjoyed walking down memory lane with you last night and if things stay calm here today, 6 of the veterans are coming to the hospital – we had to get clearance for them to join me in a conference room and we’ll be talking about how they’d like to expand the volunteer program. The program is now extending to members of all armed services and that’s made your last few blogs bring even more veterans into the program – who would have thought? You are a gem walking in angels shoes. Regularly I hear hospital staff tell me that once again the men and women have something to look forward to in their day and not simply a round of pills and looks of pity. I’ll never be able to thank you for allowing me giving me the courage to pass your wonderful blog along and so graciously no only passing it along but making the info available to all. I thank you for everything you do to make these activities work.
        On a side note – Tom slept through the entire night without a single dose of extra medication. I think it’s because they allowed me to bring his ‘doctor dog’ Scooter in to be with him. Back in the day of multiple beds in a ICU I could never have allowed that but this is a progressive hospital and once Scooter was placed in Tom’s arms, they both slept like babys. Thanks, my friend, What a jewel you are.

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        • Oh Sheri, you did it this time! I did NOT get teary eyes – they simply rolled down my cheeks freely. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought the web site would come to this point – but – you HAVE to know that you are a major cause of that! Look at what you’ll be doing in the conference room; it is your expertise they are needing right now! Go for it!
          I was absolutely thrilled that the hospital allowed Scooter in. (I did that once with a kitten – but I had to sneak it in to the patient!) As always – give Tom my best, everyone here is pulling for him to heal soon!

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  12. Loved Hogan’s Heroes. I have a good friend who was a merchant marine (now retired). He served as a master mechanic on the huge cargo ships that sale the Pacific. Once, at the Oakland Port, he took me into the bowels of the ship and showed me the huge machines he tended. Wow! –Curt

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    • That was a truly funny show, too bad they don’t make them that good any more! Hats off to your friend and his position in the ship – they couldn’t go any where without him THAT”S for sure!! Thanks for commenting about it, Curt.

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  13. Very inspiring. So he was 85 when his book was published! That’s just great!

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    • And the KFC Colonel was on Social Security when he hit it big in chicken – no one should give up hope on a dream. Thanks for reading Pastor.

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  14. Another great post, GP! I absolutely love the story of William Ash! 🙂

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  15. Here’s a link to the obituaries of William Starr and Dr. Francis H. Demere, who were employed by the port of Savannah in the 1800s.
    http://ruthrawls.wordpress.com/2013/06/14/in-search-of-lawtons-basingers-the-obituary-of-william-starr-january-27-1858/

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  16. GP, thanks for reminding people of the Merchant Marines, a largely forgotten arm of our defense. And also for the great story of Ash. What a guy!

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  17. What a fantastic man, Mr. Ash. What a past from graduate to hobo to prisoner… And his quip at the end… Hilarious!

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  18. Thanks for this, GP. I had no idea. I thought May 22nd was just my son’s birthday!

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  19. gp, Very nice for US National Maritime Day which I never knew about! I see that Bronze Star!!! I have one of those for my Vietnam service. Phil

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  20. Reblogged this on The ObamaCrat™.

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  21. Thanks for posting this great image along with the information about National Maritime Day. My father-in-law was in the Merchant Marines during WWII and it’s great to see his work celebrated.

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    • I’ve been wondering when or if I would hear from somebody about themselves or a relative. Those guys during WWII pulled off many a brave stunt to get their job done.

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  22. Great story about William Ash. And good to know there is a national maritime day.

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  23. Thank you for this post. You are very much a blessing to all of our military members, past, present, and future.

    Senior Pastor/Equipping the Saints
    Philip 3:10, “That I May Know Him”
    http://gravatar.com/cchurchchurchblog
    http://cchurchchurchblog.wordpress.com/

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  24. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    I love history!!! TY for posting this …. Reblog.

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  25. Thank you! For this post and the article!

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  26. I had no clue this day was recognized. Thanks for your continuing effort to educate me 🙂

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  27. Pierre Lagacé

    I have to find out which squadron he flew with…

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  28. I love Ash’s sense of humour as well as perseverance. What a great guy! The attempts of escape from Stalag camps remind so of TV series “Hogan’s Heroes” especially the “standing on our cabbages” episode 🙂

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  29. That’s a great line by William Ash, “easy, just dig a hole and wait 60 years”.

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  30. Thank you very much.

    Like

  1. Pingback: U.S. National Maritime Day | pacificparatrooper | VAREP

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