Camden in Camden County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
American Merchant Marine Memorial
U.S. Merchant Marine
U.S. Navy Armed Guard
World War II
Their graves are marked only by the waves of the ocean.
We miss them, we respect them and we shall never forget them.
Marker series. This marker is included in the US Navy Armed Guard marker series.
Location. 39° 56.544′ N, 75° 7.93′ W. Marker is in Camden, New Jersey, in Camden County. Marker is on 1 Riverside Drive. The memorial is in Ulysses S. Wiggins Waterfront Park, near The Battleship USS New Jersey. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Camden NJ 08103, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Walt Whitman (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ulysses S. Wiggins Park (about 600 feet away); USS New Jersey Propeller (about 600 feet away); M2 Browning (approx. 0.2 miles away); Battleship New Jersey (approx. 0.2 miles away); Side View Turret #1 (approx. 0.2 miles away); Eyewitness to History (approx. ¼ mile away); Harpoon Anti-Ship Missile (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Camden.
Regarding American Merchant Marine Memorial. A companion markers adjacent to the American Merchant Marine Memorial outlines the history and significant contribution of the Merchant Marine and the U.S. Navy Armed Guard. It reads as follows:
The U.S. Merchant Marine was a fleet of Government owned vessels operated by private shipping companies. The Merchant Marine was responsible for transporting fully 85% of the troops, ammunition and supplies used to support the Allied War Effort during World War II, and is credited with contributing decisively to the ultimate Allied victory. The Merchant Marine suffered more loss of life, by percentage, than any branch of armed service. One in 26 Mariners serving aboard merchant ships in World War II died in the line of duty. The Merchant Marine and the U.S. Navy Armed Guard, which manned the guns on merchant ships, are the truly forgotten heroes of World War II.
The men who served the war effort with the U.S. Merchant Marine were all volunteers ranging in age from 16 to 78 years old. No one was drafted into the U.S. Maritime Service.
Merchant ships faced danger from submarines, surface ships, aircraft, mines and the elements. It is estimated that over 9300 Mariners were killed and over 12,000 were wounded. The U.S. Navy Armed Guard lost over 2,000 men, and 1,100 were wounded. 600 men were captured and held as prisoners of war. Over 863 ships were lost due to enemy action, 31 ships vanishing without a trace.
Mariners received pay only while serving aboard ship. If a Mariner's ship was sunk, his pay stopped and he was responsible to find his own way home and at his own expense. When a Mariner returned to his home port, he was often looking for another vessel to go back to sea, sometimes only to lose another ship. These professional sailors never lost faith in their country in time of war. Their efforts continued after the signing of the peace treaty. They stayed until all of our troops were safely home.
Returning Mariners did not receive priority for post war jobs or medical care for disabilities. They were not eligible for unemployment compensation or low-cost loans for education, homes or small businesses. They suffered financial repercussions from this lack of benefits and opportunity all of their
The U.S. Government finally granted Veteran Status to the Merchant Marine in 1988.
Topics. This marker is included in these topic lists: Military • War, World II • Waterways & Vessels
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 28, 2008, by R. C. of Shrewsbury, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,627 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on April 28, 2008, by R. C. of Shrewsbury, New Jersey. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.