The vital role of the American merchant marine during World War II will be highlighted in New Orleans this week during events marking the first major expansion of the National D-Day Museum
. Merchant marine veterans will participate in a parade and other events honoring the men and women who fought for victory during World War II.
In addition, a modern cargo ship, which stands at ready to support today's armed forces will be open for tours. Maintained by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration, the Ready Reserve Force ship
CAPE KENNEDY, like its World War II predecessors, is crewed by merchant mariners.
The bands of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy
and the State University of New York Maritime Academy will participate in the December 7 parade in downtown New Orleans.
During World War II, 733 American merchant ships were lost under enemy fire taking with them more than 6,000 U.S. merchant seamen. Included were 142 midshipmen of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.