Maritime Administrator Captain William G. Schubert thanked the U.S. Department of the Army for its recent decision to allow military funeral honors at Arlington National Cemetery for U.S. merchant marine veterans of World War II.
“The decision of your agency to allow merchant mariners to be inurned at Arlington is a salute to these patriotic seafarers for their heroic contributions to this country,” Schubert said in a letter to Reginald J. brown, assistant secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. “Thank you for making this favorable decision.”
Schubert pointed out that each year, on or around National Maritime Day, May 22, the Maritime Administration sponsors a Merchant Marine Memorial Service, which honors American seafarers who lost their lives in service to their country. During World War II alone, 733 American vessels were sunk, and nearly 6,000 merchant seamen and officers were lost as a result of enemy action and war-related causes.
On June 10, the Army announced that individuals from 37 groups, known as Active Duty Designees, may now receive military honors when their remains are inurned at Arlington National Cemetery. In addition to ocean-going members of the merchant marine, the groups include Women’s Air Force Pilots, Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, Flying Tigers, battlefield ambulance drivers, female civilians who served with the U.S. Army Nurse
Corps at Bataan and Corregidor, and defenders of Bataan andWake Island.