Statement by Admiral Emory Scott Land on Sixth Anniversary of Cadet Corps


PR 1801



Thursday, March 16, 1944

Cleared and Issued
Through the Facilities of
the Office of War Information

"A thankful country is behind you," declared Rear Admiral Emory S. Land (Ret'd.), Chairman of the U. S. Maritime Commission and War Shipping Administrator, today in a message to the U.S. Merchant Marine Cadet Corps on the sixth anniversary of its founding. His message emphasized the contribution these young Americans are making in the war effort. One hundred and twenty-seven Cadet-Midshipmen have lost their lives in enemy action during their training at sea.

Recapitulating the record in six years by these youths in training to become officers of the American Merchant Marine, Admiral Land cited an outstanding record." In 1938 there were 90 Cadets pursuing a three-year course. Today there are 6,500 with about 90 being graduated each week. Three thousand have received diplomas since 1938 and are on active duty in the Merchant Marine and Navy.

The Corps has the only system of officer training which prescribes service at sea in war zones as part of the course. About 600 Cadet-Midshipmen have served aboard vessels sunk by the enemy. A thousand or more have served on vessels that have been bombed.

Six Distinguished Service Medals have been awarded to Cadet-Midshipmen. One, posthumously, was for sinking a German surface raider singlehanded. Another was awarded for sinking an Italian E-boat while another was for saving the Cadet-Midshipman's ship, its officers and crew.

Many graduates of the Merchant Marine Academies which are to the merchant service what West Point and Annapolis, are to the Army and the Navy already have attained ship commands and billets as chief engineers. More than 1,000 are serving as officers on Navy ships. In the Merchant Marine 25 per cent of all Cadet-Midshipmen have been called upon to act as officers during the minimum of six month's training at sea before returning to the academy for advanced courses.

Admiral Land's greeting today read:

"To the 6,500 Cadet-Midshipmen of the U. S. Merchant Marine Cadet Corps -- 700 at the Basic Schools in San Mateo, Calif., and Pass Christian, Miss., 2,600 at the Academy, Kings Point, N. Y. and especially the 3,200 in training aboard merchant vessels on the high seas and in the foreign ports I send this message:

"We are proud of the Cadet Corps and its record since 1938. You are upholding the great traditions of our Merchant Marine which once more is second to none. A thankful country is behind you. Carry on and may God be with you all."

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Seventh Anniversary Tribute by President Franklin D. Roosevelt
U.S. Merchant Marine Cadet Corps History
WSA Press Releases

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