Mariners were prisoners of war
Mariners slaved under brutal conditions on River Kwai and Sumatra Death Railroads.


Merchant Marine: First POWs

Within hours of Pearl Harbor, the SS President Harrison, en route to evacuate U.S. Marines from China, was trapped near Shanghai.

The Captain grounded the ship at full speed to destroy her. Her crew of 166 men and one woman were among 671 mariners held as Prisoners of War.

Mariners were among those beheaded at Wake Island, taken prisoner at Corregidor, enslaved in the coal mines of Japan, or forced to build railroads through jungles.