New York Times, December 13, 1942


His Tribute Read at Opening at Sheepshead Bay of World's Largest Training Station


Center Cost $8,500,000 and Is Equipped to Turn Out 30,000 Seamen Each Year

President Roosevelt paid high tribute to the men of the American merchant marine, "who are so gallantly working and fighting side by side with our Army and Navy," in a message read yesterday at dedication exercises for the new United States Maritime Service Training Station at Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn.

The message, addressed to the 10,000 men and officers of the station and the 600 guests at the exercises, was read by Telfair Knight, director of the Division of Training of the War Shipping Administration. The President's message follows:

"It is with a feeling of great pride that I send my heartiest congratulations and best wishes to the officers and men of the new United States Maritime Service Training Station at Sheepshead Bay, N. Y. Ten thousand apprentice seamen in training at one station is a magnificent achievement, and the entire country joins me in wishing you every success and in paying tribute to you men of the Merchant Marine who are so gallantly working and fighting side by side with our Army and Navy to defend the way of life which is so dear to us all." *

To Train 30,000 A Year

The new training station, the largest in the world, was dedicated and formally placed in the service of the Maritime Service by Captain Edward Macauley, Deputy War Shipping Administrator. Equipped to turn out 30,000 trained merchant seamen a year, the new station was erected on the sands of a former amusement park and beach resort at a cost of $8,500,000.

Joining the President in paying tribute to the merchant seamen, Governor Charles Poletti declared that "our pride and respect for the brave, fighting men of the Merchant Marine is no less than our pride in the gallant men of our Army, Navy and Marine Corps who are fighting so valiantly for the cause of freedom on land, at sea and in the air all over the world"

"When the history of this great conflict is written," the Governor told the 10,000 seamen, "the story of the transportation and supply of our armed forces across the seven seas will be one of its most glorious chapters. Valiant and resolute --- braving enemy torpedoes and enemy bombs --- they are fighting a winning fight against ruthless, cunning enemies."

Calling the new merchant marine "a product of the whole country," Captain Macauley characterized the opening of the new training station as a "promise that the men will be ready when they're needed as our building program passes the mark of three ships a day and approaches four."

He attributed some of the recent American victories to a "bridge of ships," adding that many of these ship were built during this war and were non-existent on the day of Pearl Harbor.

10,000th Apprentice Enters

Mr. Knight, who acted as master of ceremonies, declared that no longer need we be concerned whether the seven seas can be bridged by ships. Supplies, he added, are getting through to Americans engaged in combat with the enemy. Borough President John Cashmere of Brooklyn described the maritime service as the lifeline of the United Nations.

The arrival of Walter Clarke Root 3d of Kansas City, Mo., on Friday made the 10,000 th apprentice seaman to enter the new training station. With Root's arrival the station was filled to capacity.

The exercises, which attracted officials of the Federal, State and municipal governments, representatives of the War Shipping Administration, the United States Maritime Commission and the construction, maintenance and operation of the American merchant marine, were followed by a reception, mess, inspection and drills.

* emphasis added

New York Times, December 13, 1942
Heaving Line Newsletter, U.S. Maritime Service, Sheepshead Bay, January 1, 1943

President Roosevelt Speeches and Statements
U.S. Maritime Service