Men are still needed to man merchant ships

Kendrick - Maritime 796

 PR 2396 (W)


Monday, September 17, 1945

A reduction in the capacity for training men for the United States Merchant Marine was announced today by Captain Edward Macauley, USN (Ret.), Deputy Administrator for Labor Relations, Training, and Recruitment and Manning of the War Shipping Administration.

"It now becomes necessary to adjust the training program to postwar needs," Capt. Macauley said. "Naturally it will be greatly reduced from war time operations. The training of radio operators is practically at an end since the number required has been reached. The radio school at Gallups Island, Boston, Mass., has been closed. The school for unlicensed personnel at Avalon, Calif., is now in the process of being closed and the training of unlicensed personnel on the Pacific Coast in greatly reduced numbers will be conducted aboard three of the U. S. Maritime Service training ships based at Long Beach, Calif. The number of men in training for unlicensed positions at Sheepshead Bay, N. Y., and at St. Petersburg, Fla., is being sharply curtailed and will be continually adjusted to the needs of the maritime industry."

Officers' schools at Fort Trumbull, New London, Conn. and at Alameda, Calif. are being reduced in the number of students, in keeping with manpower requirements. All of the specialist schools are being consolidated at the training station at Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, N. Y. and the number of students in training will be sharply reduced. Upgrading will be continued as required but will be conducted at established stations in the near future and some of the upgrade schools at the various ports will be closed, with the exception of schools for the retraining of cooks, bakers and stewards as part of the program to improve the quality of food served aboard our ships.

Men are still needed to man merchant ships in excess of these presently available and will be needed for some months to come. The job of the war time Merchant Marine has, not been completed. Millions of our armed forces must be brought home and supplies must be carried to the occupation forces throughout the world. Supplies must also be carried for the rehabilitation of devastated areas.

From the inception of the training program in 1939, the following number of men in the different ratings have been graduated: 155,236 men for the entry ratings; 20,971 deck and engineer officers training up from the ranks; 7,086 deck and engineer officers trained by the U. S. Merchant Marine Cadet Corps; and 2,645 deck and engineer officers trained by the State Maritime Academies. In addition to this, there have been graduated 6,778 radio operators, 4,648 purser-pharmacist's mates, 27,679 other specialists, and there have been upgraded to higher rank 31,648 men. This makes a total of 236,691 men trained and upgraded.

The training program has been conducted by the Training Organization of the War Shipping Administration with three divisions; The U. S. Maritime Service, the U. S. Merchant Marine Cadet Corps, and the State Maritime Academies.

The U. S. Maritime Service has operated seven stations and seven training ships. Training for unlicensed personnel has been conducted at Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, N.Y.; Avalon, Catalina Island, Calif.; and St. Petersburg, Fla; Schools for radio operators have been located at Gallups Island in Boston Harbor and at Hoffman Island in New York Harbor. Schools for the training of officer personnel have been conducted at Fort Trumbull, New London, Conn. and at Neptune Beach, Alameda Calif. Students of these two schools are made up of men who have acquired previous experience at sea. They are graduated as Ensigns in the U. S. Maritime Service. In addition to these training schools, schools for the upgrading of both licensed and unlicensed personnel have been located at the principal ports and several schools, for the training of specialists, such as diesel engineers, turbo-electric engineers, high pressure geared turbine engineers, junior engineers, pumpmen, carpenters and electricians, have also been maintained. The U. S. Maritime Service Institute, located In New York City, conducts correspondence and extension courses to be taken by the men while at sea.

The U. S. Merchant Marine Cadet Corps trains young American citizens who are High School graduates to become officers in the Merchant Marine. It operates two Cadet Schools at San Mateo, Calif. and Pass Christian, Miss., and the U. S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, N. Y. The course of training in the Cadet Corps covers a period of three years at present and an extension to four years is contemplated in the near future. Students while in training are also enrolled as Midshipmen in the Merchant Marine Reserve of the U. S. Naval Reserve and upon graduation are appointed as Ensigns in the Naval Reserve and as Ensigns in the U. S. Maritime Service.

There are five State Maritime Academies located at Vallejo, Calif.; Castine, Maine; Hyannis, Mass.; Fort Schuyler, The Bronx, N. Y., and Morrisville, Pa. Most of these schools have been established for many years. They are State institutions operated with the aid of Federal funds and under Federal supervision. Their students are also trained to become officers in the Merchant Marine and are appointed Midshipmen in the Naval Reserve while in training and upon graduation are appointed as Ensigns in the Naval Reserve and as Ensigns in the U. S. Maritime Service.

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