Running The Gauntlet: The Merchant Marine

In World War II, the U.S. Merchant Marine played a crucial role in every theater of war. Without them, without the bridge of merchant ships delivering weapons, troops, food, ammo, and fuel from the home front to the battle lines, there would have been no Allied victory.

While transiting the ocean, the United States Merchant Marine had to contend with German u-boats, dive-bombers, surface raiders, auxiliary raiders, and mines. When World War II ended in 1945 nearly 80 thousand Allied mariners and 5,000 ships lay at the bottom of the sea.

In this poignant episode of “War Stories” you’ll hear firsthand accounts from mariners who were torpedoed, shot at, and captured. You’ll meet a member of Hitler’s Unterseebootwaffe and see the inside of a u-boat. And you’ll learn why it took them over forty years to gain veteran status.

This is the story of The United States Merchant Marine.