World War II Merchant Marine Veterans receive awards at Nautical Institute conference


The Nautical Institute United States branches are proud to announce hosting Congressman John Garamendi (CA-03) at a ceremony last Friday to honour World War II Merchant Marine Veterans.

During a lunch ceremony at the Marines’ Memorial Club and Hotel in downtown San Francisco, several WWII Merchant Marine veterans were awarded individual replicas of the Congressional Merchant Mariners of World War II Gold Medal. The medals, struck by the U.S. Mint, commemorate the service and contributions of these mariners. This ceremony was part of a two-day Nautical Institute conference exploring challenges and opportunities facing the U.S. Merchant Marine.

On Wednesday, May 18th, Congressman Garamendi and several members of the Congressional Leadership, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, presented the Congressional Gold Medals at a ceremony at the Capitol. Friday’s ceremony in San Francisco was the first time local WWII Merchant Marine Veterans were similarly recognized.

“The Nautical Institute’s United States branches were proud to host this event honouring the veterans whose service and sacrifice were instrumental in our WWII victory,” said Captain Greg Tylawsky, the Nautical Institute’s Conference Chair.

According to a recent gCaptain article covering Wednesday’s award ceremony: “Outside of maritime circles, it is not widely known that the U.S. Merchant Marine suffered the highest casualty rate of any branch of the U.S. military during WWII. Of the 243,000 mariners that served in the war, 9,521 perished while serving, meaning roughly four percent of those who served were killed.”

The Nautical Institute is an independent, international, non-profit organization which promotes the standing of the maritime profession afloat and ashore.