The British Commonwealth lost 154
destroyers during World War II.
A total of 71 American destroyers were lost.
Japan lost 134 destroyers, 41 were sunk by US submarines.
Germany lost 44 and Italy 54. Russia lost
The first destroyer lost by the Royal Navy was the HMS
Blanche which struck a mine
off the Thames estuary in 1939. 0ne of the crew was killed and twelve injured.
The destroyer was escorting the minelayer HMS
was also lost.
A total of 2,710 Liberty ships were built,
the first, SS Patrick
Henry, was launched Sept.
Only 531 Victory ships were built. The first
was SS United Victory, delivered
Feb. 29, 1944.
The U.S. Distinguished Service Medal was
awarded to 140 U.S. mariners during WW11 for 'Service Beyond The Call Of
Duty': 604 of them became POWs.
About 5,000 Chinese seamen were employed on
British registered ships at the beginning of the war. In early 1942, after the
fall of Hong Kong, this number was doubled. By March, 1943, a total of 831
Chinese seamen had lost their lives on British ships due to enemy action and
254 were missing presumed dead. Some 268 were accounted for as
In 1942, the average sinkings of Allied
merchant ships was thirty three ships each week. In all, 5,150 Allied ships of
all types were sunk, total tonnage 21,570,720. (including 2,426 British
registered vessels amounting to 11,331,933 tons) 2,828 were sunk by U-boats.
This includes 187 warships and 6 aircraft carriers.
Germany lost 754 of the 1,158 U-boats built.
A total of 25,871 U-boat men died. 713 u-boats were sunk by British
Empire forces, 151 by United States forces and 100 were sunk by mines.
As more ships were being built in the USA,
crews to man them were urgently needed and Indian seamen (known as Lascars)
were recruited mainly from Bombay and Calcutta.
By September, 1940, about 3,000 British
merchant ships were armed with guns. To man the guns, the army loaned soldiers
to the Royal Navy as complete gun crews. They were called Maritime Regiments
within the Royal Artillery. They numbered around 10,000 men.
At its peak, in 1943, America produced a
grand total of 11,448,360 tons of merchant shipping. In the same year, Japan
produced only 769,085 tons. From 1939 to 1945 merchant ship production in the
U.S. totaled 33,993,230 tons compared to Japan's 4,152,361 tons. The USA
employed around 640,000 workers in the construction of merchant ships.
BRITISH MERCHANT MARINE LOSSES....25,070
MEN KILLED on the 2,426 SHIPS SUNK.
US MERCHANT MARINE LOSSES...6,838
MEN KILLED, 1,800 NAVAL ARMED GUARDS AND 848
ITALIAN MERCHANT NAVY LOST........2,513
JAPANESE MERCHANT NAVY LOST.......1,178
Of the 5,150 Allied merchant vessels sunk
during WWII, 2,828 were sunk by Axis submarines.
Seventy-six merchant ships were lost in Australian waters.
Twenty-nine of these were Australian vessels on which 349 seamen died. A
further 37 died in POW camps.
Forty-three U.S. Merchant Ships were lost
with all hands, eight were lost with only one survivor.
A special camp for merchant seamen prisoners of war was set
up in 1942 at Westerimke ten miles north of the German port city of Hamburg.
Prisoners were made to build their own camp on the site of the former
Sandbostel Concentration Camp. Around 5,000 men, including 2,985 from 211
British ships, were interned at this camp commonly known as Milag
MERCHANT NAVY DAY.
MEN OF THE FORGOTTEN
FOURTH SERVICE ARE REMEMBERED.
victory is ours there is no organization that will share its credit more deservedly
than the Merchant Marine".
General Dwight D. Eisenhower.