This web site is the final project of the American Maritime History Project (AMHP) which published The Way of the Ship, a detailed history of the U.S. Merchant Marine from colonial times to the 20th century. As its second book the AMHP undertook to write the history of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy which became In Peace and War. in World War II. However, the ultimate goal of Eliot Lumbard '45 the AMHP's visionary and founder was to honor the memory of the mend of the U.S. Merchant Marine Cadet Corps in World War II. This effort was eventually realized and published as Braving the Wartime Seas. Finally, the AMHP's second Chairman, George Ryan, decided to publish a web site to preserve most of the information in Braving the Wartime Seas in an online format.
With the accomplishment of the AMHP's final project, the driving force behind Braving the Wartime Seas, men who had graduated from Kings Point in the 1950's, began a well deserved second retirement and left things in my hands. Unfortunately, there are libraries full of books about maintaining web sites that I have not read. Everything appeared to be fine until early 2022 when I was informed that the links from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Alumni Association and Foundation's web site and this web site were down.
I investigated the problem and discovered that possibly due to lack of security software for the web site that the site had apparently been hacked and was essentially beyond repair at any reasonable cost. Having built a web site for my writing work, I was encouraged to re-build this web site.
As a result, what you see today are the fruits of my labors. Any errors, omissions or simple mistakes are mine and mine alone. I invite comments and suggestions to help me correct any mistakes and make this a better web site. In the meantime, we continue to honor "The 142" who will always be young men in the bloom of their life here.
Thomas F. McCaffery, USMMA Class of 1976
Acta Non Verba
Braving the Wartime Seas, and as a result this web site is the final product of the vision of many U.S. Merchant Marine Academy graduates, but in particular of Eliot H. Lumbard, class of 1945.
Memories of his training period as a Cadet/Midshipman during World War II, serving on convoys to the Mediterranean remained embedded in his mind. The shock of the bombing raids on his convoy, and his personal observations of the total loss of several ships, and the cruel deaths of untold numbers of military personnel and merchant mariners were
instrumental in his conception of this book to honor his comrades and other Cadet-Midshipmen and graduates.
Before Eliot turned his attention to this tribute, he formed a Board of Directors and solicited contributions to support the publication of two book-length histories—The Way of the Ship, a history of the U.S. Merchant Marine from 1600 to 2000 and In Peace and War, a history of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. The board also approved the publication of other materials that are of importance to the mission of the Academy.
Unfortunately, Eliot became ill and was unable to direct the project to its completion.
Eliot engaged Jeff Cruikshank, coauthor of In Peace and War, to conduct groundwork research for Braving the Wartime Seas. When the publication appeared to languish without Eliot at the helm, George Ryan, class of 1957, was asked by Captain Warren G. Leback,
class of 1944, to assume the chairmanship of the project.
Tom Schroeder, class of 1957; and Jim Hoffman, class of 1944, provided valuable encouragement and research findings on the men who died and their families. Tony Romano, class of 1957, continued on as treasurer and filed the necessary documents to retain the AMHP's not-for-profit tax status. Roy Corsa, class of 1957, became assistant treasurer and assisted with obtaining and identifying photographs of the Cadet-Midshipmen and graduates and became the project contact at the alumni foundation. Bob Aimone, class of 1957 and R. E. (“Bob”) McDermott, class of 1973, aided with editing.
Of major assistance in bringing the project to fruition is Thomas F. McCaffery, class of 1976, who offered to complete the research and to arrange the documents on the fatalities in a way that honors each individual Cadet-Midshipman or graduate with a separate page and photographs. Tom McCaffery and his staff of other Kings Pointers have worked at no charge because of their affection for the Academy and their belief that the men who sacrificed their lives should be honored.
The AMHP thanks all of these persons for their encouragement and support.
Last, but not least, on behalf of the Board of Directors, past and present, I extend heartfelt and profound thanks for the financial generosity of many contributors who made the past publications possible and to now complete Braving the Wartime Seas.
The American Maritime History Project rings up Finished with Engines as this book is published.
George J. Ryan, Chairman
Acta Non Verba