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WWII Merchant Marine Bring Back?

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Picked up this Walther PP a few days ago. A friend of my mothers Uncle died last September and this gun was found in a utility room. When he was 17 he joined the Merchant Marines and saw service from November 19, 1944 to July 13, 1945. I don't know much about the Maritime service except they were civilians who worked on the transport ships and many were killed during the war. It wasn't until 1988 that they were recognized as veterans.


I just picked up the paper work from his niece so I am still trying to find info on his ship and where it operated. It looks like he was on the SS William Foster Cowhan which was one of 24 ships built out of lightweight concrete. It operated in the Pacific Theater. APO 707 & 927 are listed on his paper work. A Merchant Service pass in his paper work dated 12-15-44 gave him permission to remain ashore in Kingston Jamaica. After his service was completed he went home aboard the USAT Thomas Corwin on 8-1-45.


I was unaware Merchant Marines were under the United Stated Army Transportation Corps! Interesting to say the least. Maybe someone can shed further light on his wartime service?


Wilford only owned a few guns and most were modern except the Walther which leads me to believe its a bring back. Since they were civilians, I doubt and official paper work would have been used for permission to bring the gun home. It could of been picked up at any port. He might have bought it or traded it for something. We will never know since he is not around to ask him. I asked my mothers friend to keep looking for any other paper work about the gun. I don't believe I have ever seen a capture papered gun from a Merchant Marine before. Has anyone else seen one?


Paper work from the Coast Guard was also given by the niece shows his certificate of efficiency to lifeboat man!post-158759-0-03103500-1548539758.jpgpost-158759-0-76736700-1548539774.jpgpost-158759-0-59327200-1548539792_thumb.jpgpost-158759-0-37865500-1548539814.jpgpost-158759-0-17308200-1548539833.jpgpost-158759-0-75385400-1548539849.jpg


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  • 2 weeks later...

Great group! He was a civilian cook working for the US Army Transportation Service. He earned US merchant marine certificates while in the service, but he worked for the USATS.



Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia



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