I have been trying for almost two years to have our government recognize the services of seagoing coastwise barge and tug seamen who served during WW II. Their records were either destroyed or withheld by government actions before P.L. 95-202 finaly gave the Merchant Marine seamen the rightful due as veterans.
This work has become a reality. Soon several US Congressmen of North Carolina will introduce the US Merchant Mariners Act to congress that will give the seamen the opportunity to gain their rightful due. This Act will allow the veteran to use other documentation to replace the logbooks that were destroyed through government action and allow Social Security Documentation to replace the discharges that were withheld with the Commandant, USCG issued an order on 20 Mar. 1944 to the Masters of tugs and seagoing barges releaving them of the responsibility to issue shipping and discharge documents to seamen shipped or discharged.
These barges were mostly of the turn of the century issue and after the end of WW I they were placed in storage up rivers and on sandbars around the East Coast. When WW II broke out and our larger ships were being destroyed at alarming rates and faster than we could turn out new one, these old relics were called back into service. These barges were really primitive. Most were without electricty and running water. They were manned by mostly the elderly seamen and women and childeren. I am seeking those that served on these barges or those that may know of some who did.
We need help in getting the word out to the other US Reps in other states. Lets help thes guys out.