2011 44¢ Auxiliary Steamship
Issue Date: July 28, 2011
City: Great Neck, NY
Printed By: Avery Dennison
Printing Method: Photogravure
The United States Merchant Marine consists of all the country’s commercial ships and the mariners who control them. America has a history of using civilian sailing vessels in times of war dating back to the American Revolution, when an unarmed ship captured a British warship. Private boats were used throughout the Revolution to block British supply ships, and have been active in every war since.
Although they are not part of the U.S. armed forces, mariners become auxiliary military personnel. They can be called on by the Navy to deliver troops and supplies wherever needed in time of war. During World War II, over 8,600 mariners gave their lives while supplying the troops with ammunition, food, and medicine.
During peacetime, Merchant Marine ships transport cargo and passengers around the world. Their well-trained crews insure the safe arrival of the freight.
The Merchant Marine Act of 1936 said, “The United States shall have a merchant marine of the best equipped and most suitable types of vessels...” and provided for sailor’s training through the U.S. Maritime Service.
The skilled men and women of the U.S. Merchant Marine serve their country faithfully in times of war and peace, navigating the seas with skill and professionalism.