Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif., announced Tuesday that his bill, the Merchant Mariners of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act passed out of Congress.
“Throughout the Second World War, our armed forces relied on the Merchant Marine to ferry supplies, cargo and personnel into both theaters of operation, and they paid a heavy price in service to their country,” Garamendi said.
“This group of unsung heroes nobly served our country by operating the ships that transported critical supplies to front lines of the war, and in doing so suffered a casualty rate higher than any other branch of the military,” said Christian Yhas, vice president of the American Merchant Marine Veterans, and a chief engineer merchant marine. “In fact, one out of every 26 casualties during WWII was a volunteer Merchant Mariner. America would not be the great nation it is today without their valiant service of yesterday. I urge Congress to support this important bill and recognize this dwindling group of Merchant Marine Veterans from WWII that have served our nation so admirably.