St. Petersburg's Maritime Service Training Station

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During World War II, the U.S. Merchant Marines suffered the highest percentage of casualties, although it was the second smallest service. The young maritime servicemen knew these realities because they were trained to survive an enemy attack and keep their ships moving regardless of the cargo. For 25,000 merchant seamen, the journey began in St. Petersburg, Florida, selected as a training site for its comfortable climate and strong relationship with the U.S. Coast Guard. The U.S. Maritime Training Station was an economic shot in the arm that saved St. Petersburg from theextended hardships of the Great Depression's later years. Local merchants such as Bell Bakeries, the Swift and Company, and the Frazier Brothers routinely delivered bread, vegetables, and fruits to the station; as World WarII reached a fever pitch, local hotels, such as the Vinoy and the Soreno, served as boarding houses for the maritime service.
ISBN: 9780738542508
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
State: Florida
Series: Images of America
Images: 200
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6.5 (w) x 9.25 (h)
St. Petersburg resident and high school teacher Michelle L. Hoffman presents this story using images from the University of South Florida and private collections. Her research as a graduate student at the university includes Merchant Marine history, and she routinely presents her findings to veterans' groups across the country and in academic circles.
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