The 143 men listed below were cadets or cadet/midshipmen who died during World War II while members of the Cadet Corps. All but two of them have their names on the Memorial Monument at Kings Point; Carl Brandler and Kenneth McAuliffe. McAuliffe was a United Fruit Company Cadet; he was not a U.S. Maritime Commission Cadet but is included since he died as a cadet on a merchant ship and his form of training was one of the practices before the USMC Cadet training program was established. There is no explanation as to the reason why Carl Brandler’s name is not on the monument.
As with other military organizations, deaths during the war are not all directly caused by enemy actions. Among the 143 there were 119 young men who were killed in direct action against the enemy; they died from aerial and submarine torpedo, bombing and kamikaze attacks and German raider shelling.
The enemy was not the only peril faced by merchant mariners at war. The supply line had to be maintained at all costs, and ships put to sea in all weather and sailed perilously close to each other in tight packed convoys day and night. Ships were prohibited from showing navigation lights and compelled to zigzag, changing course as a group in the dark of night, often in heavy seas. Frequent collisions were the inevitable result. Six Cadet-Midshipmen men died in collisions. They were: J. W. Artist, R. J. Derick, D. L. Polcari, R. J. Prickett, J. O. Talbott, and B. H. Wilkinson. Three died when their ships sank in violent storms: they were E. J. Ackerlind, W. B. Carriere and J. L. Driscoll. They all died serving in the line of duty supplying war material to the Allied forces.
Unlike Navy ships, merchant ships carried no medical personnel. Primary treatment was usually provided on board with the aid of a first aid manual and medical treatment was deferred until the first port, often days, and sometimes weeks away. Delayed treatment often exacerbated medical problems. Seven men died of illnesses contracted while on duty on board ship or in training. They were: T. B. Carey, Roy DuChene, A. M. Limehouse, W.E. McCann, R. C. Nolan, B. Schultz, and G. Viridakis.
Ships are dangerous places for the uninitiated in the best of times and, in the rush to man the burgeoning fleet, training was accelerated to a breakneck pace. Much was left to the initiative of the cadets, and some mishaps were inevitable. Five men died in shore based training or shipboard accidents. They were: C. F. Gerstacker, D. A. Kennedy, R. E. Netcott, J. R. Rosenbloom and J. H. Watson III.
Life goes on, even in war, and death is an inevitable part of life. Three men, D. H. Frohn, O. E. Kern, and H. Quayle died ashore in foreign ports in various accidents not specifically related to a military action. They were serving honorably at the time of their deaths and their names are inscribed on the war memorial.
Of the 143 Cadet-Midshipmen who died in World War II, 52 would have been in the class of 1943; 80 would have been in the class of 1944; eight would have been in the class of 1945; and three would have been in the class of 1946.
Cadet Andrew Hoggatt’s name is on the Monument but since he died on November 19, 1940, we do not include him in the book but his story is in this blog.
After the book Braving the Wartime Seas was published in 2014, we learned that Guy Anderson Carter, a brother of Cadet-Midshipman John McCormick Carter who died in June 1943, was also a Cadet Midshipman who died on board the SS John Harvey in Bari, Italy in December 1943 while he was serving as a Third Assistant Engineer. Somehow there was no record of Guy A. Anderson in the Academy archives. We now have records from his family that substantiate that he was a Cadet-Midshipman. See the life story of Guy Anderson Carter in the menu of the blog
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