Subject: YOUR 2/21/04 E-MAIL INQUIRY: "LIFE BOAT STORIES WW II SINKINGS

 
    Dear Mr. Lloyd,

           By way of introduction, I am the current project navigator for this
"Life Boat" program underway here at the Mystic Seaport Museum and I welcome
your e-mail.Allow me to explain the over-all objective behind this project:

       Through a compendium of voices, visuals, written "logs" and diaries,the
Research & Documentation group here in the Shipyard is looking to develop a
descriptive chronicle relating to the physical and mental trauma that living
veterans of the merchant marine and "armed guard" experienced aboard Liberty and
Victory ships (WWII,Korea & Vietnam) when they had to abandon their sinking
ships due to enemy attacks. The centerpiece around this project is the Life Boat
#1 off the Wayne Victory that served in the Pacific during WW II,Korea and
Vietnam. This Life Boat was donated to the museum. In turn, we are looking to
have these veterans tell their stories in their own words.
 
       To date we have had veterans from both the armed guard and the merchant
marine respond and believe me, I welcome your offer to assist in finding these
veterans. Last Fall I attended a regional gathering of armed guard veterans in
New London, CT.I have also visited their Memorial in the R.I. Veterans Cemetery.
All of the stories, photographs, documents,etc. we have collected todate, thanks
to the generosity of those who have responded, have been turned over to our
librarian curators for permanent placement in our historical library--- the
largest, most complete marine depository of it's kind in the world.
 
         Through recorded interviews and self recordings (we supply a tape
recorder ) tapes are placed along with the documents and we send a tape copy
back to the person telling his or her story.So------- to answer your questions;
We welcome all the veterans who want to tell their stories for present and
future generations and I have not set a limit or number.It is slow going because
we want to be sure the records are accurate and complete.
 
 
        Here are the options to get in touch with me:
 
             Arthur H. Rathjen, Sr. ( Staff)
             Shipyard Research & Documentation
             MYSTIC SEAPORT
             75 Greenmanville Avenue
             P.O.Box 6000
             Mystic, CT 06355-0990
             Phone: 860-572-0711Ext.5092
             e-mail:lifeboat@mysticseaport.org
             Home phone:401-322-9900
             Home: ahrathjenpsp@earthlink.net
 
       I hope the above answers your questions and I'm looking forward to
working with you.
 
                             Sincerely,
 
                         A.H. Rathjen, Sr.                     
 



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