john zabowski

This was my Uncle John Zabowski taken in front of his home in Fair Haven (off of Lake St. Clair on Anchor Bay) in Michigan.  The date on back dates this as June of 1943 so I’m going to assume he was on leave from The War.  If the uniform hat looks a bit odd to you that is because it’s one of the lesser known branches of service - The United States Merchant Marine.  

The US Merchant Marine, in short, is in charge of all transport of goods and men at times of war.  While at war they are uniformed and become an auxiliary of the US Navy.  Many Merchant Marines were lost in WWII (along with other wars) but weren’t recognized by the Government as Veterans until the 1980s.  I have no idea as to why it took so long for them to receive those benefits.  If you look at their overall service record you can see that it is well deserved.