Message from Douglas MacArthur to Captain H. H. Dreany

General of the Army Douglas MacArthur said recently in a message to Captain H. H. Dreany, Assistant Commandant, U. S. Maritime Service, that he holds "no branch in higher esteem than the Merchant Marine services."

Captain H. H. DreanyCaptain Dreany read this message in an address before 1,000 USMS officer-candidates at the U.S. Maritime Service Officers' School, Alameda, California.

The text of Captain Dreany's address and a transcript of General MacArthur's message follow:

"It is with pleasure that I return again to this base and note the many achievements, both academic and structural, which have occurred since my last visit.

"I would like to read to you a message I received yesterday morning in San Francisco from General of the Army Douglas MacArthur praising the gallant and heroic work performed by our Merchant Seamen and officers during the liberation of the Philippines. General MacArthur in his dispatch crowns our Merchant Marine with its reward and gives to history's record the recognition our Merchant Seamen so richly deserve for their participation. Many of you were in this operation and it is with pride that you should receive this message.

General Headquarters
Southwest Pacific Area

To: Captain Harry H. Dreany
Assistant Commandant
United States Maritime Service

I wish to commend to you the valor of the merchant seamen participating with us in the liberation of the Philippines. With us they have shared the heaviest enemy fire. On these Islands I have ordered them off their ships and into foxholes when their ships became untenable targets of attack. At our side they have suffered in bloodshed and in death. The high calibre of efficiency and the courage they displayed in their part of the invasion of the Philippines marked their conduct throughout the entire campaign in the Southwest Pacific Area. They have contributed tremendously to our success. I hold no branch in higher esteem than the Merchant Marine Services.

Douglas MacArthur
General of the Army

"You men -- every one of you -- are fresh from battle zones, and with few exceptions, you have served as Merchant Seamen in areas and campaigns under the command of General MacArthur.

"You will return to these areas . . . this time, not only as Merchant Seamen, but as officers in the United States Maritime Service. The federal eagle and shield on your cap insignia will designate you as members of a governmental service and as representatives of the United States Government -- which you were not before. Conduct yourselves and your ships in the manner praised by General MacArthur in the salute to you just read.

"The honors won by you for yourself and that eagle and shield on your cap must be remembered long after the peace is won. The glories and honors which are today being won for the Service by yourself and your fellow officers in the United States Maritime Service have taken other services generations to gather. Feel this pride and fellowship and satisfaction in your new service -- and feel it deeply when you leave here."

Source: MAST Magazine May 1945

Merchant Seamen's War Service Act
U.S. Maritime Service

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