Movie, book does a service to sailors’ story
In April 2009, the ship Maersk Alabama was captured by Somalia pirates. This event was national news for several days until the successful end of the situation.
A few days later, on May 14, our American Merchant Marine Veterans National Convention convened in Tampa, Fla. We were honored to meet three of the Alabama’s crew in person.
They were Chief Engineer Michael Perry, Second Mate Ken Quinn and Third Mate Colin Wright. Each of them told their part of the experience. Perry told our audience that “no one should have to protect your ship, your crew and your cargo with nothing more than a fire hose and a pocket knife, but that’s what we did.
When he blew the lock off our door, I took him down with my pocket knife.”
We shook their hands and told them how proud we were of them and they then told how proud they were of the Merchant Marine veterans and our history that was a vital part of winning World War II. Without the essential supplies we carried to the war fronts, World War II could not have been won.
The movie “Captain Phillips” opened in theaters in September and tells the story. Tom Hanks plays the title role. Capt. Richard Phillips has also written the book “A Captain’s Duty.” I urge you to see the movie and read the book.
Nelson Cauble, World War II merchant mariner