World War II could not have been fought and won without the crucial role played by the U.S. Merchant Marine. Crewed by civilian seamen in peacetime, and carrying much of the nation's ocean-borne commerce, the Merchant Marine is often considered the "fourth arm of defense" in wartime. And, as such, it provided the vital logistical support for beachheads in all theaters of operation around the world during the war.
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