During the air raid - - Bari - - the most significant American casualties were among the U.S. Navy Armed Guards.
Naval personnel serving in units consisting primarily of low ranking enlisted personnel with a smattering of officers in command positions. Naval personnel serving - - however - - on civilian merchant vessels, NOT on warships.
his was a duty, an assignment, unknown to me!
"United States Navy Armed Guard units were established during World War II in an attempt to provide defensive firepower to merchant ships in convoy or merchant ships traveling alone."
Naval personnel, embedded among the crew of a civilian merchant vessel, manning guns and providing protection "to merchant ships in convoy or merchant ships traveling alone"! STRICTLY A WARTIME MEASURE!
[that word "embedded" would not have used at the time. That is a modern word!]
Here some NAG personnel during a meal. They all need haircuts! That meal according to the menu sounds pretty good. I hope this is not a posed picture! Please note the youth of these men teenagers or barely in their twenties. Typical of the American man that fought World War Two!
"Hazardous duty considerations"
"The assignment as an Armed Guardsman was often dreaded because of the constant danger and because the merchant ships were among the slowest to receive updated equipment. Early on in the war some ships only had a few machine guns and painted telephone poles to replicate the barrels of larger guns. The most common armament to be installed on merchant ships during the war were the MK II 20mm machine gun and the 3"/50, 4"/50, and 5"/38 deckguns."
Right! Machine-guns, rapid fire cannon [20 mm], and naval guns of smaller caliber to deal with the potential attack from German aircraft, surface raiders and surfaced submarines.
And I would think too, that in most circumstances, if under attack, you were more or less left to your own devices. YOU HAD to do the job yourself, NO support being available.
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