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Jagersfontein and her Dutch gun crew.

June 25 2009 at 9:17 AM
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Jacques  (no login)

Response to Dutch gun crews


Nelson, Kit and others,
On February 7th 1942 the War Shipping Administration came into being with its Administrator appointed by and answering directly to FDR. The intention of Executive Order No.9054 establishing the WSA, was clearly to pool all marine transport resources and exercise absolute and immediate control over all US flagged and US controlled tonnage. The JAGERSFONTEIN was under US Army charter at the time and I therefore argue that she immediately came under the official control of the WSA although still managed by the Army according to the charter agreement with her owners. In practise it would have taken a couple of months for the WSA to take full control.

I would like to know more about the gunners on board the 'FONTEIN ships. I do know that the British encouraged merchant navy officers and ratings to undergo gunnery training even before the outbreak of WW2. During the early days of the war, gun crews consisted mainly of the ship's own hastily trained personnel backed up by one or two professionals from the Royal Marines. Later on, DEMS (Defensively Equipped Merchant Ship) crews were specifically trained for the purpose - drawn mostly from the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. DEMS crews were not part of the permanent compliment of a merchant ship but were assigned to vessels when and where needed - often the guns were removed along with their crews when a destination port was reached to be used elsewhwere.
How did the Dutch and US go about it?

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  • U.S. Naval Armed Guard and U.S. Army gun crews - Nelson on Jun 25, 2009, 4:07 PM
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