Veteran Stories:
J. Emmett Mulvaney

Merchant Navy

  • A Merchant Navy paybook. This is an empty one give to Mr. Mulvaney after his service.

  • The inside pages of the Merchant Navy paybook.

  • Mr. Zytarok served in the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders from 1944-1950. He served in France, Belgium, and Holland and was wounded in all three countries.

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"I remember I asked our Commodore if I could go over to another ship after we saw it had been damaged. I said I saw a friend of mine over on that ship, but everybody else through binoculars appeared to be dead..."

Transcript

My name is Emmett Mulvaney. I was in the Navy, but most of the time I was on merchant ships. I spent the first year and a half or so as a radio operator because I had been a radio operator in Ottawa. I remember I asked our Commodore if I could go over to another ship after we saw it had been damaged. I said I saw a friend of mine over on that ship, but everybody else through binoculars appeared to be dead, but my friend Tug was still moving. I wanted to take off my heavy gear, board that ship and get Tug off onto a rescue ship. Every convoy had two rescue ships at the stern. They were vessels that had been in Dover to Callahey on peacetime business. The Commodore said it was ok, I took off my heavy gear, got to the ship, pulled Tug off that ship and put him on the rescue ship that came along five minutes later. It scooped him up with a special scoop they use to scoop live people up out of the water. Our most important runs seem to be bringing ships to the very north side of Scotland. We were no sooner out of the way then these ships would be in line, one after the other to the Orkney Islands, the home of the Home Fleet. There were real aircraft carriers and battleships and such and they had to be escorted up to Murmansk. But that coast was treacherous because the Germans controlled Norway, which at that time was a miserable part of Scandinavia.
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