John Dibble MacRitchie World War II
Korean War Veteran
John spent a year in the Pacific, the Philippines and Okinawa as part of the Merchant Marine Cadet Corps. His ship was not part of a convoy, so they faced the possibility of torpedo attack when they were at sea. His first trip might have been termed “humanitarian” in the sense that it was meant to bring comfort to the troops. They carried 100,000 cases of beer and 5000 cases of whiskey. For the danger they were in as the ship moved through the Pacific, the Merchant Marine enlisted men felt they were entitled to some comfort also. They “liberated” cases of their cargo and placed them in clever places throughout the ship, where it was safe until a large contingent of M.P.’s boarded the ship when it reached port. The M.P.’s found EVERY case of beer and whiskey! John’s second trip was truly humanitarian, delivering medical supplies to Okinawa after it had been hit by a severe typhoon.
Following World War II John attended The University of Michigan, graduating in June, 1950. When the United States entered the Korean War as part of the United Nations force, he volunteered for the Air Force. In January, 1951, he sailed for England to a base outside Liverpool, where he was a hospital administrator. There was deep concern in the western world about the threat of communism and the possibility that Russia would enter the war on the side of North Korea. This resulted in a major build-up of the U.S. Air Force. Most of the new bases were in England.
JoAnne P. Miller