Military History/US Merchant ships


Frederick Paton
Frederick Paton  
Dear Mr Horrell,
My brother, sister and I are researching our deceased (1965) fathers WW2 history but the problem is we have very little information to go on.
His name was Frederick Paton and he was a New Zealander in the US Merchant Marine Army Transport Service, reaching the rank of Lieutenant Commander. We have recently managed to get his medals, Atlantic War Zone, Pacific War Zone, Victory Medal, Combat Bar and Honourable Service Pin. Perhaps he should have got the Mariners Medal also as he lost 2 fingers on his left hand in 1942.  The letter that we wrote to get the medals has been forwarded on to another address to try to get his service records but the problem is we do not know where he joined, service number, or names of ships he was on.
We do know that his ship was in Brisbane Australia on 12 July 1945 and in Sydney Australia on or about 20 January 1946. I can remember him talking about the Mariposa when I was a child (he was very impressed by it) but I do not know if he served on it.
I have searched US crew lists on all to no avail. He had a well worn little tin which contained his uniform insignia along with an Army Aviator badge and a US Army Airforce Officer Collar Brass (Eagles wings with a vertical propeller all gold coloured)  These two insignia are a bit of a puzzle and make me wonder if he may have been on a CAM ship at some time and they may have belonged to a lost friend.
We do hope that you may be able to help us in some way.

Kind regards,

Mary Paton

Dear Ms.,
       Thank You for your question.  The scenario you have typed seems somewhat familiar to me.  You may have contacted me through some source in the last 2-3 years with the same question(s).  Regardless, I will give it my best shot.
       In your question you typed that your father was "in the US Merchant Marine Army Transport Service".  I am confused.  Your father was a Merchant Marine (civilian) in the Army Transport Service (Transportation Corps) of the US Army?  It is true, you learn something new every day.  On the right collar tab of your father's uniform shirt is the insignia of the Transportation Corps, US Army.
       In your question you typed "We have recently managed to.......and Honourable Service Pin."  What entity did you contact to obtain said "medals"?  What source for FACTS did the entity have access to, so as to determine what "medals" your father was entitled to?
       In your question you typed "I can remember him talking.......if he served on it."  It would be my pleasure to share with you all the FACTS I have about the wartime era voyages of the SS Mariposa.  Send me your mailing address via AirPost & I will send you the photocopies via AirPost.
       As to an answer for you, I have none.  All I can do is to make suggestions as to your next step in your quest.  Since your father was in the Transportation Corps, US Army, I suggest you contact:

US Army Heritage & Education Center
Carlisle Barracks   Pennsylvania
  USA     17013-5050

Since your father was a Merchant Marine, I suggest you contact:

Dept. of the Navy
Naval Historical Center
 805 Kidder Breese S.E.
  Washington Navy Yard
   Washington   D.C.
    USA     20374-5060

       My apology for not assisting you in the way you desire.  When I do not have the FACTS, I simply do not have them.  However, I can still try to steer you in the direction of the FACTS you desire.
       Good Luck with your quest.  I look forward to a letter from you at your leisure.  Please include your e-mail address.

   Richard V. Horrell
    WW 2 Connections
     211 Union St.   #611
      Nashville   Tennessee
         USA     37201-1502

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Richard V. Horrell


Can answer: World War Two. Specifically, the troop transport ships that took US Military Personnel overseas & returned them to the US, 1941-47. Also, unit history of US Army QM, Signal, MP, Ordnance, Medical, Transportation & Engineer units that served during WW 2. The more obscure units are my specialty. If you have the APO that a Veteran sent letters from or received letters at, I can look up the history of that APO.


A lifelong study of WW 2, including participation as a WW 2 Re-enactor, 1980-2002. Also, interviewing over 400 WW 2 Veterans about their role in WW 2.

AASLH, Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society

Over 800 Profiles that I have written for client's about their loved one's role in WW 2.

BA, History & Political Science (19th & 20th Century European History) Webster University, Webster Groves, MO.

Awards and Honors
Assisting the National Archives on numerous occasions during the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of WW 2, 1991-95.

Past/Present Clients
Respectfully, I do not disclose the names of the clients I deal with. I have a confidentially agreement with them.

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