PORTLAND — St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Portland will dedicate a memorial to the U.S. Merchant Mariners who gave their lives in World War II at its 10:30 a.m. service on Sunday, Oct. 25. The Arctic Campaign Memorial Trust and the International Association of Maritime and Port Executives will present the Merchant Marine Flag to the Parish where it will be placed at the Arctic Campaign Memorial along with World War II American and Canadian flags. The flag will honor the 215,000 civilian seafarers who served at sea from 1941-45.
Some 8,380 merchant mariners were killed in action and 1,554 merchant ships were lost at sea during the war. The memorial honors the Arctic convoys which delivered thousands of tons of food, oil and guns, tanks, trucks, clothing, aircraft ships and ammunition, helping the English and Russians hold back the Nazis. In 2000, the Arctic Campaign Memorial Trust arranged for the placement of a memorial to the over 3,000 men and women who died in the fight for freedom providing supplies to Great Britain and Russia. A 6-foot square piece of black Russia marble, presented on behalf of the people of Russia and engraved on behalf of the people of Great Britain was gifted to the people of the United States and placed in the City of Portland on the Eastern Prom, overlooking the harbor where convoys last gathered in the US. Portland was selected as it was the last American port of call for US and allied ships being made into convoys for the North Atlantic run.
At that same time, a smaller memorial, replicating the memorial given to the United States and similar to the memorial at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, was presented to St. Paul’s Church in Portland, designated as the Maritime Church of the Port of Portland. In 2006, the Canadian Counsel General, Mr. Stan Keyes, and His Worship Mayor Charles Crosby of Yarmouth Nova Scotia, along with representatives of the communities and ports of Southwest Nova Scotia, presented a World War II Canadian National Flag to be placed at the site of the memorial at St. Paul’s alongside the National Flag of the United States from World War II. The flag will also be presented in memory of Capt. G. David Fenderson, USNR whose donation provided for the flag. Capt. Fenderson was a 1956 graduate of Maine Maritime Academy and past President of the Portland Marine Society.
“We are pleased to be able to honor the merchant mariners who gave their lives in the service of their country,” said the Very Rev. Canon Jeffrey Monroe (Capt-USNMMR), Arctic Campaign Chaplain. “St. Paul’s has always been the maritime church for the Port of Portland and it is a fitting place for this remembrance.”
St. Paul’s Anglican Church was founded in 1753 and is the oldest Anglican Church in the State of Maine and has a deep connection to seafaring. Commodore Edward Preble, a father of the US Navy was a parish member and the parish rector buried the captains of the USS ENTERPRISE and HMS BOXER on the Eastern Prom in the War of 1812. The Anglican Church in America is part of the worldwide Traditional Anglican Church, with members in 44 countries which seeks to uphold the Catholic Faith, Apostolic Order, Orthodox Worship and Evangelical Witness of the Anglican tradition within the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ. The Communion holds Holy Scripture and the three ancient Creeds of the Undivided Church as authentic and authoritative and worships according to the traditional Liturgies of the Church.