Richard R. Conlin
Richard Royce Conlin was born on October 10, 1921, in New York, New York, to Bernadette Kavanaugh and Henry Conlin. In Rye his family lived on Dogwood Lane. He had two sisters and two brothers and the family were members of the Church of the Resurrection. Richard enlisted January 16, 1943 and served in the U.S. Merchant Marines during World War II.
The Merchant Marine is the fleet of ships which carries imports and exports during peacetime and becomes a naval auxiliary during wartime to deliver troops and war materiel. The Government trained the men to operate the ships and assist in manning the guns through the U.S. Maritime Service.
Richard served with the Black Diamond Steamship Company. During World War II Black Diamond Steamship Company was active with charter shipping with the Maritime Commission and War Shipping Administration. During wartime, the Black Diamond Steamship Company operated Victory ships and Liberty ships.
The ship was run by its crew and the US Navy supplied United States Navy Armed Guards to man the deck guns and radio. The most common armament mounted on these merchant ships were the MK II 20mm Oerlikon autocannon and the 3"/50, 4"/50, and 5"/38 deck guns.
There were 243,000 mariners that served in the war. And 9,521 perished while serving—a higher proportion of those killed than any other branch of the US military. Roughly four percent of those who served were killed, a higher casualty rate than that of any of the American military services during World War II.
But after the war, the mariners were pretty much forgotten. Their vocal supporter, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, died before the war ended, and Congress did not heed his request that they be provided for. Merchant mariners were left out of the G.I. Bill and other government benefits. They were also largely left out of the history books, omitted from the American narrative of How We Won the War.
Richard was honorably discharged August 15, 1945. He married Clare Josephine McElroy Conlin in New York City, New York, on August 12, 1946, when he was 24 years old and they would have four children.
After the war Richard was employed by the Maritime Overseas Corp as a merchant seaman.and was a member of St. Anthony's Church in West Harrison
Richard R Conlin died of an apparent heart attack on Saturday August 1, 1968. He was 47 years old.
At the time of his death he was survived by his wife the former Claire McElroy and four children: Richard R Conlin Jr of the US Maritime Academy In King's Point NY and John, Bernadette and Christopher, two sisters, Sister Maria Bernadette of the Academy of the Resurrection in Rye and Miss Mary Conlin of San Francisco, two brothers Harry A Conlin Jr of Staten Island and Joseph J Conlin of Palo Alto CA. Also,his parents Bernadette Cavanaugh and Harry A Conlin of New York City survived him.