Minnesota Merchants Marines WW II Forgotten Vets on Memorial Day

Created: 05/26/2014 11:23 AM

RICHFIELD, Minn. (AP) - A group of U.S. Merchant Marines veterans from World War II has been meeting at an American Legion post in a Twin Cities suburb for a couple of decades.

But, the group has decided to disband following a farewell picnic next month because the gathering that once attracted dozens has dwindled to just a few. The average age of the former seamen is 88. And, with each passing year, there are fewer members of the Viking Chapter of the American Merchant Marine Veterans.

Cal Twining, of Inver Grove Heights says he'll miss swapping war stories with his fellow mariners. The 89-year-old veteran says most in the group went through the same thing - some worse than others. Twining says the gatherings were a way to remember the past.

Information from: St. Paul Pioneer Press

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.)

Merchant Marine numbers dwindle as the years pass.