North High School Wall of Honor
George Isaac Twining, Jr.
Would have graduated in Class of June, 1941
Research done by Claradell Shedd, Class of 1953.
George Isaac Twining, Jr.
George would have graduated in the North High class of 1941, but he left for California and worked, then entered the US Merchant Marines in California on October 30, 1942. His next of kin was Mr. and Mrs. George I. Twining, Sr. who lived at 2719 Sheridan Avenue, Des Moines, IA.
George Isaac Twining, Jr.
Year   Rank   Status
1941   x   Would have graduated from North High, Des Moines, IA
Left a few months early and went to CA.
1941 x Enroute x Train/Des Moines to Los Angeles.
1942 x Employed x Permanente Metals Shipyard in Richmond, CA.
October 30, 1942 x Enlisted in
US Merchant Marines
x *US Maritime Service Training Station (MSTS); Avalon, Catalina Island, CA
1942-1945   Stationed   Served aboard Border King, Flying Scud (4 trips), Cape Hatteras (C1-A), Cape Blanco (C1-A), and Cape Barrow (C1-A) (2 trips)
August 15, 1945 x Discharged x **"Unofficially" left U.S. Merchant Marines.
1945-1978 x Employment x Des Moines Fire Department; Des Moines, IA. Retired in 1978.
1978-2011 x x x Retired to live in Florida.
July 23, 2011 x Deceased x In Wauchula, Florida. Interred in Des Moines, IA.
**NOTE: x re Military
x In 1988, the US Government officially (and finally) recognized
the U.S. Merchant Marines of the U.S. Maritime Service as "military service."
U.S. Maritime Service training in Avalon Bay during WWII, c1940s George after high school
*The USMS (US Maritime Service) was first established under the Coast Guard and later supervised by U.S. Navy officers. Many of its first recruits in 1938 were from the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Men, caught up in the patriotic fervor of the time, came forward to serve in the fledgling U.S. Maritime Service. There were 37 Official U.S. Government Recruiting Offices set up around the country. Radio and newspaper ads brought in the thousands of young patriotic men, as young as 16 years of age, from every State who answered their country's call to serve. Some Offices were located next to Navy and Coast Guard Offices. Many men were sent to the USMS by U.S. Navy and Coast Guard recruiters who said, "That's where your service is needed."

Thousands of active and retired mariners, Navy, and Coast Guardsmen were pressed into duty to serve as administrators and instructors in the U.S. Maritime Service. They believed then, and still believe today, they joined a uniformed, armed service! Many of these were cheated out of service and retirement time. [They are still seeking veteran status from the Air Force Secretary. The USMS was an official U.S. Government organization, while the WASPs and most of the other groups who received veteran status were either under contract to the Government or unofficial organizations. WASP instructors and women who failed the training program received veteran status.

The USMS took over 250,000 raw recruits and turned them into fighting mariners. They taught them operation of anti-aircraft guns and cannon. They taught navigation, engine operation and maintenance, and deck operations aboard training vessels that operated in hazardous waters subject to mines and attack by German and Japanese submarines.

The United States Maritime Service trained men for the U.S. Merchant Marine, and U.S. Army Transport Service to transport supplies and personnel in the largest fleet of freighters, tankers, and transports in history to bases all over the world for U.S. and Allied forces. Men at the fronts depend on this important service for bombs, gasoline, shells, ammunition, food, guns, vehicles, planes, medicine, and other materials for warfare.

The ships of the U.S. Merchant Marine and U.S. Army Transport Service were on the frontline as soon as they left their docks and harbors. The enemy mined some harbors, and submarines and raiders waited for their prey outside of the harbors, especially on the East and Gulf coasts of the United States.

George in U.S. Maritime Service
Class C1-A and C1-B Vessels
Length overall 412.25 feet
Beam 60 feet
Depth 37.5 feet
Draft 23.5 feet
Gross tons 5,028
Deadweight tons, steam 6,240
Deadweight tons, motor 6,440
Speed 14 knots
Horsepower 4,000
Forty-six Type C1-A ships were built at Pennsylvania Shipyards, Inc. in Beaumont, Texas, with another 19 being built by Pusey and Jones in Wilmington, Delaware. Most were built with diesel motors, though 19 were built with steam turbine engines. These were shelter deck ships, having a very light upper deck, the sides of which are open ports to the second or main deck.

The first keels were laid in 1939. Two of the Pusey and Jones ships were converted to PT boat tenders before entering service, including the USS Cyrene (AGP-13).

Some of the diesel vessels were powered by 2-6 cylinder Nordberg 2 stroke engines (sulzer type) driving the single shaft via magnetic couplings and a reduction gear-box. The engine speed was 220 rpm and the shaft 110 rpm. This configuration made maneuvering very easy when entering port, as one engine was run in reverse and the other ahead; change of direction was simply performed by energizing the appropriate magnetic coupling. All auxiliary equipment was electric. The engine room was a pleasure to operate and the workmanship outstanding.

U.S. Merchant Marine

U.S. Maritime Service Seal

US Merchant Marine Seal

US Merchant Marine Cap Insignia

George Isaac Twining, Jr.
U.S. Merchant Marines
U.S. Maritime Servic

George Isaac Twining, Jr.
(in firefighter uniform)

United States Merchant Marine Medal; Pacific War Zone Bar;
Atlantic War Zone Bar; Mediterranean Middle East War Zone Bar;
Merchant Marine Emblem
(1) The World War II Army Enlistment Records contain information on more than nine million indivdual enlistments. These records can be found online at

(2) The comprehensive list of names from North High's 1893-2018 graduation classes are from Claradell Shedd's North Des Moines High School website. The names of North High School graduates can be found online at: George Isaac Twining Jr.'s 1941 class page is:
Page started 06/08/10. Died 07/23/11.
Music: "Heave Ho! My Lads! Heave Ho!"
Home | Back/allyears | WWI | WWII | Korea | Vietnam | Afghanistan/Iraq | Lyrics | Refs/Awards | Contact

©2018-csheddgraphics All rights reserved.
All images and content are © copyright of their respective copyright owners.