As part of its mission to promote the United States merchant marine, the Maritime Administration (MARAD) is the steward of a large collection of artifacts that represent the history and scope of the U.S. merchant marine and US merchant shipping.
A large portion of MARAD’s artifact collection, including many ship models and paintings, is on display at the American Merchant Marine Museum, located on the campus of the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York.
Additionally, MARAD loans and transfers artifacts to qualified organizations. Over the years, the agency has provided hundreds of artifacts and equipment to memorial ships located throughout the U.S. For example, MARAD has transferred equipment and parts from the ex-USS Gage (APA-168), a WWII-troop transport that has since been recycled, to the memorial ships USS Slater (DE-766) and USS Massachusetts (BB-59), for use as replacement parts. Artifacts from Gage‘s sick bay were also removed and transferred to the National Museum of Health and Medicine, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology for interpretation and exhibit.
MARAD has also loaned or donated artifacts to museums, schools, and other educational institutions. For example, in 2011 the administration donated navigational equipment, lights, and the name board from SS Pioneer Commander, a vessel that participated in Operation FREQUENT WIND in which thousands of American civilians and South Vietnamese were evacuated from Vietnam as communist forces were closing in on Saigon in 1975, to Texas Tech University’s Vietnam Center and Archive.
You can learn more about the MARAD artifact program below: