The First Merchant Mariner to be Taken Prisoner of War in World War II

Stanley Willner was a deck officer aboard the M/S Sawokla, an Army Transport ship, when it was attacked by a German Raider ship and sunk. He was taken captive by the Germans, who turned him and his ship mates over to the Japanese. In turn, the Japanese sent him to help build the bridge over the River Kwai. The mistreatment did not end there.

Read what happened to entirely too many merchant mariners during and after World War II.

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