Author of ‘The Mathews Men’ to speak at Maritime College

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

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Author of ‘The Mathews Men’ to speak at Maritime College

Author and maritime professional William Geroux will come to SUNY Maritime College to talk about his book, “The Mathews Men: Seven Brothers and the War Against Hitler’s U-Boats.”

The talk begins at 3 p.m. March 30 in the college’s Maritime Academic Center and will be followed by a reception and book signing.

“I have been encouraging people to read ‘The Mathews Men’ since I read it a year ago,” said Rear Adm. Michael Alfultis. “This book tells the powerful story of the loyalty and valor of these men, but also of the vital and often unspoken role that the merchant marine plays in our national defense.”

The book details the experience of seven brothers and others from a rural county in Virginia during World War II. During the war, Mathews County sent an unusually high number of men to serve as sea captains during the war. The men were not in the military; they were merchant mariners who were responsible for helping to transport fuel, food and arms across the Atlantic Ocean to support the war effort. The ships were unprotected commercial vessels and their crews quickly became prime targets for German U-boats.

“The U.S. merchant marine has been vital to every overseas war effort, supporting and supplying the military,” said library director Kristin Hart. “However, the story of these important men – and now women – often goes unnoticed and untold. This book is a compelling story that begins to bring their contribution into the light.”

Geroux works for Maersk, the largest commercial shipping company in the world. He has also worked as a reporter and his stories have been published in the New York Times, Richmond Times-Dispatch and The Associated Press, among others.

Geroux’s visit is part of the Stephen B. Luce Library Lecture Series. It is free and open to the public.