Veterans' Benefits:

World War II Merchant Mariners Potentially Eligible

HEHS-97-196R: Published: Aug 18, 1997. Publicly Released: Aug 18, 1997.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO estimated: (1) the number of mariners who served during the entire period of World War II; and (2) the number of potential beneficiaries of the Merchant Mariners Fairness Act of 1997 if veteran status were extended to former mariners who served from August 16, 1945, through December 31, 1946.

GAO noted that: (1) on the basis of its sample of 9,400 archived files of merchant mariners who were issued Merchant Mariners Documents (MMD) from 1937 on, GAO estimates that 840,200 merchant mariners were issued MMDs between January 1, 1937, and December 31, 1946; and (2) GAO estimated that of that number 102,400 were issued MMDs between August 16, 1945, and December 31, 1946, and might be eligible for consideration if veteran status were extended to the target group.

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