Jim Scheder served his country from 1944 to 1946 in the United States Merchant Marine Service, and from 1946 to 1951 in the United States Army. Those seven years were an odyssey.
As a Merchant Mariner, his first port-of-call was Iran via the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, the Suez Canal, the Red Sea, and the Persian Gulf. Scheder’s voyages later took him into the Indian Ocean, along the northeast coast of Africa to Mozambique. From there, Scheder sailed to Naples, Sicily, Algeria, Cuba, and back to the United States; then it was off to Greece, England, and back again to the United States.
While at sea, the crews of the Merchant Marine liberty ships were exposed to the dangers of German submarines and the difficulties of life at sea. Few know that Merchant Mariners suffered substantial losses during World War II—more by percentage than any branch of military service.
In 1946, after he had left the Merchant Marines, Scheder joined the Army where he served with the Army Signal Corps in Germany. He was discharged from the Army in 1949.
In 1950, having signed-up as an Army Reservist, he was called-up during the Korean War. In Korea he was assigned to the Army Security Agency. Scheder’s service to his country ended in 1951, when he left the Army Reserve.
Proud of his service to his country, and especially proud to have been a Merchant Mariner, Scheder says–“I did for my country what I felt responsible to do. I was proud to have been an American; to be born here.”