(WASHINGTON) — American Maritime Partnership (AMP) has announced it is honoring Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks with the American Maritime Hero Award. The award recognizes individuals or groups of individuals who have added to the rich heritage of the United States as a maritime nation through their professional contributions, courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.
Hanks has drawn global attention to the bravery of maritime heroes by starring in the film “Captain Phillips,” narrating the documentary short “Boatlift – An Untold Tale of 9/11 Resilience,” and starring in and writing the screenplay in “Greyhound,” released on AppleTV+ on July 10. “Greyhound” tells the story of U.S. Navy Cmdr. Ernest Krause. Hanks portrays Krause on his first naval command mission, leading a convoy of 37 merchant marine ships across the chaotic North Atlantic while under pursuit by a squadron of German U-boats.
“Tom Hanks’ work throughout his career reflects a deep respect for those who serve,” said Mike Roberts, president of the American Maritime Partnership. “This includes American mariners responding to the 9/11 attacks in New York, dealing with piracy off the coast of Somalia, and keeping our allies supplied during World War II. We are grateful for his work and passion in telling the stories of these unsung maritime heroes.”
As depicted in the recently released movie “Greyhound,” the World War II merchant mariners are renowned for their bravery and contribution to the Allied victory over 75 years ago. Honored earlier this year with the Congressional Gold Medal Award, almost 250,000 World War II merchant mariners transported tens of millions of tons of war supplies and more than 7 million servicemen under the most challenging circumstances imaginable. As a result, they suffered the highest casualty rate of any service during World War II, with one mariner out of every 26 lost. Often defenseless against enemy vessels, these merchant mariners continued to sustain the war effort. A total of 8,241 merchant mariners died in World War II, and many others were captured and became prisoners of war. Today approximately 2,000 merchant mariner heroes from World War II remain.
Additional information about the World War II merchant mariners and the Congressional Gold Medal Act, the actions of American maritime first responders on 9/11 who helped bring more than 500,000 people to safety in what became the largest sea evacuation in the nation’s history, and the heroic rescue of Capt. Richard Phillips from Somali pirates can be found on the American Maritime Partnership website.
“Greyhound,” starring Tom Hanks premiered on July 10, 2020, on AppleTV+ and is now available to watch. To learn more about American maritime heroes, visit www.americanmaritimeheroes.com.