Chicago Marine Heritage Society

41° 52' 55" N - 087° 36' 43" W

United States Merchant Marine Officers Honors Unit

The Chicago Marine Heritage Society supported the establishment of the United States Merchant Marine Officers Honors Unit of The Chicago Lodge of Shipmasters International and secured the approval and support from MARAD through the Great Lakes regional office. In the early years, MARAD regional Director Doris Bautch attended and participated in many of the unit’s major activities.

Officers of the Shipmaster Memorial Foundation were the leaders in forming this unit and remain active in its many activities. Foundation Treasurer Capt Bill Russell was appointed Commander of the unit and continues to serve in that capacity. Past President Capt Tim Brown was the concept initiator and introduced participation in Chicago Parades. Capt Bob Johnson and President Capt Joe O’Connor are regular leaders of the Units participation in many of the current events. Capt Camilla Ross and Capt Dave Truitt have been the unit’s memorial participants in USCG Helicopter wreath drop missions off shore. The unit has gained public admiration for their memorial program at Navy Pier as the centerpiece of the Chicago Christmas Ship Annual “Tree” arrival and distribution event. This event occurs on the first Saturday in December every year.