Lyle enlisted in the Merchant Marines shortly after he turned 18 on January 31, 1944. Although he had not completed high school, he was issued a high school diploma. While in the Merchant Marines, he primarily sailed on a class of ships known as “victory ships. Here is a link to information about these ships, which were relied on heavily to transport supplies throughout the war:
The following certificate of discharge was found among Lyle’s papers:
This is a “Certificate of Discharge” from the United States Coast Guard for service beginning on February 22, 1945 and ending on May 29, 1945. The certificate shows that Lyle was a “Fireman – Watertender” on the SS Myron T. Herrick. Apparently, members of the Merchant Marines had to enlist in the Coast Guard for short intervals to carry out some of their missions. Interestingly, the back of the certificate includes the following handwritten note:
10 gallons of gasoline issued 6-5-45
Hyrum, Utah W.P.R. Bd #753-4
H.L. (initials underlined)
The author assumes that “W.P.R. Bd” means War Petroleum Ration Bond.
Lyle sailed on the W. W. Atterbury for five months between June 16, 1944 and November 6, 1944. This voyage began in Honolulu and ended in Seattle, Washington.
The following link takes the reader to a newspaper article about this class of ship and even includes a picture of the W. W. Atterbury.
Additional certificates of discharge were found as follows:
February 8, 1944 – May 2, 1944; Stewards Mate Second; discharged in Seattle, WA; no ship name given
July 21, 1945 – September 25, 1945; Fireman – Watertender; discharged in Los Angeles, CA; SS Columbia Victory
December 31, 1945 – January 29, 1946; Fireman – Watertender; discharged in New York, NY; SS Niagara Victory