Death of the Commander-in-Chief
The death of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on April 12, 1945, sent shock waves across the country and the world. It was generally known that he was not well, but because he was enjoying a much needed rest in Warm Springs, Georgia, people naturally assumed that before long he would return to his desk in the Oval Office. The shock was particularly jolting for the hundreds of thousands of military and civilian personnel whose daily lives were wedded to the war effort and for whom Roosevelt was as potent a symbol of national determination and leadership as Winston Churchill was on the other side of the Atlantic.
A moving eulogy was given by the school superintendant, Capt. A.G. Ford, standing before the officer cadets in formation on the parade ground. "President Roosevelt was a particular friend and benefactor of this Service...He shared with all seagoing men a natural love and affection for the sea...He knew the problems of our Merchant Marine and appreciated our country's dependency upon the work performed by this Service."