Memorial Day: Kerouac in the Merchant Marines

28 May

Picture via Across an Underwood / Sketches on Kerouac

Jack Kerouac was in the Merchant Marines during World War II. You can read about his time on the S.S. Dorchester, which ultimately was torpedoed, here.

Kerouac made it out alive, but two of his Greek American friends from Lowell did not: Johnny Koumentzelis and Sebastian Sampas.

Today we remember all of those who selflessly gave of themselves to make our world a better place, and we think of the many families who lost loved ones.


4 Responses to “Memorial Day: Kerouac in the Merchant Marines”


  1. Are the Beatniks Anti-American? | Stephanie Nikolopoulos - May 27, 2013

    […] You may also be interested in Memorial Day: Kerouac in the Merchant Marines. […]

  2. We’re in Empty Mirror! | Stephanie Nikolopoulos - October 14, 2013

    […] of the biography. It begins with Jack Kerouac’s Lowell friend, a Greek American named Sebastian Sampas, going off to Camp Lee and then tells of Kerouac’s time in boot camp. During this time period, […]

  3. The British Are Coming!: The Beat Generation’s Influence on The British Invasion | Stephanie Nikolopoulos - November 11, 2013

    […] Kerouac set sail for Greenland on July 18, 1942 aboard the S. S. Dorchester. He had enlisted in the Merchant Marines and, if we take the romantic view of things,  was looking for intense experiences that could […]

  4. Happy Memorial Day Weekend! | Stephanie Nikolopoulos - May 23, 2014

    […] Here’s my Memorial Day post from last year, in which I asked if the Beat Generation writers were anti-American, and here’s the one from the year before in which I explore Jack Kerouac’s time in the Merchant Marines. […]

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