Documentary pays tribute to forgotten nautical war heroes


The National Sailing Center and Hall of Fame is streaming from its online Film Library a rarely-seen documentary — "The Hooligan Navy," which tells the story of how private American recreational sailboats were used as ships of war during World War II.

The entire 47-minute film is also playing on the National Sailing Center and Hall of Fame Facebook page and YouTube channel.

"The Hooligan Navy" tells a little-known story about the Corsair Fleet, a band of young yachtsmen and fishermen who were recruited into service — their vessels "armed" — so they could patrol the coastline of America's Eastern Seaboard and, if necessary, engage Nazi U-boats.

The sailors and their sailing yachts were sent out so quickly the gray paint was still wet when they left the docks.

Click here to watch the film.