29 December 2009

MIA


Excerpted from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune on this day in 1943:

SARASOTAN IS REPORTED LOST IN AIR ACTION

Word was receieved today by Mrs. Mellie L. Sudbury, 745 Wood Street, that her son S/Sgt. Robert E. Sudbury, has been missing in action over Europe since December 16.

Sudbury was on his way to Australia and action with Capt. Colin Kelly a bare month after he volunteered Jan. 7, 1941. Inducted at Camp Blanding, he was sent to Wichita Falls, Texas, and from there to Boston where he embarked on the Queen Mary for the South Pacific zone. While he was aboard, this vessel was reported sunk, but that later proved erroneous and he arrived in Port Moresby after a trip around the tip of South Africa.

28 December 2009

A Date in London



Traveling aboard the Queen Mary on this day in 1947:  Mickey Rooney.

He was on his way to England for a Vaudeville date at the London Palladium.

Source:
The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, WA

27 December 2009

An All-Electric Ship

From the Pittsburgh Press on this day in 1938:




WORK SPEEDED ON GIANT LINER
_____


Machinery Being Installed in White Star Ship
_____


By The United Press
CLYDEBANK, Dec. 27--Work on the installation of the machinery in the Cunard-White Star liner Queen Elizabeth is proceeding actively.

The fitting out of the vessel is six months in advance of the work in the Queen Mary at the time of its launching in 1934. The passenger accommodation in all sections is nearly complete. Woodwork is set and the public rooms are in a more advanced state than has ever been attained in a big ship at a similar state of development.

Powerful cranes are hoisting sections of the boilers and engines, which are being built up by an army of skilled nengineers.

The task of furnishing is also proceeding apace. Many miles of curtains, carpets, hangings and floor coverings are being placed. Tons of blankets and towels have arrived.

Facilities for the passengers include a theater and tree cinemas, an elaborate shopping center, banks, tourist bureau and telephone and telegraphic services. Special rooms are to be provided on one of the upper decks, where passengers will be able to make and receive calls to and from any part of the world.

Public rooms in the tourist section include a dining salon, lounge, smoking room, cocktail bar, gymnasium, swimming pool, library, and drawing-room. There also is a well-equipped nursery for young children. The theater has been so arranged that it can be used by tourist and cabin passengers.

Third-class passengers will have a special promenade and sun lounge on the forward end of the main sports deck. A lift will lead to it. Third-class rooms are exceptionally large and well ventilated, and all will have hot and cold running water.

The Queen Elizabeth will be an all-electric ship. About 4000 miles of wire and 30,000 lamps are being fitted. All the tasks in the galleys will be performed electrically.

26 December 2009

Sprung from Southampton



From the Spokane Daily Chronicle on this day in 1955:

"STOWAWAY" RETURNS - Richard David Martin, 27-year-old former Ohio State university student from Cleveland who "stowed away" on the liner Queen Mary after a bon voyage party last June...After spending three days in a Southampton jail...was allowed to land at Cherbourg. He later toured Europe and was accompanied by [finacee] Miss Boyd.

24 December 2009

Cruising



On this day in 1963, the Queen Mary was a day into her first cruise, traveling from Southampton to Las Palmas in the Canary Islands.

Source:
http://www.queenmary.com/

Photo:
Cruiselinehistory.com

23 December 2009

The Long Voyage



On this day in 1942 the Queen Mary's "long voyage" of World War II began in Gourock, Scotland, from where she proceeded to journey 37,943 miles, going through Suez and Sydney before returning to home waters. Commodore James Bisset was at the helm, transporting 10, 669 troops and 800 crew.

Source:
Harding: Gray Ghost: The Queen Mary at War

22 December 2009

Désolé, Normandie



On this day in 1936 Henri Morin de Linclays was aboard the R.M.S. Queen Mary, on his way to Paris to spend the holidays with his family. He was at the time the resident manager of the French Line in New York.


Source:
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Photo:
Luxurylinerrow.com

21 December 2009

A Boat Load



From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on this day in 1937:

Queen Mary Has Hauled 56,850 Travelers

The Cunard White Star liner Queen Mary carried 56,850 passengers between France and British Channel ports and New York City during the year, it is announced. The record places the vessel 16,200 passengers ahead of her nearest competitor, it is claimed.

20 December 2009

Cafe Society on Board



From "Theater Gossip" in The Independent of St. Petersburg, Florida, on this day in 1938:

The meeting of Fred MacMurray and Madeleine Carroll in "Cafe Society" comes when the glamorous blonde, returning to her cabin aboard the liner "Queen Mary," finds MacMurray sound asleep in her bed.

19 December 2009

Friends Onboard



From Time on this day in 1938:

Religion: Friends' Service

Tall 75-year-old Dr. Rufus Matthew Jones, retired Haverford College philosophy professor, is a great & good member of a great U.S. sect, the Society of Friends. Two decades ago Quaker Jones helped found the organization he chairmans today--the American Friends Service Committee, universally respected for its good works.

During seven years after the War, the Committee raised and spent $25,000,000 to care for 7,000,000 needy, regardless of race, throughout Europe and Russia. During the Socialist uprising in Austria in 1934, the Committee was designated the official relief agency by consent of both the Socialist party and the Austrian government. In the U.S., working among West Virginia coal miners, the Committee is Mrs. Roosevelt's favorite charity, to which she gave the $100,000 she made from three years' speaking on the radio.

The friends could take in their stride such a job as helping to get the Jews out of Germany. Last fortnight Rufus Jones and two other Quakers--Headmaster George Arthur Walton of George School near Philadelphia, and Businessman D. Robert Yarnall of Germantown, Pa.--set sail on the Queen Mary, bound for Germany. They hoped to discuss the Jewish problem with German officials: with Adolf Hitler, even, if they could gain his ear.

Mindful of German dislike of outside interference, they kept mum about their plans. At least two newspapers, the New York Times and the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, knew what the three Friends were about, and kept mum, too. But the Philadelphia Record got wind of the story, telephoned numerous Philadelphia Quakers, finally got hold of Quaker Jones on the Queen Mary. Despite his pleas, the Record splashed the story on its front page last week.

Philadelphia Friends called the publicity "tragic" and, in view of the fact that the Record's Publisher Julius David Stern is a Jew, "the worst crime in newspaper history." Their concern was justified when, on the day the Quaker delegation reached Berlin, Dr. Goebbels' organ Der Angriff sniggered: "We hope they will make themselves known...Then we will know, you see, when to begin to quake--quake duly before the Quakers of the U.S.A...."

18 December 2009

Hollywood Royalty



On this day in 1936, Dolores Costello and her children, John Drew Barrymore--future actor and father of actress Drew Barrymore--and Dolores Ethel Blyth Barrymore* were aboard the R.M.S. Queen Mary on their way to Europe for a Christmas vacation in Switzerland. Costello and John Barrymore were married in 1928 and divorced in 1934.

Source:
Spokane Daily Chronicle

*The Chronicle incorrectly reported the names of the Barrymore children.

17 December 2009

Crawford Sails



On this day in 1955, Joan Crawford (pictured with her husband Alfred Steele and her children) was aboard the R.M.S. Queen Mary on her way with her family to England for business and for pleasure.

16 December 2009

A Shipload of Swells

On this day in 1938, passengers aboard the R.M.S. Queen Mary included:

Anthony Eden, Former British Secretary of Foreign Affairs and future Prime Minister
Roland Tree, British Member of Parliament
Lady Daphne Straight
Sir Martin Beckett
Viscount and Viscountess Harcourt
Baroness Ravensdale
Countess de Krieth
Countess Cittadine
Countess de Castateni
Sir Keith Price
Sir Samuel Walder
Anna Neagle, British film star
Ray Milland, American film star
Ford Frick, President of the National League and future Commissioner of Major League Baseball
and
Mr. & Mrs. Adolf Zukor of Hollywood, CA




Source:
New York Times

15 December 2009

Ghost Sighting



On this day in 1940, passengers arriving in Kobe, Japan, from Australia reported seeing the Queen Mary, aka the Gray Ghost, at harbor in Sydney, reported the Japanese news agency, Domei. They also reported seeing floating mines in the area.

Source:
Spokane Daily Chronicle, Spokane, Washington, USA

Photo:
Public domain

14 December 2009

Fix Up on the Fly



On this day in 1936, the Queen Mary arrived in New York seven hours late due to three leaking condenser tubes which had to be repaired at sea. Commodore Reginald Peel was forced to order the shutting down of two engines and to reduce speed to 15 knots in order to find and fix the problem.

Source:
New York Times

Photo:
Port Cities - Southampton

13 December 2009

What a Magnificent Building



From The Virgin Islands Daily News on this day in 1967:


End of Queen Mary Brings Tears to Master's Eyes

Long Beach, Calif. (AP) - The master of the retiring Queen Mary is saddened at "the end of this great vessel as a ship."

"But what a magnificent building for Long Beach," said Captain J. Treasure Jones as the massive transoceanic liner was officially removed Monday from the list of the world's ships.

The 62-year-old captain, retiring after being at sea since 15, watched with tear-filled eyes as the British Union Jack was lowered for the last time from the liner's main mast.

In its place today fly the Stars and Stripes and the bear flag of California. The city of Long Beach bought the 31-year ocean veteran from Cunard Lines for $3,450,000 and plans to spend more than that to convert her into a floating hotel, convention center and maritime museum.

Jones said that in England many "thought I was a bit of a traitor when I said I was delighted this ship was to come here to end her days."

"The climate in Britain is not conducive for such a project and I am confident Long Beach will make a magnificent job of it and it will be a great success...I did not want to see her scrapped."

When the liner left Southampton for its 1,001st and final voyage--15,000 miles and 39 days around Cape Horn--"the weather was not too fair." Jones said, adding:

"Some rain was falling from the sky, but there was far more coming down the cheeks of the British people who waved goodby [sic]."

Some 200 persons watched the shipboard ceremony in which Jones handed the ship's registry--a small red book--to the registrar of the British Board of Trade. British and Long Beach attorneys then exchanged legal documents completing the sale.

The captain said the Queen Mary--which he commanded for three years--carried more Americans than persons from any other country so it is fitting she retire in her "second home."

12 December 2009

Moving on Up



From the "Travel Jottings" section of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on this day in 1935:

"In no part of the Queen Mary will greater evidence be found of the tremendous changes which have taken place during recent years in transatlantic travel conditions than in the special provision made for third class passengers. Particularly is this so in the stateroom accommodation, were [sic] the old-fashioned type of cabin has given place to modern cabins with up-to-date methods of heating and ventilation, hot and cold water in every room, and washbasins replacing the old-fashioned 'compactum' idea."

Picture:
http://www.sterling.rmplc.co.uk/visions/thirdcabins1.jpg

11 December 2009

10 December 2009

No Pleasure Cruise



Excerpted from the Spokane Daily Chronicle on this day in 1954:

"The liner Queen Mary pulled into Cherbourg, France, from New York with portholes shattered and her first class dining room flooded after battling Atlantic gales.

"Karl Gartner, a 5-year-old stateless boy, was injured during the voyage and taken to a Cherbourg clinic. Several other passengers had slight injuries."

Additional source:
Official Site of the Port of Cherbourg (photo)

09 December 2009

Welcome Home



On this day in 1967, the Cunard ship Queen Mary arrived in Long Beach Harbor to stay. Hooray!

Photo:
Sciencedude.com

08 December 2009

Beauty Treatment



From the Spokane Daily Chronicle on this day in 1949:

'Grand Old Lady' Undergoes Annual Beauty Treatment

LONDON, Dec. 8. (NANA) - The grand old lady of pier 90--the Queen Mary--is taking a holiday for her annual beauty treatment. She's having the whole works, shampoo, manicure, massage, facial and fresh make-up--at a time when passenger traffic is lighter.

All Cunard ships are withdrawn from the Atlantic service, for this beauty treatment, which started in November and will last until early next year. The biggest ships go into the King George V drydock at Southampton--one of the largest of its kind in the world. There 8000 men of all trades go to work. The Queen Mary will be in 27 days. The Mauretania comes next and then the Queen Elizabeth will move in for a 43-day renovation job.

The other Cunard ships will be serviced at Liverpool. The emphasis is on thoroughness and utmost speed. The ships must be back on the run quickly, since they are one of Britain's biggest dollar earners.

The painters are the first on board, scraping the hull, and renewing all outside paint. While they are working, 1000 cleaning, polishing and repair men come aboard. On their heels are the "hide-revivers"--to look after all the leather work and apply lashings of "tonic."

Next comes the colossal engineering work. The 990 feet of cable anchor chain is laid out at the bottom of the dock. Every inch has to be inspected, tested and cleaned. Boilers and turbines have to be examined, water tanks inspected, and structural tests made.

One of the biggest interior jobs is the mothproofing of all fabrics in the public rooms. Specialists renovate the rare wood panelings, the quilted satin walls and the leather fittings. All stateroom furnishings, drapes and spreads also have to be cleaned. The stocks of linen, flat silver, dining room and kitchen equipment, and 25 miles of carpet get a going-over. On the decks there are nearly 200 lifeboats to be overhauled.

06 December 2009

Caviar Gone!



From The Bryan Times of Bryan, Ohio, on this day in 1967:

Final Cruise of Queen Mary Brings Hardship, Caviar Gone

Acapulco, Mexico (UPI) - The luxury liner Queen Mary today headed for retirement in California with her $3,000-a-ticket passengers grumbling over icy service and hot champagne.

The 1,200 passengers boarded the gleaming white ocean monarch in Britain a month ago for a sentimental last journey as the Cunard liner sailed to Long Beach, Calif., to become a civic convention center.

But the Queen was on her uppers by the time she visited Acapulco, her final foreign port.

"All right, I mutiny," shouted a bartender, ripping off his apron and marching from his post. To some witnesses, it seemed like mutiny on the bountiful.

The 81,237-ton three stacker had left England laden with goodies. But the caviar menu gave out. There was even a water shortage.

Passengers, who all paid a minimum of $3,000 for the the 39-day voyage, sweated in the tropics. They evacuated their cabins and slept on deck.

Because of such long hops as the 3,000 miles from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to Valparaiso, Chile, the Queen moped along on only two of her four propellers to save fuel.

The ship that set transatlantic speed records, the ship that Sir Winston Churchill preferred, fell behind schedule. The captain ordered shore trips at ports of call curtailed to make up lost time.

For weeks the passengers remained cheerful. This after all was a once in a lifetime moment, something for history. By Acapulco it had nearly become something for the books, all right.

Crewmen buttonholed passengers on deck and poured out their complaints. The seamen said they would be flown home from Los Angeles and fired. Cunard was cutting costs.

Guests who were served complained the champagne was tepid and even, ugh, hot.

The purser locked his office. Officers refused to page passengers. A waiter declined to fetch a favorite British punch drink because cucumbers, one ingredient, was being rationed on board, he said.

Cucumbers were never rationed on the old Queen. Never, never, never.

05 December 2009

Composed



Aboard the Queen Mary on this day in 1954 was British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. He had completed a two-month stint as a visiting professor at Cornell University and also had been awarded Yale's Howland Prize before heading home to England with his wife. He is pictured here signing the guest book at Yale.

Source:
Corbis

04 December 2009

Schedule Upset





From the Spokane Daily Chronicle on this day in 1954:

DOCK ALTERCATION DELAYS BIG LINERS

NEW YORK, Dec. 4. (AP) - The big British liner Queen Mary, whose arrival this week was delayed two days by Atlantic storms, had its schedule upset even further today by waterfront troubles.

It was to have sailed for Europe again today at noon. But because dock workers quiet their jobs yesterday and didn't return till this morning, the loading and unloading process was held up.

As a result, said officials of the Cunard Line, the queen can't get away at least until after midnight tonight. Passengers were told they could go ashore in the meantime, if they wish.

An Italian liner, the Saturnia, ran into similar troubles in both cases. It was a day late arriving yesterday as a result of the storms, and officials said the dock tieup would make it several hours late getting away from Mediterranean ports today.

03 December 2009

C Deck Singed



On this day in 1952, firemen in smoke masks fought a blaze on the Queen Mary for 45 minutes as she sat in dry dock at Southampton for an overhaul. The fire, which caused minimal damage to the ship, started in a C deck cabin.

02 December 2009

Out of the Fog



From the Sydney Morning Herald on this day in 1948:

Fog Lifts, 
London Sees Sun
________

STAFF CORRESPONDENT AND A.A.P.

LONDON, Dec. 1 - The fog blanket began to lift from north-west Europe early this afternoon--the eighth day of heavy fog conditions.

The sun broke through in London after the thickest night and morning since the fog began.

The three Atlantic liners, Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary, and Aquitania, left their Southampton berths in bright sunshine, and ships began to move in the Scheldt and Thames Estuaries.

The Berlin air-lift also resumed to-day.

29 November 2009

Oops



From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on this day in 1937:

LINER DAMAGES CORNER OF PIER
____________

Passengers on Queen Mary Say They Didn't Even Feel Jar.
____________

NEW YORK, Nov. 29. - (AP)- The Queen Mary wrecked a corner of her pier as she docked today, but only welcomers ashore knew anything about it. Passengers in the giant liner said they did not even feel a jar.

Welcomers waving to friends aboard scattered when an officer in the bow of the liner shouted a warning. No one was hurt.

28 November 2009

In Related News...



Headline from the New York Times on this day in 1935:

MAJESTIC; Last Sailing From New York Is Scheduled for Feb. 20 -- Berengaria to Continue. RUMORS ON LATTER DENIED No Comment in Offices Here on Future Plans for Big Former German Ship.

27 November 2009

Hello, Lady Liberty


On this day in 1945, the RMS Queen Mary, still in her gray war paint, delivered 11,360 grateful passengers home to American soil: she was but one of several ships to bring a total of 27,000 American troops home from the long war in Europe.

26 November 2009

"Take the A...Boat"



Aboard the RMS Queen Mary on this day in 1958, Duke Ellington sat at his piano as the ship awaited departure from pier 90 in New York.

Source:
New York Daily News

25 November 2009

Good Sailor


From The Age on this day in 1954:

Good Sailor 

The liner Queen Mary had one of the worst crossings of her history.

At the beginning of the voyage the Queen Mother inspected the liner and attended a dinner in her honor, but from Saturday onwards she kept to her cabin.

Captain C.I. Thompson, commodore of the Cunard line, who brought the ship across the Atlantic, said of the Royal passenger: "She is a wonderful sailor and has been very happy, not minding the bad weather at all."

She is pictured above with Queen Mary in 1950.

24 November 2009

Streets of Staterooms



From the New York Times on this day in 1935:


WORK BEING PUSHED ON THE QUEEN MARY; Whole Streets of Staterooms Arise on Giant Liner -- To Start Maiden Trip May 27.



"According to latest advices from Glasgow, the de luxe Cunard White Star liner Queen Mary is being pushed toward completion and will be ready to proceed down the River Clyde early in May on her way to Southampton and undergo her trials before sailing for New York on her maiden voyage May 27."

23 November 2009

Ahoy!


On this day in 1967, the Queen Mary docked in Valparaiso, Chile. The port was her first in the Pacific as she took her last voyage before docking permanently in Long Beach, California.








Source:
New York Times

22 November 2009

Farewell



From the Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Washington, on this day in 1976:

Navigator Succumbs

SUFFERN, N.Y. (AP) - Robert Geoffrey Hunt, at one time a navigator aboard the Cunard Liner Queen Mary, died Saturday at his home here. He was 50.

Since 1972, when he left Cunard, Hunt had been an executive with Flagship Cruises in New York.

21 November 2009

No Scrapping



Headline from the Los Angeles Times on this day in 1975:


Long Beach Will Keep Queen Mary 
Revitalization Approved but no Progress Made on Financial Problems 

The city of Long Beach made it clear during a daylong public hearing Thursday that it has no intention of scrapping the Queen Mary but there also was no apparent progress in finding a solution to the ship's mounting financial problems.

20 November 2009

A Smart Choker



Excerpt from the St. Petersburg Times on this day in 1938:

"A good question for any fashion quiz is: "What shackles do women enjoy wearing? The answer, as  you may have guessed, is" "When the shackles are chains of gold!"

"Most of the chains so favored are of gold in multi-strand effect, the links either gossamer as a sunbeam or massive as the cables of the Queen Mary for which one especially smart choker is named."

19 November 2009

Anti-Fouling



From The Age on this day in 1937:

LINER QUEEN MARY TO BE DOCKED.
_____________


Paint Removal May Give Increased Speed.

                                      London, November 18.
The London "Daily Telegraph" states that the liner Queen Mary will be docked on December 20 for six weeks' overhaul. The docking charges alone will exceed 21,000. No important changes will be made in the vessel's structure or machinery, but her hull will be scraped and recoated with an anti-fouling composition. Her present thick coats of preservative paint area a factor in reducing speed, the removal of which may improve the mammoth liner's performance.

17 November 2009

A Pair of Queens


On this day in 1954, Queen Elizabeth boarded the RMS Queen Mary for her trip back home to merry old England after a tour of the United States.














Source:
Corbis

14 November 2009

Fresh Out



From the "People" column in Time on this day in 1938:


When the Queen Mary had been eased into her Manhattan berth last week with the help of ten tugs, her skipper, Commodore Robert Beaufin Irving, who a few weeks ago docked her without any aid except good seamanship and a St. Christopher medal, revealed that since his feat all department and novelty stores in Great Britain were fresh out of St. Christopher medals.

13 November 2009

Piano Man


On this day in 1937, pianist Arthur Rubenstein was aboard the Queen Mary with his wife. The couple were on their way to New York City.











Source:
Corbis

12 November 2009

Record List


From the New York Times on this day in 1947:

QUEEN MARY HERE WITH 2,002 ABOARD; Windsors, Poletti on Record Peacetime List -- 24-Hour Turn-Around Is Sought


Delayed a day by striking British seamen in home ports and carrying a record peacetime list of passengers, the Cunard White Star liner Queen Mary docked here yesterday ready to establish another record and sail again this afternoon on her eastward crossing.

11 November 2009

He's the Bomb


Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer arrived in England on this day in 1953 aboard the R.M.S. Queen Mary, the same day the ship went into dry dock for her annual overhaul.








Source:
New York Times
Chicago Tribune

10 November 2009

S.O.S.


From the Sydney Morning Herald on this day in 1936:

SHIP FOUNDERS.
__
German Motor Vessel.
__
LINER QUEEN MARY TO RESCUE

London, Nov. 9 - The German motorship Isis (4454 tons) has foundered in a storm in the Atlantic.

The only member of the crew of 40 to be rescued was the cabin boy, named Roethke, aged 17.

The liner Queen Mary was nearing Southampton when it deviated from its course in order to race through a 90-mile-an-hour gale in response to an S.O.S. from the Isis 200 miles west of Land's End.

The liner Westernland (16,231 tons) reached the position given by the Isis, but reported that there was not any trace of the vessel. It continued to search for lifeboats.

Roethke was picked up by the Westernland, but was too exhausted to tell what happened.

The Queen Mary was delayed by her search, which resulted in the discovery of one empty boat, and will not arrive at Southampton until to-morrow.

The captain of the Isis wirelessed at 6:35 p.m. yesterday that the hatches had been stove in, and that he was preparing to abandon the vessel, as the forecastle head was under water.

The Queen Mary had been fighting mountainous seas for three days, during which Captain Peel did not leave the bridge.

09 November 2009

On the Hunt




From the New York Times on this day in 1936:


Liner Queen Mary Hunts Sinking Freighter In Violent Storm 200 Miles West of England
Battling mountainous seas, rain and high winds, the liner Queen Mary wirelessed early today that she was racing to the assistance of the crew of the German motor ship Isis, which is believed to have sunk 200 miles west of Land's End, the southwestern tip of England.

08 November 2009

Bombs Away



From the Lafayette Ledger, Lafayette, Minnesota, on this day in 1945:

Bombs for Congress

Six members of a congressional committee sailing to Europe last August were nearly scared out of their wits while on the Queen Mary. Headed by Rep. Louis Rabaut of Michigan, a subcommittee of the house appropriations committee had debated whether to fly or to go by boat. Finally they decided to sail--but they wished they hadn't.

The group which decided to enjoy some relaxation on steamer chairs included Dean Gillespie of Colorado, Robert Jones of Ohio, Butler Hare of South Carolina, Thomas O'Brien of Illinois and Judge John Kerr of North Carolina. Kerr had argued for the boat trip and finally convinced his colleagues.

The congressmen were just beginning to relax on their first night out from New York when an army officer came to Chairman Rabaut with a disturbing message.

"The skipper thought you gentlemen out to know," he said, "that we have just received a code message from the FBI. They report they have discovered there are a number of incendiary bombs on the boat scheduled to go off at midnight.

"There are several companies of Japanese-American troops on board," the officer told Rabaut, "and Japan is still at war with the United States."

Rabaut called his colleagues together and told them the news. Judge Kerr's first comment was: "I wonder if the skipper has ordered airplanes to hover around the ship."

All were alerted the entire night while the ship's crew searched unsuccessfully for the bombs. No trace of them was ever found, but the restful relaxation the congressmen had hoped for was not achieved until they set foot on solid ground once again.

07 November 2009

Welcome Aboard



From The Age, Melbourne, Australia, on this day in 1947:

SEAMEN WIN POINTS
____________
Crew Returns to Queen Mary

LONDON, Nov. 6 (A.A.P.).
A meeting of 300 of the Queen Mary's crew to-day decided to return to the ship.

The secretary of the seamen's rank and file committee (Mr. Pat Murphy) told the meeting that the men who had won their "negotiating platform" and the strikers' demands for lay representation on the negotiating committee had been granted. He added there would be no victimisation of strikers at any port.

With docking fees amounting to 3000 [GBP] a day, in addition to the cost of tugs standing by and extra food, it is estimated the Queen Mary's delay has already cost the company about 5000 [GBP].

More than 1000 seamen marched through Liverpool to herald the end of the 12-day unofficial Merseyside strike.

06 November 2009

Familiar Faces



On this day in 1946, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor once again boarded the Queen Mary on their way to Europe.

05 November 2009

Divine Intervention



From the Evening Independent, St. Petersburg, Florida, on this day in 1938:

"St. Christopher should be made to join the union." -Joseph P. Ryan, president of the International Longshoreman's association in commenting on the docking of the Queen Mary without tugboats after her captain had looked at his St. Christopher's medal.

04 November 2009