27 January 2009

Beefing Up Security

On this day in 1942, the Queen Mary entered dry dock at the Boston Naval Yard, where her troop capacity was increased from 5,000 to 8,000; standee bunks were added to the promenade deck, swimming pool, and ladies' drawing room and bathroom facilities were increased. More space was also found for storing the tons of provisions required to feed the troops. 

And the ship's defenses were improved. In addition to the Vickers and Lewis machine guns and four-inch gun she'd relied on since before Pearl Harbor, ten 4o mm cannon, 24 single-barrel 20 mm cannon on steel tub-mounts, six 3-inch high/low angle guns, and four sets of 2-inch anti-aircraft rocket launchers were added to her armament. She never needed any of it, however. The Mary's greatest and best defense was her speed. And her luck, something she continues to rely upon even today.

Gray Ghost by Steve Harding

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