13 March 2009

Ghost Sighting

On this day in 1942--according to Vichy radio reports in Buenos Aires--the troop ship Queen Mary in her gray war paint departed Rio de Janeiro carrying 10,000 British and American troops. She was escorted by three warships, and her destination at the time was unknown. 

The truth was she'd left five days earlier. Her sailing schedule, having been discovered by a group of Axis spies led by Count Edmondo Di Robilant and passed on to lurking u-boats in Brazilian waters, was altered when Allied intellingence intercepted the transmission. Captain James Bisset was directed to leave in haste for Capetown, staying in Rio only long enough to take on fuel and provisions. 

Sources:
Gray Ghost: The RMS Queen Mary at War by Steve Harding
Canberra Times

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