10 August 2009

No Fool

On this day in 1942, Commodore Cyril G. Illingworth assumed command of the RMS Queen Mary for the first time in his long career. Illingworth had joined the Cunard Line in 1910. Besides the Queen Mary, he served aboard the Scythia, the Berengaria, the Queen Elizabeth; on the Ascania, he once stood watch 75 hours as the ship navigated bad weather. Interviewed in 1947 by Time for an article about the Mary's return to peacetime service, of which he was in command, Illingworth said, "In the North Atlantic trade we have a saying: 'We blow the fog horn for five hot-weather months and blow on our fingers to keep warm the other seven.' When fogs abound, any captain of a ship like this who doesn't watch the sea...is a fool, sir, a fool."

Queen Mary by James Steele

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