29 November 2009


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


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.

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


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.

New York Times

22 November 2009


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


From The Age on this day in 1937:


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.


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.


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.

New York Times
Chicago Tribune

10 November 2009


From the Sydney Morning Herald on this day in 1936:

German Motor Vessel.

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:

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

03 November 2009

If I Only Had a...

On this day in 1951, Ray Bolger (aka the Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz) was aboard the Queen Mary on his way to the United States. Also aboard was naturalist-lecturer Captain C.W.R. Knight and his trained eagle, Mr. Ramshaw. They are pictured here getting to know one another upon their arrival in New York.


02 November 2009

On the Way to San Simeon

On this day in 1936, Marion Davies arrived from Europe on the RMS Queen Mary. She is pictured here aboard the ship after it docked at Pier 90 in New York.

NY Daily News