31 May 2009

Cabin Classic

Cabin Class menu cover from this day in 1936, showing the map in the main dining room of the RMS Queen Mary:


29 May 2009

Voyage 259


From Cunardqueens.com, the Chief Engineer's report from the RMS Queen Mary on this day in 1956:

R.M.S. Queen Mary, Southampton, 29th May, 1956

To: T. McLaren Esq., The Superintendant Engineer.

Sir,

I wish to report the safe arrival of this vessel at Southampton on completion of Voyage 259, Southampton to New York via Cherbourg and return. 


Westbound: 

The vessel departed Cherbourg at 1.24 a.m. on the 18th May 1956 and revolutions were gradually increased to 172 r.p.m. increasing to 174 r.p.m. at 8.00 a.m. and reducing to 172 r.p.m. at 12.03 p.m. the same day.

These revolutions were then maintained until 12.04 p.m. on the 19th May, when revolutions were reduced to 168 r.p.m. 

Further eductions then followed to the Master's orders to arrive at A.C.L.V. on schedule.

New York:

1732 tons of oil fuel were shipped in New York and the vessel departed Pier 90 with 5362 tons on board.

Two (2) water tube boilers were cleaned externally and the usual centre funnel uptakes cleaned by the Harbor Marine Corp.

A W.C. discharge pipe in the deckhead of the 1st Class Swimming Pool was repaired by the Harbor Marine Corp., and deckhead finished with temporary covering only. 

One (1) T 1 thermostat, No. 24-5683 was recieved for the York Ice Cube Machines.

Eastbound:

The vessel departed the company's berth at 5.27 p.m. on the 23rd May 1956 and cleared A.C.L.V. at 7.30 p.m. the same day, when revolutions were gradually increased to 172 r.p.m., increasing to 174 r.p.m. at 1.40 a.m. the following day.

These revolutions were maintained until 12.12 p.m. on the 26th May, when revolutions were reduced to 172 r.p.m. further reducing to 170 r.p.m. at 6.10 p.m. the same day, and 162 r.p.m. at 10.46 a.m. the following day 27th May.

Further reductions and increases then followed to the Master's orders to arrive at Cherbourg on schedule.

It is requested that the removal of radio, bell and special light sockets and exposed aerial wiring fitted in the suite rooms for Sir Winston Churchill's crossing may be considered. 

The ratings' mess rooms have been inspected daily and an Engineer Officer has attended their mess rooms at all meal times. A complaint from the ratings' Mess relating to insufficient butter was found to be not short rations, but, in warm weather a wastage, by the time the night watches had their meals, due to the butter melting. The matter was quickly rectified by the Chief Steward arranging for the night watches to draw separate issue from cold cabinets as watches meals became due.

No complaints were recieved in regard to the general conditions and service in the Officers' Quarters.

Emergency and Fire Drills were carried out in the Department during the Westbound and Eastbound Passages.

Air Cooling Units: The Verandah Grill air cooling unit has greatly improved since the previous voyage and appears to be settling down. Complaints of draughts are being investigated.

Engine & Boiler Rooms: Nos. 1 and 2 H.S. Generators and Nos. 2 M.M. Generator have been blown out, cleaned and brush gear checked.

Telegraphs: Starboard Docking Bridge telegraph. New movement has been fitted, and the faulty one repaired. Remainder satisfactory.

Cargo Winches: Whilst at Southampton the starboard For'd winch was out of order from 10.45 a.m. to 11.15 a.m. due to a fault in the no volt circuit. Remainder satisfactory.

The following are particulars of the Westbound and Eastbound Passages:

Oil Fuel per hour: WB- 40.41 EB- 43.13
Oil Fuel per 24 hours: WB- 968.84 EB- 1035.12
Oil Fuel per Mile: WB- 1.4461 EB- 1.4821
Oil Fuel per 3000 Miles: WB- 4338.30 EB- 4446.30

All domestic services have been maintained in a satisfactory manner.

All Engineer and Electrical Officers have carried out their duties to my satisfaction.

The general health of the Department has been good throughout the voyage, with the exception of R. Tolton, Trimmer, Article No. P 330, who paid off on medical grounds on the vessel's arrival at Southampton.

I am, yours faithfully, Chief Engineer

28 May 2009

Rule Britannia


From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on this day in 1936:


500,000 CHEER QUEEN MARY'S START TO U.S.
___

Britain's Superliner Is Given Rousing Send-Off.

___

2,100 ON FIRST TRIP

___

Giant Vessel, Latest In Every Particular, Carries Crew Of 1,200.

______

By Universal Service
     SOUTHAMPTON, England, May 27.-Britain's new superliner, the Queen Mary, was given a rousing sendoff by 500,000 Britons who cheered her departure from here today on her maiden voyage to New York. 
     Britain's bid to regain supremacy of the North Atlantic passenger trade, the Queen Mary is due in New York harbor officially Monday, but there was every hint the liner may break the transatlantic record by docking Sunday night.
    Although tonight her 2,140 passengers were abuzz with expectation that they will be riding the new speed queen of the Atlantic when the Queen Mary cuts past Nantucket light, Captain Sir Edgar Britten, master of the new 80,773-ton beauty of the seas, was noncommittal. The crew numbered 1,200.
Planes Dive in Salute.
    The puffing tugs nosed the mighty liner into mid-stream to the blare of "Rule Britannia," played by a marine band on the quayside. 
    Roaring airplanes dived in salute from the crowded piers and from vessels in the harbor came wave after wave of cheers that broke in a thunderous surf.
     Shipmasters tied their siren lanyards down. The harbor echoed and re-echoed the ear-splitting din. Back bellowed the Queen Mary's voice, deep toned sirens that are audible ten miles at sea. 
     For fifteen minutes there was pandemonium. Finally the Queen Mary, swung around by the toiling tugs, slipped down the harbor under their escort.  
     The sky was overcast, but despite the ugly weather thousands more had lined the banks of the Solent to cheer the queen as she put to sea, carrying their hopes that her mighty turbines, developing 200,000 horsepower, will driver her across the finish line of the North Atlantic race course the holder of a speed record that was lost to Britain by the Mauretania in 1930.
     And as the Queen Mary moved out to make her challenge her boiling wash slapped the rusted sides of the tired Majestic, once the largest ship afloat and once the North Atlantic title holder. The Majestic is being scrapped.
     Present speed mistress of the North Atlantic is the Queen Mary's French rival, the Normandie, whose maiden crossing last year was made in 4 days, 11 hours and 42 minutes, at an average speed of 29.68 knots, which on a subsequent crossing was stepped up to 32.84 knots. 
     Somewhere near mid-Atlantic the Queen Mary and the Normandie will salute each other. The Normandie left New York early today. 
     If "Rule Britannia" was an auspice that a record-breaking debut run is expected of the Queen Mary, the fact that the royal standard of the queen, after whom the ship is named, was unfurled opposite the main hall, was even more. Beside it stood an autographed picture of King Edward and two of his mother.
     Aboard also was a representative of the royal family, Lord Milford-Haven, cousin of King Edward. 
   
     

27 May 2009

HeadLiner


Headlines from this day, the Queen Mary's maiden voyage, in 1936:

Chicago Daily Tribune, Chicago, Illinois, USA:

QUEEN MARY OFF FOR U. S. TODAY ON MAIDEN TRIP

15 Chicagoans Aboard Huge Liner.


Christian Science Monitor, Boston, Massachusetts, USA:

The Queen Mary Leaves Port For Atlantic Career

Giant Cunarder Starts Maiden Trip


The Hartford Courant, Hartford, Connecticut, USA:

Britain Agog Over Trip Of 'Queen Mary'

Thousands of Excited Sightseers Pour Into Port; Expect 500,000 to Watch Departure


Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, California, USA:

New Queen Mary Will Sail


New York Times, New York, New York, USA:

QUEEN MARY BEGINS MAIDEN TRIP TODAY; 500,000 to Watch as Britain's Proudest Liner Sails From Southampton for New York


Ready to Dash


From the Virgin Islands Daily News:

QUEEN MARY TO MAKE MAIDEN 
VOYAGE
_________

     Before the Queen Mary leaves today on her maiden voyage to New York, most of England, Scotland, and Wales will turn out in representative bodies to wave goodbye and to add as much pomp to the departing ceremony as possible.
     Trains will leave for Southampton from all parts of the country, along with buses, omnibuses, and tram cars, and when the mighty throng disembarks at Southampton the ovation is expected to exceed any other given in England for years.
     Meanwhile the Queen Mary will lay at her dock, while passengers and royal visitors overlook the surroundings from its mountainous decks. Flags, and multi-colored bunting will be used elaborately in the decoration, some of which will be still tied up even when the huge liner is ready to dash across the Atlantic. Radio operators on the ship will keep in contact with the world through, wireless and radio telephone devices, when the trip has begun.
     The great anxiety and excitement is due to the fact that the Queen Mary, England's largest ship, is making its initial trip at the same time Queen Mary of the British Empire celebrates her 69th birthday.

Mightiest Liner


From the Ludington Daily News of Ludington, Michigan, USA:

QUEEN MARY SAILS
FOR UNITED STATES
___

Britain's Mightiest Liner Has 2,139 Passengers on Maiden Trip
___
     SOUTHAMPTON, Eng., May 27.-(AP)-The S.S. Queen Mary, Great Britain's mightiest liner, sailied at 4:34 p.m. (10:34 a.m. Eastern Standard Time) today for New York.
     On board the great vessel were 2,139 passengers. 
     She pointed her bow toward the English channel amidst scenes of public enthusiasm that transformed Southampton's harbor into a vividly exciting welter of sound and color.
     More than 500,000 spectators blackened docks and the roots of buildings and overflowed to vantage points along the solent. Thousands of motorboats, tugs and excursions craft swarmed like so many chips in a pond about the giant vessel. 
     Ships in the harbor broke out their flags and bunting. Factory and ship sirens screamed a farewell, with the Queen Mary's own siren, audible for ten miles, lifting clearly above the rampage of noise. 
     Five boat trains from London, carrying the largest single consignment of passengers for one ship in the history of Britain, arrived alongside the Queen Mary from 1 to 3 p.m. Prominents from various European countries, and from the United States, were among those whose luggage came pouring onto the dock. 

All Ashore!



From the Bend Bulletin of Bend, Oregon, USA:

NEW LINER SAILS 
ON FIRST VOYAGE
_____

Queen Mary Brings 2,100
on Maiden Trip
_____
     Aboard S.S. Queen Mary En Route to New York, May 27 (UP)-Great Britain's proudest ship put out to sea on her maiden voyage at 4:32 p.m., Greenwich time, today.
     The super-liner, which is expected to smash all commercial speed records in a run to end Monday at Ambrose lightship, off New York, was edged slowly from her pier at Southampton, Eng., by six tugs. While half a million proud Britishers cheered her on her way her nose swung eastward toward the isle of Wight and the passage to open sea.
     A favorable sea and a following wind awaited her beyond the jagged entrance of the Needles, gateway to  Southampton. 
     Hundreds of craft tied down their whistles in tribute to the newest candidate for the blue ribbon of the north Atlantic, at present held by the Normandie of the French line.
     Through the harbor haze thousands crowded the rails of South African and oriental liners, corss channel steamers, yachts and rowboats almost beside the Queen Mary. The rest of the huge crowd contented themselves with vantage points on shore. 
     The Georgic of the same line, left behind at Ocean dock, looked like an excursion steamer as the hulk of the Queen Mary started to move. Off to one side, across Southampton water, lay the Majestic, once herself "the largest ship afloat," and now destined for the scrappers. 
     It took stewards more than a half hour to shoo last minute visitors down the gangplanks to the passenger shed. The final "all ashore" was given ten minutes before actual departure, as stevedores sent the last baggage nest aloft and the straggle-end of hundreds of mail sacks and thousands of letters and flower boxes were taken up the gangways. 
     Passengers had arrived every few minutes on special trains from London.
     The gangways were lowered, the hawsers slackened and were cast off, and the ship was edged out into Southampton water.
     Twenty-one hundred passengers, a crew of 1,000 and 5,000 bags of mail were aboard when Sir Edgar Britten, commodore of the line, gave the quiet order which started the ship on her first north Atlantic run.

The View from Australia



From the Sydney Morning Herald:

LINER QUEEN MARY.
__

Starts Maiden Voyage.
__

SCENES OF ENTHUSIASM.
__

                                                                                London, May 27.
     The Derby crowds were rivalled by the crowds of sightseers at Southampton to watch the departure of the liner Queen Mary on her first trans-Atlantic voyage, which, amid scenes of enthusiasm, she began at 4:32 p.m.
    The captain, Sir Edgar Britten, inspected the crew at 11 a.m., and the ship was thoroughly searched for stowaways. 
    The decision whether to attempt the record or not rests with Sir Edgar Britten, and will depend largely on the weather. 
____
Broadcast Description
     Despite the atmospherics, a vivid idea of the excitement preceding the departure of the Queen Mary from Southampton on her maiden voyage was gained by the broadcast description heard in Sydney early this morning. 
     Listeners first heard of the trains which had been arriving all day with hundreds of passengers, many of whom, according to the commentator, "seemed to lose all sense of direction." Bunches and bunches of flowers were also arriving throughout the day, the numbers being "simply astounding."
     The last passenger train was then heard arriving. According to the announcer, "the passengers are looking for the Queen Mary but they can't see her. All they can see is the inside of a shed."
     From microphones fitted in various parts of the ship, descriptions of the pre-departure activity were then given with all its hustle and bustle. 
     Then the bands played, the last bunches of flowers were taken on board, the last gangway was lowered, and the liner majestically began her first Atlantic crossing. 



26 May 2009

A Good Voyage

From the Evening Independent of St. Petersburg, Florida, USA, on this day in 1936:

Liner Queen Mary Makes Her Maiden Voyage Tomorrow
____
     Southampton, Eng., May 26. - AP -Britain's greatest shipbuilding achievement, the 80,773-ton liner Queen Mary, was pronounced ready today for the start tomorrow afternoon on her maiden voyage to the United States.
     Set to enter the struggle for supremacy in Atlantic passenger service-especially the race for the blue ribbon of fast travel-the new super-liner awaited only the 2,650 passengers who will make the first crossing.
     Five boat trains from London will bring most of the passengers directly alongside the ship, the first train arriving at 1:00 p.m., (8:00 a.m., e.st.) tomorrow and the last shortly after 3:00 p.m., (10:00 a.m., e.s.t.).
     The Queen Mary is scheduled to let go her mooring cables at 4:30 p.m. (11:30 a.m., e.s.t.) and head down the Solent toward the English Channel. 
     The vessel is 1,018 feet long and 118 feet wide with 12 decks and accommodations for 3,800 people including the crew of 1,200.
     Hundreds of thousands of spectators, drawn from all parts of Britain, were expected to view the departure, Southampton preparing for the largest influx of visitors in its history.
     Members of the royal family, after a final inspection of the ship yesterday, wished the captain, Sir Edgar T. Britten, "a good voyage."
     Queen Mary herself, who visited the liner yesterday for the first time since she christened it 18 months ago, observed today her 69th birthday anniversary, spending the day quietly at Buckingham palace with members of her family.

A Fever of Turmoil and Babble

Written aboard the Queen Mary on this day in 1937 by passenger, A. Louis Drucker: 


Cunard White Star

RMS "Queen Mary"

May 26, 1937
Darling Loraine
     At last I am aboard S/S Queen Mary. I never saw so many people congregated on one ship at one time. All are excited, a lot miserable - but all in a fever of turmoil and babble that I can't even hear myself right. 
     We arrived New York 8:45 A.M., took a taxi to the boat, and found myself in the writing room, after a survey of the ship. I haven't as yet met my cabin partner. I have a bedroom with twin beds. The buddy whoever he may be has ten suitcases, one trunk strung around the floor. In order to get to my side of the room, I had to climb and stand on several. 
     Mr. and Mrs. Woodall are very excited at this time. The Rotary are having a reception in the lounge and by the empty bottles strung around, I presume it was a wet reception. Mr. and Mrs. Blaydon, the honeymoon couple, I have yet to meet, but I have checked with the purser and have permission to visit their class. They are in room E66 a third class room. Good luck to them. 
     Tell Barbara that she should be a good girl. Erwin write to me and tell Stanley to dictate a letter for me.
     Tell the Daily Press to send me the Daily Press for two months. 

Love to everybody, 

               Your affectionate hubby,

               Louis

Source: 
Darling Loraine by Barbara Smith - The Story of A. Louis Drucker, A Grateful Jewish Immigrant

25 May 2009

Sundays at Sea

From Time on this day in 1936:

Last week the Christian Science Monitor issued a 16-page supplement devoted almost entirely to that great new Cunard White Star liner, the Queen Mary, on the eve of her maiden voyage to the U. S. (May 27). Surrounded in the supplement by many an advertisement were pictures and stories describing the ship in detail. Notably abbreviated, however, was the Monitor's report on the Queen Mary's religious facilities: ''The drawing room, on the promenade deck, will be the Queen Mary's church on Sunday."

In that drawing room are a marine Virgin Mary painted by Kenneth Denton Shoesmith, a sacristy and robing room for traveling churchmen. The Queen Mary also has a synagog. But neither pictures nor description of this Jewish house of worship have emanated from Cunard publicity offices, which have boasted about everything else aboard.



In Southampton, where the Queen Mary was berthed last week, her synagog was quietly consecrated by Very Rev. Joseph Herman Hertz, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Empire. Bearded Rabbi Hertz gazed appreciatively at the handsome seagoing synagog, complete with Shulcran (reading desk). Holy Ark containing the Torah (scroll of Hebrew law) and everlasting lamp. Then he made a little speech pointing out that this was the first time a synagog had ever been included in the original plans of a ship. France's Normandie recently added a synagog seating 48 to take care of Jewish travelers on that line.


High Expectations

On this day in 1936:




Source:
Canberra Times

24 May 2009

Voice of Neptune


From New York Times on this day in 1936:

 A TALKATIVE 'QUEEN'; Liner 'Mary' Can Chat Around the World -- Scrambled Words Foil Eavesdroppers

THIS week a new voice of Neptune will speak to the ends of the earth from the Atlantic. To the public she will be known as "the Queen Mary"; to the radio man, ashore and afloat, merely by the ethereal cognomen GBTT, for that is the wireless call of the new queen of the sea.

23 May 2009

Star Crossing

Bound for England on this day in 1948 aboard the RMS Queen Mary were Spencer Tracy and Deborah Kerr. The two were set to star as husband and wife in the British motion picture, Edward, My Son, directed by George Cukor.


22 May 2009

When Johnny Comes Sailing Home Again


From the St. Petersburg Times of St. Petersburg, Florida, on this day in 1945:

British Liners May Bring U.S. Soldiers Home

     London - (U.P.) - The British ocean giants, Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, and Acquitania, may be turned over to the United States for six months to help return American soldiers from Europe, it was stated authoritatively yesterday.
   The three liners probably will sail as soon as Great Britain declares the Atlantic free of the U-boat menace. The Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth could handle about 45,000 troops monthly in three crossings to the United States and the Acquatania another 8,000 monthly. 
     American wounded and sick and combat troops to be used in the Pacific have highest priority for transportation home. The whole redeployment program is expected to require a year. 
     PRESENT PLANS call for handling of more than 1,000,000 every three months, a program which will be fully effective within 60 days. Troop movements will average 250,000 to 350,000 men monthly and may reach a 400,000 peak. 
     American forces probably will return to the United States all equipment useable there, at the rate of 1,000,000 tons a month. The U.S. army has been using British cars for the most part and it was understood they would be returned to England and sent to manufacturers for reconditioning and resale.
     It was also said that the greatest Europe-bound convoy of the war carried more than 78,800 soldiers in 20 troop ships arriving in the British isles [sic] in April, 1944. The peak American troop movement of the war was 110,000 during the period from March 27 to April 8 of last year.
     ONLY TWO large convoys bearing American troops were arriving monthly then. Now it is possible to run a convoy every five days, so the homeward transport may exceed the 1944 high.
     The army has been evacuating about 2,000 wounded and other patients by plane each month from Paris and another 2,500 by plane from the British Isles. Hospital ships, troop ships and the Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary have been carrying patients, taking some 28,000 to the United States during March. 

21 May 2009

Missing the Boat


From the New York Times on this day in 1949:

Shipping News and Notes; Queen Mary Sails, With 3, Delayed by Wreck, Stranded on Pier

The Cunard White Star liner Queen Mary sailed for Cherbourg and Southampton at 1:40 P.M. yesterday leaving three breathless would-be passengers stranded on the pier.


20 May 2009

Holy Rolling

On this day in 1966, evangelist Billy Graham and his family were aboard the RMS Queen Mary, heading for England. Graham would launch a month-long evangelizing crusade, during which time he intended, along with his fellow missionaries, to invade strip joints in Soho--not to enjoy the entertainment, but to convert lost souls. He also made six appearances at a London stadium each week, encouraging sinners to come forward and repent. He is pictured here with his wife aboard the ship.











Source:
Corbis
St. Petersburg Times

19 May 2009

Come Up and See Me Sometime

On this day in 1948, Mae West was aboard the RMS Queen Mary, on her way to New York after making professional appearances in London. West declared that while in England she added six pounds to her curvaceous frame. It seems she learned to like not only tea, but the scones and clotted cream that customariliy accompanies it. She is pictured here aboard the ship, near the Verandah Grill--a popular place for sighting movie stars and the media who loved them. 













Source:
Corbis
Los Angeles Times

17 May 2009

Stable

On this day in 1956, Denis Bates, chairman of the board of Cunard, announced the Queen Mary would be fitted with new stabilizers, signalling that the line had postponed plans to replace the 81,000 ton ship on the Atlantic service (at least for a few more years...). 














Source: 
New York Times

16 May 2009

Inaugural Meal

Menu from a luncheon aboard the RMS Queen Mary on this day in 1936, following her inaugural cruise from Southampton:





15 May 2009

The Inauguration

Hope Floats

On Los Angeles radio at 9pm on this day in 1951:  The Bob Hope Show, tape recorded aboard the RMS Queen Mary while Mr. Hope and his troupe, which included Marilyn Maxwell, were en route to England

Among other commitments, Hope was headed for a two-week tour of music halls, capped off with a week of performances at London's Palladium.  



Sources:
Bob Hope: A Life in Comedy
Los Angeles Times 

14 May 2009

Flagged

Headline in the Chicago Daily Tribune on this day in 1936:


QUEEN MARY PRESENTS PERSONAL STANDARD TO NAMESAKE LINER



13 May 2009

Mary to the Rescue - Again

From the voyage report on this day in 1956 aboard the RMS Queen Mary:

Voyage 258 East, May 13, 1956
15:00 hours, received urgent message from S.S. "Christina Maria" for medical aid. 
19:19 hours, stopped and removed one sick man to Queen Mary hospital.*
20:09 hours, resumed voyage to Southampton.
Weather: moderate breeze, moderate sea, heavy westerly swell, overcast, clear

*A crew member aboard the Christina Maria had a perforated appendix, for which he underwent a successful appendectomy performed by ship's doctors. 

Source:
Queen Mary exhibit

12 May 2009

Special Delivery

On this day in 1936, after nearly five years of working, waiting, and working again, shipbuilders John Brown & Company officially handed over the brand new Queen Mary to Cunard White Star. Hooray!










A ship worker speaks here about the Queen Mary arriving in Southampton for the first time after her sea trials.

Source:
Official Queen Mary website

Photo:
Queen Mary exhibit

11 May 2009

A New Line

On this day in 1934, Cunard and White Star merged to form the Cunard White Star Line. Due to difficult economic times brought on by the Great Depression, building had stopped on Cunard's Queen Mary, and White Star was failing. To remedy the situation,the British government offered a loan to complete work on the Mary if the two companies merged. Both agreed, and a new company was formed in which Cunard owned about two-thirds of the capital. 








Source:
Britannica Online

10 May 2009

The Propeller Came Out of the Water

The following is from an exhibit aboard the Queen Mary that displays reminiscences from a variety of people who once traveled aboard the ship. Of this day in 1942, former G.I. William S. Means recalled:

"I left NYC 5/10/42 on the troop ship. There were 14,000 soldiers on board. The third day out the whistles blew for submarine attack which we learned was a practice drill. In the North Atlantic we encountered a severe storm. The propeller came out of the water, the waves were so high, and water came over the deck."

08 May 2009

Churchill

On this day in 1943, Winston Churchill was three days into a journey from Scotland to New York aboard the RMS Queen Mary, now a troopship. The prime minister was on his way to meet with President Franklin D. Roosevelt; having gained the upper hand in Africa, the two gentlemen would turn their attention to the War in Europe and Asia, as well as the selection of a Supreme Allied Commander. 

Along for the ride with Churchill were 5,000 German prisoners of war.








Source:
New York Times
Official Queen Mary Website


07 May 2009

Moanin' Low

On this day in 1937, American torch singer, Libby Holman, was aboard the RMS Queen Mary, on her way to the coronation of King George VI. Holman, whose signature song was Moanin' Low, was scheduled to perform at a London nightspot.

At this time, she was the widow of Zachary Smith Reynolds, the R.J. Reynolds tobacco company heir who was known to have a volatile temper and whom Holman supposedly shot and killed in the course of an argument in 1932. Though she was initially arrested, the very private Reynolds family declined to press charges for fear of a scandal. 







Source:
Corbis
IMDB

06 May 2009

Somewhere at Sea


On this day in 1936, Somewhere At Sea, written by Henry Hall, was recorded with Dan Donovan on vocals. Cunard White Star had asked Hall and the BBC Dance Orchestra to sail aboard the Queen Mary on her maiden voyage in late May. To mark the occasion, the bandleader wrote what became the signature song of the brand new liner. Though Dan Donovan is the voice immortalized in the recording, it was Frances Day who sang it on the ship's maiden voyage.

05 May 2009

What's My Liner


On this day in 1956, Irish broadcaster Eamonn Andrews was aboard the RMS Queen Mary on his way to New York. At the time, Andrews was widely recognized as the host of the British game shows, This is Your Life and What's My Line, as well as for his occasional appearances on the American version of the latter.

04 May 2009

Fogged Out

New York Times headline on this day in 1949:


51 SHIPS DELAYED IN HARBOR BY FOG; Queen Mary and Mauretania Are Among Vessels Held Up as Much as Six Hours



03 May 2009

Nothing to See Here

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


STOWAWAY WON'T SEE CORONATION
____

Youth Who Hid on Liner
Brought Back to U.S.
____

New York, May 3. -(AP)-
Frederick Vonce, of Washington, the 18-year-old-youth who stowed away on the Queen Mary in hope of seeing the coronation when the liner left New York on April 21, returned today on the same ship.
Vonce was discovered, the first day out, wandering about aimlessly. A check-up showed that he had no ticket so he was put to work. He disappeared again as the liner neared Southampton but was found hiding in a life boat before the ship docked. According to the ship's officers, Vonce stowed away because he wanted to see the coronation spectacle.

02 May 2009

Hollywood Royalty


On this day in 1961, Charlton Heston arrived back in the United States aboard the RMS Queen Mary. He had been in Spain filming the epic, El Cid, in which he played the leading role. He is pictured here with his wife, Lydia, at their home in Beverly Hills. 




Source:
Corbis
Wikipedia

01 May 2009

A Worthy Sister

From London this day in 1937 regarding the ship that would be christened the Queen Elizabeth:




Source:
Canberra Times