31 May 2010

Unexpected On Board

From The Modesto Bee on this day in 1950:

Autopsy Is Ordered In Death Aboard Ship Of Salvation Army Man

SOUTHAMPTON, Eng., May 31-AP-The borough coroner today ordered a post mortem examination of William Henry Barrett, 69, a Salvation Army officer from Los Angeles, who died aboard the liner Queen Mary.

Barrett, a lieutenant commissioner of the Salvation Army, was traveling with his wife to visit a son in Dinas Powis, Wales. Barrett was born in Stamford, Conn.

His death in his sleep Saturday night, while the liner was two days from England, was attributed tentatively to a heart ailment.

30 May 2010

Gray Ghost in Great White North

From the Ottawa Citizen on this day in 1946:

Capt. A. O. Petersen, formerly with the Canadian Army Immigration Service in Danzig, returned to Canada aboard the Queen Mary. He served with the Imperial Army throughout the war, in Iceland, and the Middle East. He is now staying with is sister-in-law, Mrs. Dumont.

29 May 2010

Last Voyage

From The Miami News on this day in 1950:

U.S. Passenger Dies On Liner Queen Mary

SOUTHAMPTON, Eng. - (AP) - Cunard White Star officials reported today that William H. Barret, 69, of Los Angeles, died at sea aboard the Liner Queen Mary Saturday night. Barret was traveling with is wife to visit relatives in South Wales.

Barret's death was reported due to a heart ailment. The liner docked her last night.

28 May 2010


From the Ottawa Citizen in 1946:

Stowaway Total Jumps To Seven

HALIFAX, May 28 - (CP) - With the stowaway total jumped to an unofficial seven, all were believed accounted for and still aboard the Queen Mary today when the giant liner sailed for New York to complete her Atlantic crossing.

Special guards, posted right up to sailing time, were said to have uncovered two more unofficial travelers - both men- during the 24-hour stop here. Four men and a woman "about 30" were reported to have been flushed out from hiding places en route." [sic]

All will be taken back to Britain after the Queen Mary discharges some 500 remaining civilian passengers in New York and picks up a return load, ship's officers said.

27 May 2010

Holiday Progress

From The Free Lance-Star, Fredericksburg, VA, on this day in 1948:

Caroline Women Off For Europe

Miss Daphne Dailey and Mrs. Clara M. Payne, editor and publisher, respectively, of The Caroline Progress for 10 years until they disposed of the weekly newspaper and printing plant last fall, sailed last week from New York aboard the Queen Mary for England.

After a month in the British Isles, they will spend a similar period in France and the make visits to other European countries.

They are due to return to America on the liner Brittanic [sic] on September 10 and resume their residence in Bowling Green.

26 May 2010

Eisenhower Speaks

From The Age on this day in 1964:

Risky Passage

GENERAL EISENHOWER has recalled how he feared for his army career when he despatched the Queen Mary, packed with American troops, to Australia in 1942.

He was worried that German submarines would zero in on the unescorted liner near South Africa.

Such a disaster might conceivably have ended General Eisenhower's career. More probably, it would have ended the life of Australia's most famous soldier, Field-Marshal Sir Thomas Blamey.

Then General Blamey, he was recalled from the Middle East after the fall of Singapore. With 30 of his staff, he went by flaying boat from Cairo to Cape Town, where he joined the Queen Mary.


Major-General L.E. Beavis (then brigadier and later Master-General of the Ordnance) said yesterday that the Queen Mary steamed at 29 knots.

This, he said, probably kept her out of range of submarines except any directly crossing her path.

One of Major-General Beavis's most vivid memories is of seeing many of the American troops reading Bibles as they sat in the crowded passageways.

On March 18, five days out of Fremantle, Sir Thomas Blamey heard the radio announcement of General MacArthur's appointment as Supreme Commander in the South-West Pacific area. Sir Thomas and his officers followed the lead of the Americans in cheering the appointment.

A few minutes later he commented to one of his staff that the appointment was "the best thing that could have happened to Australia. MacArthur will be so far away from his own Government that he won't have any interference from them, and as far as our Government is concerned he won't take any notice of them."

25 May 2010

Home from the Old World

From The Montreal Gazette on this day in 1937:

Back From Coronation

A large number of Americans who attended the Coronation in London returned yesterday morning in the Cunard White Star liner Queen Mary. Among those arriving were: Lowell Thomas, news commentator; Truman Talley, vice president of Fox Movietone News; Mrs. Talley; Sir Josiah Stamp, economist; Lady Stamp; the Marquis of Sligo; Sir William Wiseman, of Kuhn Loeb & Company.

24 May 2010

At Least

From The Day, New London, CT, on this day in 1938:


LIVERPOOL, Eng. (AP) - The Queen Mary is expected to sail for 25 years.

That's what Sir Percy Bates, chairman of the Cunard Steamship Co., said at the annual meeting here recently.

23 May 2010


From and article entitled, "500,000 WILL SEE QUEEN MARY SAIL" in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on this day in 1936:

Tonight the Queen Mary, brilliantly lighted, resplendent in her color scheme of black, white and red, rested easily at her dock, a mountain of a ship which will carry 2,650 passengers to New York in four days time with the utmost in British ideas of comfort and luxury.

Passengers for the first voyage will be brought here in five special boat trains tomorrow noon and at 4:30 p.m. (10:30 a. m. Eastern standard time) the Queen Mary will stand out into the solent to a roaring farewell.

22 May 2010

A Novel Feature

From The Age on this day in 1936:

Pictures on Glass.

One of the many hundreds of novel features of the great new liner Queen Mary will be the glass pictures forming the panels which will decorate the walls of the vessel's ballroom. They are now being prepared by a well-known London artist, who has been commissioned for the work. Using cutting wheels, sand-blasting apparatus and etching acids, he first forms the outlines of the various scenes upon the glass, and then applies delicate colors and tints to form the finished pictures. In some instances the colors are burnt on in a kiln. The whole work will take eight months.

21 May 2010

The Mary's Tail

From The Miami News on this day in 1936:

The Queen Mary's Rudder - The largest rudder ever carried by any ship now hangs at the stern of the superliner Queen Mary, ready, like a giant fish tail, to compel the waters to obey its slightest turn. Some idea of the high metal strength of this huge rudder may be gained when it is realized that it must control no less than 80,733 gross tons, the tonnage of the great Cunard White Star sea queen. The rudder, with frame, weighs 270 tons, which is 90 tons heavier than the entire weight of the Pilgrim ship "Mayflower." Interesting features of the Queen Mary's rudder are the two doors which have been fitted into the sides, and the permanent steel ladder running through the "compartment" enclosed by the steel walls of the rudder. Inside there is ample room for several men to walk about. Struts and bars hold all rigidly in place. The great rudder hangs between the lower two of the ship's four big propellers, each of which weighs 35 tons.

Photo of Queen Mary rudder being transported to Glasgow:

20 May 2010

A Privileged Peek

From The Montreal Gazette on this day in 1936:

Inspecting Queen Mary

London, May 20 - (AP) - The King, Queen Mary and other members of the Royal Family will give the new British liner, Queen Mary, a final inspection at Southampton on May 25, two days before her maiden voyage across the Atlantic to New York.

19 May 2010

Purse Overboard

On this day in 1954 the purse of 66-year-old Annie Lucas was blown into the Atlantic by a strong gust of wind as she stood on the deck of the RMS Queen Mary. Mrs. Lucas was distraught as the purse contained $850.00 she had worked hard as a seamstress to earn for her journey abroad. Coming to her rescue, kind-hearted crew members assisted her in recouping some her cash by offering generous donations.

Source: New York Times & Chicago Tribune

18 May 2010

Good Will Cargo

The Queen Mary


In Service Next Week.

London, 16th May.

When the Cunard White Star liner Queen Mary sails on her maiden voyage to New York on 27th May she will carry what is described as a "good will cargo," consisting of illuminated addresses from the mayors of Cinque Ports - now seven, Hastings, Dover, Sandwich, New Romney, Hythe, Rye and Winchelsea - to their namesake towns, numbering fifty-two, in the United States. The addresses are accompanied by invitations to the mayors and citizens of those towns to visit England during the Coronation year.

Distinguished guests, including members of the cabinet, who were passengers on a cruise down the Channel by the Queen Mary on Thursday and Friday, have declared themselves as impressed with her smoothness and comfort. During the cruise the owners and captains of the Queen Mary and the new Union Castle motor liner Athlone Castle, which passed on her way from Messrs. Harland and Wolff's Belfast yard to her home port, to join the South African service, exchanged congratulations and good wishes "as partners in the great enterprise of maintaining the prestige of British mercantile shipping."

16 May 2010

A Curtain Of Air

From the Pueblo Indicator, Pueblo, CO, on this day in 1936:

Air Flow Curtain Protects Bridge of Liner Queen Mary
LONDON - The use of aerodynamics and attention to air flow will make it possible for officers of the S.S. Queen Mary to stand on the navigating bridge, in the open air, and yet be protected from the weather. An invisible, but no less real, curtain of air helps accomplish the feat.

15 May 2010

Pathe Video: Mary Enters Capetown

From British Pathe on this day in 1940 the Queen Mary enters Cape Town Harbor (click on picture for video):


14 May 2010

A Varied Cargo

Aboard the RMS Queen Mary on this day in 1946:
Earl of Halifax, retiring British Ambassador to the United States
Prime Minister MacKenzie King of Canada
Concert violinist Mischa Elman
Viscount Astor
A varied cargo of alligators, turtles, snakes and birds

Spokane Daily Chronicle

13 May 2010

Dinner For Swells

From the "Social and Personal" column in The Montreal Gazette on this day in 1936:
His Honor the Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia and Mrs. Covert have been invited by Sir Percy Bates, Bart., G.B.E., chairman of the Cunard White Star Line, to be present at the dinner being held on board the Queen Mary in New York on the Second of June.
Picture: Menu from private dinner held on board the Queen Mary on June 20, 1936

12 May 2010

"Secret Service" On Board

From an article entitled, "Arms Men Form Secret Service" in the Ottawa Citizen on this day in 1939:

"The Queen Mary is now protected by its own "secret service." Some members of the crew -- acting as deck hands, stewards and stewardesses, firemen, kitchen workers -- are actually detective selected for the company by the police."

11 May 2010

Amateur On Board

Amateur golfer Willie Turnesa (one of seven famous golfing brothers and the only one not to turn pro) was aboard the RMS Queen Mary on this day in 1949 on his way to the British Amateur Championship, which he had previously won in 1947.

Reading Eagle

10 May 2010

Tourists Are People Too

From The Pittsburgh Press on this day in 1936:

Spacious Tourist Decks

The sports and promenading spaces for the tourist class passengers in the new Cunard White Star superliner "Queen Mary," extend over three decks at the aft end of the ship. Two covered decks are enclosed by large sliding windows and the walking distance here, together with the open promenade, is over one-fifth of a mile.

09 May 2010

If At First You Don't Succeed...

On this day in 1938, thirteen year old Robert Stap boarded the Savannah Line's City of Chattanooga only hours after he had been returned to the United States on the Queen Mary. The boy had stowed away in New York and was found after the ship was at sea. Stepping off the gangplank to greet his mother, he said, "Hello. I'm going to run away again."

The boy had been a stowaway the previous March, as well, making it to France.

Stap's bedroom at home was outfitted to look like a sailor's berth to indulge his love of the sea.

Reading Eagle, Reading, PA

08 May 2010

First In Line

From the "Ships and Travel" column in The Montreal Gazette on this day in 1936:

Others of note sailing in the Berengaria will include...Mr. and Mrs. Eugene F. Moran, who hold the first tickets sold for the Queen Mary's maiden voyage.

07 May 2010

A Right Smart Canoe

From the Toledo Blade on this day in 1948:

The Way Of The World Abroad


Editor-in-Chief of the Blade

EN ROUTE TO ENGLAND - Here I am sitting in my cabin at a cute little table which my friend Stringer, the steward, has fixed up for my typewriter and me, and I am wondering what all I am going to write about this sunny morning, and the telephone bell rings, and it is my friend, Bill McGaffin, chief of the Chicago Daily News Bureau in London. Bill insists he is going to meet us at Waterloo Station where the boat train comes in from Southampton tomorrow afternoon. I can't get used to this telegraphing and telephoning to and from an ocean liner. The phone connections are practically as good as they are in long distance connections at home. And that brings me to write something about the Queen Mary which, with her sister ship, the Queen Elizabeth, is the final word in luxury liners.

For anyone who has not been on this ship or the Elizabeth, the easiest way to describe it is to call on the imagination and see a large part of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel and a section ofthe Metropolitan or Toledo Museum of Art combined into a floating palace. To live in this palace of the sea, furnished with all the elegance and ingenuity that architects, artists and builders could possibly visualize, is a thrilling experience, whether one has had the experience once or many times.

The Queen Mary is more than a thousand feet long, 118 feet wide and rises from keel to masthead 234 feet. More than 8,000 experiments with models in an experimental tank were conducted before the form of the vessel was finally determined. If the 10,000,000 rivets in this ship were placed end to end they would reach a distance of 270 miles.

The Queen Mary has 2,000 portholes and windows. Apart from the engines which propel her, she is an all-electric ship, and the energy which runs through her 4,000 miles of cables is enough to furnish lighting for a city of 150,000. There are 30,000 lamps aboard.

An outstanding feature of the ship is the provision for play. It would take a large American football stadium to cover the sports decks and the promenade spaces. People who like to travel with their dogs find a long row of kennels. Outdoor and indoor games are plentiful, and for those who care for exercise, there is the gymnasium equipped with all sorts of gadgets from a camel riding machine to a vibrating chair. Naturally, part of the athletic equipment is a big swimming pool. For the man who sat up too lte and indulged in too much there is always the Turkish bath.

Although the main dining room seems incredibly spacious and, in my humble opinion magnificent, there is the veranda grill on the sun deck for those who wish to eat by themselves in solemn elegance. To eat in the veranda grill means a cover charge of 10 shillings, or $2. The observation bar and cocktail lounge in the bow of the ship has 21 windows each 5 feet high, and the tables rise on terraces in colorful surroundings.

The Queen Mary has a shopping center like any city, with various stores, and nearby is the radio room for the transmission and reception of messages from all over the world. Although the main lounge is large enough for hundreds of people to sit in, and it equipped with a stage for concerts and other performances, the long gallery, stretching 118 feet, is of equal elegance and is a place for reading and playing cards. The public library is a beautiful paneled room, always quiet. The atmosphere of an English club or country house is suggested in the smoking room. The garden lounge, looking out to sea, is a lovely place for sitting in the afternoon sun. It would take more space than I have even to mention the long list of paintings by some of the world's great artists wihch are on the walls of the lounges and galleries. As for tailors, barbers, beauty parlor operators and all else to make men comfortable and women beautiful, there is everything here that is to be had in a large city.

The captain of this great ship - in this case the commodore - is a high and mighty person. He is clothed not only in gold braid and broad gold stripes but with extraordinary authority. The commodore has the power to do everything the judiciary and the police can do ashore - from putting you in jail on bread and water to performing the marriage ceremony.

As the hillbilly from the Smokies said, "this is a right smart canoe."

06 May 2010

Motorists On Board

From The Montreal Gazette on this day in 1936:

British Motorists Coming

New York, May 6 - AP - At least 2,000 Britons will see North America this summer in their own automobiles, according to Graham Lyon, a member of the special rally committee of the Junior Car Club of England.

Lyon debarked today from the liner Berengaria, and said that the first contingent of British motorists would arrive with their cars on the Queen Mary's maiden trip. After a motor tour of the United States, with stops at Washington and Detroit the group is to embark for home at Montreal.

05 May 2010

Elevators Everywhere

From The Montreal Gazette on this day in 1936:

Twenty-one Elevators

In keeping with the vast size and appointments of the Cunard White Star liner, Queen Mary, an American firm has installed 21 elevators which will be operated considerably in excess of the speed at which sea-going elevators normally run. While the maximum speed, 200 feet per minute, falls short of the rate of which modern skyscraper elevators travel, yet it is much faster than the usual speed of ship elevators. Two fixed rates of speed are available, thus insuring convenience and comfort for every passenger on the Queen Mary, which arrives in New York June 1 on her maiden voyage from Southampton. Every type of accommodation on the Queen Mary has its own elevator service. With a total of eleven elevators for passenger use and two for stewards, adequate service at all times is assured. There is also an automatic service elevator, three for supplies, two for baggage, one for engineers, and one for engine room supplies.

04 May 2010

From the Plaza to the Planks

From the society column of the Palm Beach Daily on this day in 1962:

Mrs. Paul Healy Plans To Sail For London Aboard Queen Mary

Word has just been received that Mrs. Paul Healy, who has recently gone to the Plaza in New York after spending the season at the Everglades Club, expects to sail from New York on May 16 on the Queen Mary for London.

Mrs. Healy and Mrs. Glenn Stewart, who had also recently left Palm Beach for New York, had dinner together in New York and discussed their summer plans.

Mrs. Stewart left on May 1st on the Caronia for Europe. The two plan to see each other in London in June.

03 May 2010

Roosevelt On Board

From The Montreal Gazette on this day in 1937:

Queen Mary Arrives

Mary Pickford and her niece, Gwynne Pickford, will arrive at New York today in the Cunard White Star liner Queen Mary. Vera Engels, former motion picture star, is also arriving in this steamer. Others in the Queen Mary include: Lt.-Col. Sir Walrond Sinclair, chairman of the British Tire and Rubber Company; Baroness Jeanne Empain; Kermit Roosevelt [pictured], vice-president of the United States Lines.

02 May 2010

Monty Visits

On this day in 1957, Field Marshal Viscount Montgomery, second in command of the North Atlantic Treaty organization forces, departed England aboard the RMS Queen Mary for a visit with President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the United States.

01 May 2010

Mary Alums

From the "On The Town" column in the Reading Eagle on this day in 1965:
A couple of former stewards on the Queen Mary, Jerry Toner and Terry O'Neill, are in business on 2nd avenue with a restaurant called the Green Derby. The place boasts its steak are as thick as the owner's brogue.
Photo: http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/maritime/exhibitions/gaylife/backstage.asp