21 June 2010

Narrow Escape

From the Toronto Daily Star on this day in 1945:

Queen Mary Outran 25 U-Boats In 12,000-Mile Race to Egypt

New York, June 21 - The big British liner Queen Mary, in New York today after bringing home 14,526 army and navy personnel from Europe, probably is the No. 1 troop transport of the war.

For the Queen Mary, her latest arrival here with the largest troop passenger list was just another incident in a troop-carrying job she has been carrying on since early in 1942. In the intervening three years she has ranged the seven seas, shuttling troops to far-flung battle fronts under a shroud of tight censorship.

The 81,235-ton liner in the fateful summer of 1942 played a vital role in Allied victory at El Alamein. She rushed half a division of troops and their equipment 12,000 miles from England to Egypt so fast that a fleet of 25 U-boats was unable to aim torpedoes at her.

The following winter, while she was carrying a full load of Americans across the Atlantic, she narrowly escaped sinking when hit broadside by an enormous wave which would have capsized a lesser vessel. At another point in her career, an intercepted radio message enabled her to escape a German plot to sink her with 12,000 Americans aboard.


  1. I have a brass porthole stamped "HMS Queen Mary Do Not Remove From Cabin Or Vessel". Is it genuine or not? Alot of brass fittings were removed from these large vessels during WW2 for shell casings etc, but I still have a problem finding any reference to her being "HMS" even during her war time service. It seems a designation "HMT" His Majesty's Troopship if applied was the proper designation for war time service to replace her original "RMS". The porthole seems genuine enough and the stamp may have ment that the brass porthole must remain and not taken with other brass fittings for war use? Can anyone help me? Many kind thanks. Steve.....

  2. Hi Steve...

    I can't tell you for sure but you can ask members of the Yahoo Queen Mary group. They know everything!

    They're also on Twitter.



  3. Thankyou KadyCee, very much appreciated. Steve...Cheers!