03 August 2010

A Roaring Arrival

From the article "14,690 RETURN ON QUEEN MARY" in the The Spokesman-Review on this day in 1945:

Huge Transport Leads Flotilla Into N. Y. Harbor.

Up before the bugler, 14,698 soldiers returning from Europe on the one-time luxury liner Queen Mary roared a pre-dawn greeting to their native land...New York harbor responded with a cry of "Welcome home!"

Her gray sides blending with the harbor mist, the...transport led a flotilla of 10 troopships bringing a total of more than 25,000...veterans home for discharge, hospitalization or redeployment.

WACs serenaded the men from the army's "welcome home" boat and from the second deck and roof of pier 90 in the North River--and laughed when soldiers uttered wolf calls and tossed candy bars to them.

At the foot of the Queen Mary's gangplank Navy Lt. (j.g.) Robert McKenna of New York met and embraced his sister Connie, returning from Red Cross entertainment work overseas, while the G.I.s cheered.

One of the first to debark was soft-spoken Capt. Guy E. Carr of Spartanburg, S. C., who wore not a single ribbon on his shirt although he is one of the most decorated officers of the European war.

Among those returning on the Queen Mary were units of the Eighth and Ninth air force, general hospital units, 1723 navy personnel, 38 WACs and 36 American Red Cross personnel.

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