10 October 2010

Gray Ghost Update

From the Reading Eagle on this day in 1943:

The 'Queen'

At war's beginning the great new British liner Queen Mary donned battle paint, slipped quietly to sea as the biggest troopship target a U-boat commander could expect to find.

Here are some stories now released about the 81,235-ton "Queen":

Early in the summer of 1942 she carried half a division of troops with all their equipment from England to Suez--a 12,000-mile dash that virtually saved the British at El Alamein, helped turn the tide in North Africa.

She hauled "tens of thousands" of American troops to fighting fronts all over the world in the desperate days after Pearl Harbor. A German plot to sink her with 10,000 U. S. men aboard was foiled in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

On one voyage she sped through a pack of some 25 submarines so fast that the Germans could not torpedo her.

Late in 1942, with a full load of Americans aboard, the great liner was struck in mid-Atlantic by a gigantic wave. She heeled over until her upper decks were awash, miraculously recovered--sped on.

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