12 February 2011

Unfinished Giant

This week in the history of the R. M. S. Queen Mary:

From the Lewiston Morning Tribune, Lewiston, Idaho, on February 9, 1934:

Great Britain launched a fight today to regain the blue ribbon honors of the north Atlantic through the formal announcement of the merger of the Cunard and White Star shipping lines with the government assisting financially.

Work consequently is expected to be hastened on the unfinished giant "534," now on the stocks of Clydebank, so that the new "queen of the waters" can enter a speed race with Germany's Bremen and Europa and Italy's new Rex as soon as possible.

The new company, to be called Cunard-White Star Ltd., will have a combined fleet of 25 ships under its flag, headed by Cunard's Berengaria and Mauretania and White Star's Majestic.

The merger which followed upon two years of negotiations has practically been in effect since Jan. 1 when accounts of the firms were combined.

The "534"--it has no other name yet--is designed to be the biggest ship afloat. According to previously announced plans it will cost about $25,000,000 and be of 73,000 tons.

Contracts for it were let in December 1930, and more than $9,000,000 was expended on it before construction was suspended more than a year ago.
From The Milwaukee Journal on February 8, 1941:

90,000 British Troops at Singapore, Is Report
Saigon, French Indo-China - (AP) - Travelers reaching here from Singapore, Britain's great far eastern naval base, said Sunday that the British have concentrated 90,000 troops there and that extensive land, sea and air defense practice operations are under way. They said the 81,235 ton liner Queen Mary had taken a contingent of Australian troops there and that a "large" British fleet was participating in the defense maneuvers.
From the Southeastern Missourian on February 6, 1950:

Liner Queen Mary Safe In Port After Rough Crossing of Atlantic
The Liner Queen Mary was safely docked here today after arriving 25 hours late with some 50 of her 1848 passengers nursing injuries suffered on a rough Atlantic crossing...the [ship] was not damaged during the stormy voyage which took a day longer than her usual four and a half days from New York.

Ship's doctor said about 50 casualties were dealt with on the trip but none were hospitalized. Three persons had broken bones. Most of the injuries were trivial, the doctor said.
From The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Washington, on February 10, 1960:

'Fallout' Lands on Queen Mary
Feb. 9. (AP)--The parachute and instruments of a weather research balloon were found today hanging on a funnel of the liner Queen Mary.

It was believed the rig landed while the liner was in the English channel on her way to Southampton last night. A Cunard line spokesman described the landing as "A million-to-one chance."


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