Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Queen Mary-December 13

We spent a good five hours walking all over this ship,well not all of it as part of it has been converted to a hotel. And it is a beautiful hotel,complete with first-class restaurants and shops. The history of this elegant old lady is awesome. She was launched in 1936 by Queen Mary of England. At the time she was built she was considered the fastet and largest ocean liner ever built, and traveling on her was considered the only civilized way to travel. We saw on the tour a wall completely filled with the pictures of famous actors, actresses and other notable people who rode on this ship.I have pictured here a room where the captain entertained his special guests. After World War II started Queen Mary was painted grey and transformed into a troopship. She was then called "The Grey Ghost" as she sailed through enemy waters bringing troops to the front,and taking wounded soldiers back. Prior to the war she averaged one to two thousand passengers in one voyage-during the war she carried 16,683 troops at one particular time over to Europe. To accomplish that the pool was emptied and bunks were stacked there to accommodate the troops. On our tour a room was pointed out to us where Winston Churchhill sat and signed the papers for the invasion of Normandy. After the war,war brides and their babies were transported by the thousands to the States on the Queen Mary. Retired in 1967,she was purchased by the city of Long Beach. She continues to prove her usefulness; while being docked here in California, scenes from six movies have been filmed on the ship.

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