August A. Byron
United States
Army Air Corp

United States 8th Air Force (Army Air Corp.)
8th Air Force
First Air Division
94th Combat Wing
351st BG (H)

(bombardment group - heavy)
854th Chemical Co

Polebrook AFB

August A Byron, 1943, United States 8th Army Air Force
The RMS Queen Mary

My dad took the Queen Mary over to England and also rode her when he returned home in 1945. My mother also took the Queen Mary over to America on one of the "war brides" trips. It's quite a amazing ship and story. The trip in one direction was approximately 8 days!

The small information cited here doesn't do it justice compared to it's history and service in WWII. There are several websites I'll cite and much more information is on the internet with a basic search. Some of the photos will go to larger size if you click them.


The Queen Mary is undoubtedly one of the most famous cruise ships in history. Beginning with her Maiden Voyage in 1936 she was destined to be one of a kind. Built by Cunard and White Star Line of RMS Titanic, as a luxurious ocean liner, the Queen Mary, was the preferred form of travel by dignitaries, celebrities and the world’s political leaders.

During World War II, the Queen a.k.a. The Grey Ghost due to her new camouflaged grey exterior, was pressed into serving and became the best troop transport the Allies owned. She was large enough to carry mass troops anywhere on the globe, fast enough to fear little from the German U-boats, and often sailed without escort; her 28.5-knot speed made her difficult to catch or intercept.



She was originally fitted to carry about 2400 passengers, but her refit increased her capacity to 5500. She holds the record for carrying the largest number of people ever on a floating vessel, when she carried 16,683 troops. She carried the wounded home, and she served as a transport for thousands of German prisoners of war.

In 1942, while carrying 11,000 Allied troops, The Queen Mary collided with one of her escort cruisers, the Curacao. She was under orders not to stop, and was unable to save any of the 338 men who lost their lives.

After the war, in 1946, The Queen Mary made thirteen voyages to transport war brides and their children to be reunited with their GI husbands in the United States and Canada. These were nicknamed the “Bride and Baby Voyages”.
My mom was on one of those voyages.

Queen Mary loaded with troops!
The Queen Mary in NY Harbor in 1945
The Queen Mary in NY Harbor in 1945
The Queen Mary, larger and more powerful than the Titanic, crossed the Atlantic Ocean 1,001 times.


The Queen Mary carried a total of over
750,000 troops during World War II.

The Queen Mary as it sits today in Long Beach CA

"After the war, she was restored to her former glory and continued her transatlantic crossing until 1966 when Cunard announced plans to sell her due to the increased popularity of plane travel. Long Beach purchased the Queen Mary for $3.45 million dollars beginning her new life as a hotel and tourist attraction.

Impressive size, stateliness, and scenery still characterize this impressive ship, even after its conversion into a Long Beach hotel. You can tour the ship and discover the magic of the great ocean liners, of an area where the wealthy traveled in style. Allegedly haunted, the ship also offers a variety of ghostly encounters and tours that will let your blood freeze in your veins should you believe in such mumbo jumbo. For the rest of us, the ghostly tours are still first rate entertainment and bugbears.

Today you can travel back in time and experience the majesty of the Queen Mary with self-guided tours, or choose to stay overnight in one of over 300 staterooms of which no two are alike."


Some added photos like the ones on the right can be seen HERE
(reprinted on this page with permission)
Taken from the tour.

troops on the queen mary in 1943


Guns were mounted on the Queen Mary to protect against
the enemy.


A warning posted to all for submarine detection in WWII
A sign warns of throwing material overboard may reveal
their course to enemy submarines!


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