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Following are accounts from passengers and crewmembers who had the fortunate experience of traveling and serving aboard the SS United States.  If you would like to share your pictures, stories, and memories aboard the SS United States with the online community of SS United States friends and enthusiasts, please email me your vintage or current picture(s) along with the text you wish to have posted.  Many thanks to those who have contributed to this section. 

For additional passenger and crew stories, click here to visit the SS United States Conservancy's comprehensive passenger and crew pages.  I would like to remind everyone that these pictures as well as much of the content on this website is owned by the contributors and should not be reproduced or displayed elsewhere.


Alicia Schrowe, Passenger in 1957

Upon coming across the internet I Alicia Schrowe, read with great interest the information about the SS United States Ship, on which I also was a passenger.  I immigrated from England, together with a girl friend Marilyn Smith on April 11 1957, via New York to Canada.  Due to the fact that my booking was a last minute, arrangement I had the good fortune to get a berth, shared with 3 more ladies in a state room on the main deck with a port hole window.  The berths were very clean and comfortable, we shared a roomy vanity with a mirror and on the other side was a little sink for a quick wash plus a tiny tap for drinking water.  Very clean washrooms were further along the gangway, also our dining room.

 
There were elevators for more decks below, in one of the state rooms where my friend Marilyn Smith was booked.  We enjoyed lovely prepared drinks in a cozy bar, and could help ourselves to read "The Ocean News" in another recreational facility and were thoroughly spoiled by the dining room staff who served us wonderful meals at long carefully set tables.  To this day I have kept a dining menu and also kept a passenger list to remember this remarkable voyage that opened another chapter in my life.  I could hardly believe the news on the internet and also in The Toronto Daily Star about the events that befell this beautiful ship and sincerely wish with all my heart that it will be restored and duly displayed as a museum ship or similar exhibit.

Alicia on deck enjoys the sun before the weather turned stormy.


Kathy Williams, Passenger in 1964

My father was working for Hughes Aircraft and we were coming home from a 6 1/2 year stay in Germany.  I remember a few things about that journey, however my mother, father and brother all became seasick and I was the only one up and about.  We stayed in Cabin Class and I remember my brother and I sleeping in the top bunks.  Our only window was a porthole.  The picture was taken the first night out of Le Havre and it was the only meal that my family sat down in the dining room.  My mother immediately took sick and the nurse would come to the cabin to bring her soup and sandwiches to try and get her to eat.  I can remember my brother and I fighting over those little plastic swords that come in the sandwich.

Someone from the staff would always be kind enough to come and get me during the day to make sure that I could go and enjoy all the kiddie things. Again at night someone would come and get me to take me to dinner.  I sure wish I had some of the other things I had received from the Big U.  We had foam rubber balls, a jump rope and a few other things.  The rubber balls unfortunately deteriorated over time.

 


Jeanne Haslwanter, Passenger in 1966

I sailed on the Big U on June 17, 1966 from NYC to Southampton. This was the second ship I had ever been on. I was going to visit a relative in England. I remember standing next to a gentleman on the boat deck as we were ready to leave. He was explaining to me how the ship was going to pull out and "go that way", pointing up the Hudson. Old salt that I was, with one other trip from NYC, I tried to explain to him that we would pull out and go the other way. He so very sure which way we were going to go, that he was very surprised when we indeed did go the other way. I remember how fast the ship slid away from the pier. It was hard to find my relatives on the end of the pier until my sister let out a scream that could have shattered glass, and I got to wave goodbye. The crossing was very smooth for the North Atlantic. It was overcast but not rough. In bed at night it felt like I was on a train, not a ship, the momentum was so great, you could feel it. I have never felt that on any other crossing. I have a photo of my cabin mate trying to play shuffleboard, but it was too windy, now I know it was from the ship's speed. Most people went out on deck the last day out from Le Harve. I wrote in my journal that we had slowed down at lot to make Le Harve on time. We arrived there at 4 AM. I chose the United States to cross on because I knew it was special. It was unlike any other ship I have ever been on. I long for the day we can all board her again.

The pictures showing land were in Le Harve, the baggage being unloaded was on 6/21/66 the day before arriving a Le Harve. Sailing date was 6/17/66. In one photo you can see an officer on the little bump out when the ship was leaving the pier in Le Harve.
 

               

               

                

               

               

       
 

       

From the Jeanne Haslwanter collection:

   


Diane Wine

Diane is the daughter of SS United States and SS America crewmember Gerhard H. Schefold who served on the ships from 1964 to 1969.  During his five year career with United States Lines, Schefold served as Cabin Class Dining Room Captain and Interpreter, Cabin Class Assistant Headwaiter, Cabin Class Headwaiter, First Class Wine Steward, First Class Assistant Headwaiter, First Class Headwaiter, Private Dining Room Headwaiter, Cabin Class Assistant Chief Steward, Cabin Class Chief Steward, and Second Steward in First Class.  Diane remembers visiting the ship with her father as a child and still has many items that he brought home from his extensive travel with United States Lines.  The following are photos contributed by Diane which belonged to her father:

               

 


Barbara J. Major
In the summer of 1963, I was 9 years old. I went with my parents, both of whom worked for steamship companies at the time, on a week's vacation to New York City. Among many of the things we saw and experienced that week was a trip to New York Harbor. One of the photos you will see attached to this email shows myself and my father in front of the SS United States, which was docked there while we were visiting. The other photo shows our ship in port from the water side, as this photo was taken while we were aboard the Circle Line cruise around Manhattan Island. I can't help but notice how it dwarfs the white ship to the left of it!

Two other connections to this marvelous ship to tell you about: my mother worked for a period of 10-15 years for U.S. Lines, while it still owned the SS United States. She worked in one of their offices in downtown Philadelphia. The other connection is that my favorite musician in the entire world, Claus Ogerman, immigrated to America on the SS United States in 1959 to begin his career here in the U.S. as a top arranger/conductor. This is referenced and documented on the discography and website I have built for him which is entitled "The Work of Claus Ogerman".

Last but not least, I am a native Philadelphian, born and raised here and now living in the area again after a 21 year absence. Unfortunately, I did not learn of our ship's residence here in Philly until very recently. I was ecstatic to find out that it has survived all these years and may indeed be renovated as well. I am hoping for a full, complete restoration right back to the way it was, as I

saw it in 1963. I have visited South Philadelphia where the ship is docked, but unfortunately had to view it from across the street and was not able to get anywhere even close to it. But I still reveled in its presence.


Barbara J. (B.J.) Major
Upper Darby, PA

The Music Discographies at bjbear71.com
http://bjbear71.com

 


Ed Bromble, Passenger in 1958

Ed contributed the following scans of items from his voyage on the SS United States.  Thank you Ed for your contribution.

   

     

   

   

         


Bill Lycan, Passenger in 1955

Bill writes:  "Just a note to remind you that it's not only 1st class passengers that have fond memories of the SS United Sates.  In May 1955 I was a S/Sgt returning to England for my second tour.  My first tour I had married an English girl and we were returning with our son.  While attending deportation  briefing I learned that we would be sailing on the SS United States.  My wife couldn't believe it when I returned to the hotel and told her.  We had a very enjoyable voyage and made some lifetime friends while on board.  The attached is a picture of my wife and son in one of the public lounges on the ship.  A trip never to be forgotten."


Margaret Roberts Vandal, Passenger on Maiden Voyage in 1952

Ship's Blue Pennant Presenter

Margaret writes:  "My mother & I sailed on the maiden voyage of the SS United States in July 1952.  My mother's name was Mary Roberts and my name is Margaret (Roberts) Vandal.  I was 9 years old and was asked by the press to present the 40 foot Blue Pennant to the ship.  Also the brooms in the pictures represent the record sweep.  Boy, those ships whistles were loud!!  I will always remember coming into New York harbor and seeing the Statue of Liberty.  It was very exciting to a 9 year old.  This was the first time I wasn't sea sick on a ship."


Bill Lynch, Passenger in 1959

Bill writes:  "The 1st photo, April 16, 1959, is of my mother Ellen Lynch (foreground) followed by my father Gerald Lynch carrying ME, William Lynch, as we board the S.S.United States in Bremerhaven, Germany for return trip to New York. I was born overseas as my father was in the U.S. Army. The 2nd photo, April 19th, 1959, is of Ellen Lynch and myself at dinner the night before our arrival in New York. The 3rd photo is of all of us recently in Philadelphia 50 years later."  Bill was kind to reproduce and mail me a copy of the passenger list from the voyage.  The SS United States departed Bremerhaven on Thursday April 16, 1959.  The family is listed in the Tourist Class Passenger List as "Mrs. Ellen Lynch" and "Master William F. Lynch."  Thank you Bill for sharing your pictures and passenger list, your contribution is very much appreciated!


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