The Queen Mary
The only surviving major pre-war transatlantic ocean liner in existence
by Mike Morrison
The Queen Mary is the only surviving major pre-war transatlantic ocean liner still in existence. The 1,019-foot ship currently resides in Long Beach, Calif. as a popular hotel, museum and tourist attraction.
Built to compete with France's vessel, The Normandie, the Queen Mary made its successful maiden transatlantic voyage from Southampton to New York in July, 1936. A luxurious cruise liner at peace time, the ship was also used to transport thousands of soldiers to duty during WWII. The worst tragedy in the Queen Mary's history occurred in October, 1942 when it crashed into the small British cruiser, the Curacoa, off the coast of Ireland. The smaller vessel was ripped in half, killing 338 men. The Queen Mary suffered a substantial hole in its bow, but was largely unaffected.