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The SS United States Conservancy is deeply saddened to announce the passing of Philadelphia philanthropist H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest. One of the nation’s foremost philanthropists, in 2011 Lenfest donated the funds necessary to prevent the scrapping of the iconic SS United States, allowing the SS United States Conservancy to purchase the vessel from Norwegian Cruise Line.

The SS United States remains the only American ocean liner still afloat, and still holds the transatlantic speed record. Since Lenfest’s transformative donation in 2011, the Conservancy has built a community of supporters from across the nation and around the world and is working to advance a long-term redevelopment plan to save the historic vessel for future generations.


Philadelphia philanthropist H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest with America’s Flagship, the SS United States.

Susan Gibbs, Executive Director of the SS United States Conservancy, writes:

“Gerry Lenfest was our hero. Without him, our nation’s flagship would have been lost to history. Like all great Americans, Gerry turned his own success into a way to give back to his community, his country, and the world. When he saw a need, he responded with a generosity and vision that inspired countless others to rally to great causes. When the SS United States was only days away from being lost forever, Gerry Lenfest stepped forward. He said that the SS United States was the ‘most majestic, most beautiful ship afloat.’

He believed the ship was ‘built at a time when “Made in America” really meant something, and that is a legacy that cannot be lost.’ We will continue to uphold Gerry’s own extraordinary legacy. The SS United States Conservancy — and indeed the entire nation — is deeply indebted to a true American patriot and visionary. We wish Gerry fair winds and following seas, and we will work every day to honor his commitment to the SS United States and the nation’s maritime history.”


Lenfest is awarded the Conservancy’s National Flagship Champion medal in 2010 following his . Photograph courtesy of Josimar de Souza.

The Conservancy offers our heartfelt condolences to all of Gerry’s family and friends, and extends our deepest gratitude for his crucial role in securing a future for America’s Flagship, the SS United States. Moving tributes to Lenfest and his remarkable philanthropic work can be found in the and .

Help us honor H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest’s extraordinary vision for the SS United States.

Together, we can ensure a brilliant second act for this global ambassador and all-American record-breaker. , and join the fight to save the fastest and greatest ocean liner the world has ever known.

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She’s the largest luxury ocean liner “ever built in the United States using all American products and by American workers: Meet ‘America’s Flagship,’ the SS United States.”

The SS United States has been a cultural touchstone since her maiden voyage in 1952. Today, she remains an international media sensation. Check out this piece by Fox News, highlighting the urgent need to save America’s Flagship:

The fastest ocean liner ever built, she carried more than 1.5 million passengers across the Atlantic and was designed to rapidly convert to a Navy troop ship in the event of war. In an interview with anchor Jon Scott, Conservancy Executive Director Susan Gibbs remembered the determination of her grandfather, ship designer William Francis Gibbs:


The SS United States in her heyday. Photograph courtesy of Nick Landiak.

“He really saw this as a patriotic contribution. He was quite competitive, and back in the early days when the European liners were dominating the seas, he really felt America should win that race.”

Conservancy spokesperson Tom Basile also commented on the incredible significance of the SS United States:

“It represents who we are as a country when we’re at our very best…That’s what the United States means to so many people, us being able to come together and do something that is really powerful and really special. And back in the ’50s, and the beginning of the Cold War, that’s what this ship symbolized to America and to the world.”

A symbol of American ingenuity, prestige and pride, she has seen more United States presidents as passengers than any other vessel. Comparable to the Liberty Bell, or the Washington Monument, the SS United States is an American icon that we cannot afford to lose.


America’s Flagship needs our help. Photograph courtesy of .

Thanks to our generous supporters, the SS United States Conservancy has been able to keep the SS United States safely afloat thus far. As we work to and chart a course towards her , the future of this great ship continues to depend upon and commitment to helping us about her incredible history and potential.

“We need the President to take notice and Congress to take notice…We can work together as a nation to save America’s Flagship.”

Watch the Fox News story and read the article .

The SS United States Conservancy continues its efforts to secure a permanent location for America’s Flagship and identify partners that share that vision. In a New York Times letter to the editor last week, Susan Gibbs, the Conservancy’s executive director, described how the SS United States offers a unique development opportunity.

In her letter, Gibbs, who is also the granddaughter of SS United States designer William Francis Gibbs, responded to the New York Times editorial board, affirming that “New York should welcome the S.S. United States, the country’s fabled flagship and sole remaining ocean liner, back to the city it once called home.” With the recent demise of a major development planned for Piers 54/55 in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, the SS United States could provide a new, dynamic centerpiece to attract visitors and revenue to the Hudson River Park. Berthed in New York, the SS United States could celebrate the city’s storied maritime history and its fabled “Luxury Liner Row” as well as represent a centerpiece of environmental innovation. While the Conservancy is exploring several future ports-of-call, the prospect of the the SS United States’ grand return to her original home port of New York is particularly exciting to many. Read Susan Gibbs’ letter to the editor .

The SS United States Conservancy is pleased to announce an wonderful cruising opportunity and a chance to support the preservation of the SS United States and support the SS United States Conservancy’s growing curatorial collections.

While we wish we could fire up the engines, pull up the gangways and set sail together aboard America’s Flagship, the Pollin Group and the Conservancy have partnered to offer the next best thing: a 7-night cruise sailing in May, 2018 to Bermuda aboard the Celebrity Summit. The cruise will depart from Cape Liberty (Bayonne, New Jersey) on Sunday, May 6 and will make port at King’s Wharf, Bermuda on May 9 for a three-night stay. The ship will return to New Jersey on Sunday, May 13.

SS United States Legacy Cruise to Bermuda, May 2018

This amazing cruise will include:
• Festive social gatherings featuring the music, dance and fashion of the transatlantic liner era
• Riveting talks on design, innovation and “the way things work” by award-winning author and illustrator David Macaulay
• Special presentation by Susan Gibbs, the SS United States Conservancy’s executive director and granddaughter of the SS United States’ designer, William Francis Gibbs.

The cruise will offer additional talks spotlighting the SS United States’ history, design and celebrity passengers, mid-century art and design, and the transatlantic ocean liner era and the race for the Blue Riband.

The Celebrity Summit is a Millennium Class ship with many award-winning “Solstice Class” features. The ship, which received a grand makeover in March 2016, has the privilege of being captained by the first American woman to command a cruise ship, Captain Kate McCue.

To learn more about this voyage, please visit the

or contact:
Geisha Cumberbatch
Pollin Group Sales Director
301.656.5740, Ext. 102

We look forward to seeing you on the Celebrity Summit, reliving the past and making new memories!

Second Large Gift Boosts Campaign – Donor Wins Conservancy’s National Parks Tour Promotion

The Conservancy is thrilled to share more exciting news: Our momentum continues to build! We’re now almost 60 percent of the way toward our “We Are the United States” 0,000 goal. For the second this month, a major lifeline has been tossed to America’s Flagship. A donation of 0,000 from Christie Peck of Long Beach, California, has provided a major boost to our fundraising efforts. Thank you so much, Christie!

We hope that Christie’s generosity and passion for saving the SS United States will inspire others across the country and around the world to support our campaign. Christie’s support, combined with donations from so many of you, are giving the nation’s flagship a chance to survive and thrive. Read the full announcement of Christie’s donation . Christie’s support follows an earlier gift of 0,000 from cruise industry executive Jim Pollin.

Courtesy of the Grand Liner Lounge, http://grandlinerlounge.com/

Courtesy of the Grand Liner Lounge, http://grandlinerlounge.com/

Christie’s 0,000 gift also made her the top donor for the . She (or two friends or family members) will be able to enjoy an amazing week-long luxury tour of some of the nation’s most magnificent national parks by Globus Canyon County Adventure Group Tours. The trip will showcase four parks in the Southwest United States: Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and Lake Powell, Bryce Canyon, and Zion.

To contribute to the “We are the United States” campaign, visit or the .

America’s Flagship has inspired a number of extraordinary artists and musicians, and we are so grateful to them for keeping the ship’s spirit alive. American performer/composer/producer Dan Landau sings his defiantly hopeful “To Every Journey” here.

To Every Journey - By Dan Landau

Mr. Landau was joined by Hampton Roads’ acclaimed Virginia Children’s Chorus, conducted by Founder/Artistic Director Carol Thomas Downing, in a united bid to inspire all of America to save its still-proud flagship. Among the young singers on this recording are grandchildren and other descendants of some of the proud Newport News shipyard workers who built the SS United States.

This track is a free download aimed at generating awareness for America’s Flagship. You may choose to pay for the track if you wish. All proceeds from the track go directly to the SS United States Conservancy.

Credits:
“To Every Journey”, Words and Music by Dan Landau, Performed by Dan Landau with the Virginia Children’s
Chorus, Carol Thomas Downing, Founder/Artistic Director. © 2015 Daniel A. Landau. All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission.

On Eve of Final Decision on the Ship’s Future, Gift Allows More Time to Rally Around America’s Flagship

NEW YORK, July 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — It was down to the wire again for America’s fabled flagship, the SS United States, but an eleventh-hour donation has given the vessel another short reprieve. A 0,000 contribution to the on the eve of its conclusion, has prompted a decision to extend the national fundraising and outreach effort to save the iconic vessel.

SS United States. Photo courtesy of the SS United States Conservancy. Photo by Bill DiBenedetto (PRNewsfoto/SS United States Conservancy)

Photo courtesy of the SS United States Conservancy, Photo by Bill DiBenedetto

The Conservancy, a national nonprofit organization, was just days away from deciding the fate of the world’s fastest ocean liner and only ship to bear the nation’s name. The donation by cruise industry executive Jim Pollin will extend the grassroots fundraising campaign through mid-September.

The Conservancy had set a goal of raising 0,000 to keep the ship afloat back in May. To date, the “We are the United States” campaign has raised nearly 0,000. The organization’s board of directors was scheduled to vote this week on whether to recycle or reef the historic ship.

“This donation gives us more time to raise additional resources for the ship’s expenses as we continue to negotiate with prospective developers and secure a permanent location for the vessel,” stated the Conservancy’s executive director, Susan Gibbs. “Jim Pollin’s passion for the SS United States is inspiring and extraordinary. He is a hero to all those who care about saving our nation’s heritage.”

The Conservancy, which saved the ship from certain destruction in 2011, is actively courting developers and investors to revitalize the vessel as a stationary, mixed-use, landmark destination. The organization is in a race against time to raise the funds to cover the ship’s ongoing monthly carrying costs at its current pier in Philadelphia. The Conservancy is also committed to the long-term effort of locating, preserving and showcasing thousands of original artifacts, as well as archival documentation, from America’s Flagship.

“There is no doubt in my mind that if the Conservancy can continue to keep the United States afloat that a viable option for her future will be presented,” said Pollin. “So much of who we are as a country is represented by this great ship. Americans need to step up now to help save her. The United States is as much a part of our nation as the ground on which we live and work. We cannot allow her to be destroyed. It would be a terrible loss for the nation.”

Pollin is the son of the late Abe Pollin who, together with his wife Irene, owned the Washington Capitals and Wizards professional sports teams. The Pollins were also central figures in the revitalization of downtown Washington D.C. and supported a range of philanthropic causes.

“We hope that this generous donation inspires others to contribute and help us secure a bright future for the SS United States. Sixty-five years ago this month the ship returned to New York after her record-breaking maiden voyage, and she became a national heroine. That America’s Flagship remains afloat today is a remarkable testament to the ship’s resilience and historical importance,” said Gibbs.

To contribute to the “We are the United States” campaign, visit or the Conservancy’s GoFundMe page .

About the SS United States Conservancy
A national nonprofit organization, the SS United States Conservancy leads the global effort to save and repurpose America’s Flagship, the SS United States. The Conservancy raises public awareness and financial resources for the maintenance, restoration and ultimate reuse of this iconic vessel and works to ensure that the fastest ocean liner ever to cross the Atlantic remains an inspiration for generations to come. For more information about the SS United States Conservancy and America’s Flagship, visit or the Conservancy’s .

Media Contact
Tom Basile
917-579-2216

SS United States Conservatory important update
The SS United States Conservancy is thrilled to share that we have received a 0,000 contribution to our on the eve of its conclusion. Because of this generous donation, we are extending our national fundraising and outreach effort.

We hope that this generous donation inspires others to support our efforts to secure a bright future for the SS United States. Sixty-five years ago this month, the ship returned to New York after her record-breaking maiden voyage and became a national heroine. That America’s Flagship remains afloat today is a remarkable testament to the ship’s resilience and historical importance.

To contribute to the “We are the United States” campaign visit or the Conservancy’s .

We were just days away from deciding the fate of the world’s fastest ocean liner and only ship to bear the nation’s name. The donation by cruise industry executive Jim Pollin will extend our grassroots fundraising campaign through mid-September.

We had set a goal of raising 0,000 to keep the ship afloat back in May. To date, our “We are the United States” campaign has raised nearly 0,000. Our board of directors was scheduled to vote this week on whether to recycle or reef the historic ship.

This donation gives us more time to raise additional resources for the ship’s expenses as we continue to negotiate with prospective developers and secure a permanent location for the vessel. We are profoundly grateful for Jim Pollin’s passion for the SS United States. He is a hero to all of us who care about saving our nation’s heritage.

We continue to advance plans for the vessel’s conversion into a stationary mixed-use landmark destination. However, we are in a race against time to raise the funds to cover the ship’s ongoing monthly carrying costs at its current pier in Philadelphia. We also remain committed to the long-term effort of locating, preserving and showcasing thousands of original artifacts, as well as archival documentation, from America’s Flagship.

“There is no doubt in my mind that if the Conservancy can continue to keep the United States afloat that a viable option for her future will be presented,” Pollin told us. “So much of who we are as a country is represented by this great ship. Americans need to step up now to help save her. The United States is as much a part of our nation as the ground on which we live and work. We cannot allow her to be destroyed. It would be a terrible loss for the country.”

Pollin is the son of the late Abe Pollin who, together with his wife, Irene, owned the Washington Capitals and Wizards professional sports teams. The Pollins were also central figures in the revitalization of downtown Washington D.C. and supported a range of philanthropic causes.

We are profoundly grateful to Jim Pollin and to all of the Conservancy’s members and supporters from 50 states and 36 countries around the world. Thank you so much for your continued support!

The SS United States Conservancy’s New York Chapter has partnered with the on the new exhibition, “The United States: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.” The show explores the extraordinary career of “America’s Flagship” and her relationship with the City of New York.

City Reliquary - Opening Reception for 'The United States- Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow'

SS United States supporters gathered in Brooklyn on July 1 to celebrate the opening of the exhibition, an event that ranked as one of list of the week’s top 15 events in New York City! The celebration drew New Yorkers from all five boroughs as well as Westchester and Albany.

City Reliquary Exhibit of the SS United States Glenn Lappin

Screening of the film “Colossus On The River” at City Reliquary exhibition opening. Image courtesy of Glenn Lappin.

The Conservancy is deeply grateful to the staff at The City Reliquary as well as Montauk Rum and the Brooklyn Brewery for sponsoring the event. The exhibit runs from June 29 until August 20.

The SS United States was a technological marvel of its day, a sprinting giant of a ship that rose from the Newport News shipyard in 1952 and earned legions of fans along the way. Those supporters now hope a new generation of technology can tell the ship’s story. The idea was to scan the entire ship and return the data to the Conservancy for its use. The Gibbs & Cox team traveled to Philadelphia with a hand-held scanner and painstakingly set out to create a 3-D map of the expansive vessel. This data is an invaluable tool as plans are advanced for the ship’s potential redevelopment.

Read more from the Daily Press’s Hugh Lessig
SS United States 3D Rendering - Stacks from the Aft Deck Courtesy Gibbs and Cox

When the American passenger ship entered service in 1952, the British magazine Punch grudgingly wrote of her, “After the loud and fantastic claims made in advance for the liner United States, it comes as something of a disappointment to find them all true.” Indeed, on her first transatlantic voyage the United States, at a length 100 feet greater than the RMS Titanic, beat the previously existing speed record set by the Great Britain’s RMS Queen Mary – by 10 hours. She still holds the transatlantic Blue Riband record, in both directions, 65 years later, having achieved trial speeds as high as 38.32 knots (44 mph) and average speeds across the Atlantic in her maiden voyage of 35.59 knots (40.96 mph).

Read more from Newsday’s William F.B. O’Reilly
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As part of its “We Are the United States” Campaign, the the Conservancy is offering unique, limited-edition “We Are the United States” tee-shirts in partnership with .
Available in all sizes from youth XS to adult 4X, these 100% cotton tees will help us raise crucial funds for our 0,000 campaign goal. Available for only plus shipping for a limited time. These campaign shirts will only be produced if we can reach our goal of 150 , so please help us spread the word! Learn more about the campaign at www.wearetheunitedstates.org, or purchase your shirt today at https://www.booster.com/we-are-the-united-states
booster tee

In case you missed it, our new  launched May 12th urging all Americans to rally around the values embodied in our flagship and help raise critically-needed funds to prevent her from being lost to history. Visit https://www.wearetheunitedstates.org/ to learn how you can help join the effort to save America’s Flagship!

Your role is powerful and essential to the success of this effort. Please help us spread the word by sharing links to ourand our new website and blog – – on your favorite social media channels. So tell a friend together, we can – and we must –

SS US_dedicated_no branding

Courtesy of Heather Walsh/Newsday.

Courtesy of Heather Walsh/Newsday.

This excellent profile of Robert Sturm, former SS United States engineer and author of the book SS United States: The View From Down Below, explores his decades-long fascination with the Big U.

“The ship is the epitome of American genius when it comes to naval architecture and marine engineering, both in design and construction and in operation,” Sturm told Newsday. “It was truly a magnificent piece of work.”

Sturm spoke with reporter Bill Bleyer about his book — available for purchase  — in which he “details his knowledge about the ship gleaned during his 44 transatlantic voyages, from 1957 to 1959.” He also discussed his work as a volunteer archivist at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, organizing and cataloging boxes of documents and photographs the museum acquired when United States Lines was dissolved in 1992. Unsurprisingly, the files he lingers the longest over are those related to the Big U.

To read the profile in its entirety, click .

SS US Jane Schuling_Hurricane Camille .S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA National Climatic Data Center

Photo of SS United States courtesy of Jane Schuling, radar image of Hurricane Camille courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/National Climatic Data Center.

I looked out the windows and saw nothing but gray. We were caught in the tail end of Hurricane Camille, a very chilling experience. I went up to the lounge because staying in my cabin made me more seasick. I felt that I might as well try to take my mind off my unsettled stomach. The lounge seemed enormous, perhaps even larger than usual since there were only a handful of passengers up there, maybe seven or eight of us. 

One gentleman at the bar was drinking scotch and milk – it did not sound very tasteful to me, but he said it helped with his ulcer. The rest of us were younger, all somewhere in our late teens and early twenties. Somebody played the piano and the rest of us drank and sang.

As night came, or should I say, the next morning, the time to disembark drew near. We all went out on our way to get ready.

— Patrick Restivo, who sailed from Le Havre to New York on the SS United States in August of 1969

Courtesy of the Grand Liner Lounge, http://grandlinerlounge.com/

Courtesy of the Grand Liner Lounge (grandlinerlounge.com).

Created by veteran cruise writer, ship photographer, and Conservancy Advisory Council member Peter Knego, this fantastic virtual tour takes visitors inside four of the most iconic trans-Atlantic vessels, including (of course!) the SS United States. Knego includes both historical and current photos of “some of the most spectacular machines ever made for transportation.”

The tour of the SS United States — “the largest, fastest, and arguably greatest American passenger ship ever built” — begins at slide 27 and concludes at slide 51. Knego beautifully summarizes the current condition of ship when he says: “Peeling paint and superficial rust aside, the grace and beauty of the ship’s architecture is unparalleled.” He finishes by expressing his hope that there will ben more to the story of “one of the mightiest ships to ever grace the seas,” a hope the Conservancy is working hard to make a reality.

To view the tour, click .

Courtesy of Louis Kleber.

Courtesy of Louis Kleber.

Overall, I remember excitement. Magic. A giant ship and a very small boy. The big chairs. The round dining tables. Our cabin with cozy beds. I think I made a castle out of all the pillows.

It was my first birthday. I, of course, cannot remember anything directly, but I was told a lot about the trip by my parents. My father, Louis C. Kleber, worked as an executive with U.S. Lines in the London office, 50 Pall Mall. Our chief steward for the crossing was a lovely older gentleman named Cornelius who made an extra effort to make me feel special. Our table was full of U.S. Lines red balloons and a big cake with one candle. All the passengers and crew sang Happy Birthday to me, and I was very happy.

I sailed on the SS United States again, and on other ships, but surely the highlight of all the travel in my life must be my first birthday on the SS United States.

— Craig Peter Kleber, former passenger, who celebrated his first birthday aboard the SS United States in 1967

  • The Hull 488 can, featuring a beautiful rendering of the SS United States. Photo courtesy of Ron Acosta.

  • Tradition Brewing Director of Distribution Andy Beale holding the first-ever can of Hull 488. Photo courtesy of Susan Gibbs.

  • Conservancy Executive Director Susan Gibbs addresses the crowd. The chairs visible here were once used aboard the SS United States! Photo courtesy of Ron Acosta.

  • One of the tanks in which Hull 488 beer ferments. Photo courtesy of Susan Gibbs.

  • Conservancy supporter Peter Green traveled all the way from Portland, Maine to attend the event! Photo courtesy of Susan Gibbs.

  • A ship model from the Conservancy's permanent collection on loan for the event was displayed alongside other SS United States memorabilia. Photo courtesy of Susan Gibbs.

  • Gibbs & Cox President and CEO Chris Deegan and Keith Harper, Vice President of the Gibbs & Cox Design Group, proudly display their Hull 488 six-packs. Photo courtesy of Susan Gibbs.

  • A Hull 488 poster flanked by photographs of the SS United States. Photo courtesy of Susan Gibbs.

  • Conservancy supporters Mark Nemergut, Ron Acosta, and Christina Acosta (and a special shout-out to the fantastic vintage United States Lines poster on Ron Acosta's t-shirt!). Photo courtesy of Susan Gibbs.

  • Photographs, glassware, silver, and other SS United States memorabilia on display. Photo courtesy of Susan Gibbs.

The SS United States Conservancy was proud to witness the release of the signature craft beer Hull 488 in 12-ounce cans. Newport News city officials were in attendance, and there was much enthusiasm shared in support of the  the SS United States making a grand return to the place where her hull (number 488) was laid.

The energy and support from all attendees is a testament to the enduring power of the SS United States to inspire. Not only did Tradition Brewery donate all proceeds from the silent auction and the sale of Hull 488 at the event to the Conservancy, but they also pledged to donate 5 percent of all proceeds from the sale of cans of Hull 488 going forward!

At this time, cans of Hull 488 can be purchased exclusively from the Tradition Brewing tasting room. They plan to launch the beer in stores in New York, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia in the near future. More information can be found on their .

Thank you to  for putting on such an incredible event and for your generous contribution to the future of America’s Flagship! Thank you, too, to the individuals and organizations who made the event such a success: Barrel Oak Winery, Michael Cole, Jim Flood, Wayne Forth, the Mariners Museum and Park, the Peninsula Fine Arts Center, P.F. Chang’s – Newport News, Robert Semler, and the Virginia Living Museum.

Courtesy of Tony Strublic.

Courtesy of Tony Strublic.

I didn’t really begin to study the SS United States until 2014 when the late Jordan Morris, former chair of the SS United States Conservancy Southeastern Chapter, commissioned me to draw a bow-on image of the liner. That was when I began to study her physical appearance as well as her history.

The element of her history that stood out most to me was her quest to be the fastest liner ever, and to bring home the Blue Riband and Hales Trophy. The mere fact that she is still around, and has no hull issues to this day, gives her even more prestige. There are very few links to the grand history of ocean liner travel. Even in a static state, the ship still can—and will—have meaning for generations to come. She is a symbol of national pride.

— Tony Strublic, Maritime Artist

Courtesy of Chester Kishel, Jr.

Courtesy of Chester Kishel, Jr.

My father was a diplomat with the U.S. State Department, so we traveled constantly throughout the 1960s. We liked taking ships because we could bring our wild and crazy Oldsmobile Cutlass convertible. How is that for luggage?

Our only route was Le Havre to NYC and vice versa. Basically, we moved every two years from Europe to the States. I was very young, so I don’t remember a lot. I do know we traveled first class and each had our own purser — they were always very nice and so attentive.

I always had an earache during the crossings which was a bummer, especially because I wanted to swim in the pool so, so, so much. In those days, you just suffered through stuff, so I watched my brother play in the pool instead. Another memory is the dining. The water glasses were so thin and delicate that during one meal, I bit into my glass. Everyone went nuts! I couldn’t resist as a kid, I guess. I was fine, but the staff made a huge fuss.

My father never traveled with us on those voyages. He would accompany us to the dock, and we would watch as he waved goodbye amidst the streamers (paper cuts!) and confetti. Then off we went. We had diplomatic passports, so we never waited in line. Sadly, that perk was lost on me back then.

— Liz MacDougald, former passenger

SS US_courtesy of JRCOVERT

Courtesy of JRCOVERT.

For each issue of No.26 magazine, the editorial team curates a collection of people, places, things, and ideas — 26 to be exact — that have taken up residence in the forefront of their minds. In the latest issue, the editors featured none other than the SS United States!

The editors examine the lasting allure of the SS United States, and imagine a future imbued with the luxury of her past. The issue featuring the SS United States can be found .

Courtesy of Kathleen Perry.

Courtesy of Kathleen Perry.

One day they told us it was too windy to go out onto the Promenade deck, and Daddy decided to take me out to see how windy it was. The wind picked me up and threw me into the railing – at first, the ship’s doctor thought the impact had broken my arms, but it turned out my elbows had just locked. I remember mostly feeling glad I’d been blown into the railing and not all the way overboard!

The whole voyage was way cool. We watched The Parent Trap multiple times, and saw Mamie Eisenhower there with her Secret Service guys. I loved riding in the elevators with sailors, and people watching. I did think the water in the swimming pool was way, way too cold.

Someone told us that the famous psychic Jeane Dixon had predicted the ship would sink, and the mandatory lifeboat drills convinced us she was right! I was thoroughly relieved when we arrived in New York.

Seeing the Stature of Liberty from the sea, and thinking what it meant to people like my Holocaust survivor mother, blew my eight-year-old mind.

— Mrzy Votaw, who sailed from Le Havre to New York in 1969 with parents Albert N. and Estera Votaw and three older sisters.

 

SS US_Southampton Harbor

The SS United States in Southampton Harbor.

I sailed to Southampton on the Big U in 1963 three days after the then Hapag-Lloyd ship “Bremen” did, and in a day and a half, we were passing her at sea. The captains of each ship thoroughly enjoyed the moment. You could truly feel her immense speed under your feet – she was the epitome of the nation at that time, our very best at peace.

My dad, William A. Winchell, was assigned Port Authority officer for the U.S. Army in Southampton. After two years, he returned to the United States while coordinating Army personnel disembarking from the Big U.

Someone at U.S. Lines gave him a rare metal model of the ship on a green jade base with her name engraved as a present acknowledging his successful participation. At some point the model, as well as his photos of the ship and the menus he saved, will come to me. I’ll be happy if they can find a place aboard her…

— Jim Winchell, who sailed from New York to Southampton in 1963, and from Southampton to New York in 1965.

The SS United States drydocked at Newport News

The SS United States drydocked at Newport News.

I remember standing on the banks of the James River in Newport News and seeing the SS United States all lit up from bow to stern. I’ll never forget it. My father, Channing Cole, helped to build this great ship.

I can’t remember what his title was then, or what his specific job was, but like thousands of other shipyard workers, he worked to construct the SS United States. My dad started out in Newport News shipbuilding at age seventeen and rose through the ranks until the day he retired. I remember him telling me and my brother that he had engraved our names on the bow of the SS United States. We were so proud; we went to school and boasted about it. Our boasting ended quickly when all our friends told us their dads had done the same thing! I can only imagine how many names were engraved into her hull before she was painted.

My father would take us in the car down to the dry dock from time to time to see how construction of the ship was progressing. When she was completed, he went on her sea trials, as he did with many ships he helped to build. His trial trips usually lasted a week or more, and we always a party to welcome him when he arrived home. He brought a dining room menu back from the SS United States’ trials – I still have it tucked away in the pages of our family Bible.

— Jean Garrett, daughter of Newport News shipyard worker Channing Cole 

Bowyer01

The Abbondandolo family during their 1953 voyage from NYC to Germany. Courtesy of Inga Bowyer (née Abbondandolo).

My father was a US Air Force Sergeant assigned to Ramey Air Force Base in Puerto Rico. Family housing on the base was not yet ready for us, so we were headed to Germany to stay with my grandparents while our home in Puerto Rico was built.

My mother told me that our cabin steward was especially attentive to her and her little brood of four kids all age 5 and under. She was also about two months pregnant at the time!

I don’t remember much about the voyage myself, but I seem to recall having French toast for breakfast one morning. My favorite memory from the journey was the gala party! I remember my delight at getting a fancy paper hat to wear.

Even though I was only five years old, and have only a few memories from my time on the SS United States, I feel privileged to have sailed aboard this great ship.

— Inga Bowyer (née Abbondandolo), who sailed on the SS United States in February of 1953 with her mother Hildegard, younger sisters Regina and Diana, and younger brother Michael.

Photo of Sean Connery courtesy of Mario De Biasi/Mondadori Portfolio, image of the first class ballroom courtesy of Cruising the Past.

Photo of Sean Connery courtesy of Mario De Biasi/Mondadori Portfolio, image of the first class ballroom courtesy of Cruising the Past.

The SS United States was a major part of my childhood and adolescence. Starting in 1953, we sailed back and forth across the Atlantic for family vacations. Later, my brother and I commuted to and from boarding school by ourselves each fall and summer.

Our father worked for U.S. Lines in Europe, and because of his position, we had opportunities most people didn’t have. The purser would give us a crash gate key so we could go anywhere on the ship. My youngest brother learned to walk on the United States during a crossing from New York to Le Havre. The stewards on the promenade deck would play with him by tying a red ballon to the end of the stick and pretending he had caught a fish in the scuppers. Dave and Herby in the smoking lounge always indulged us with fun drinks and hors d’oeuvres.

We loved Gala Night, even as children. Our parents looked so glamorous. Once I was older, my mother would buy me a new evening dress for the event. I adored the glass panels in the ball room. In 1966, I danced with Sean Connery there. I met other celebrities too: Robert Morely, President Eisenhower and his brother David, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

Several crossings were so rough, the dining room chairs were strapped down, the elevators were lined with padding, and velvet ropes were strung along the hallways. As kids, we loved to swing on the ropes and hang upside down! 

I remember the smells and the low hum of the engines idling. When I boarded the ship, it felt like coming home.

— Betsy Stettinius, who crossed the Atlantic on the SS United States regularly between 1953 and 1969

The Conservancy is deeply saddened by the passing of Frieda Kerstgens Green, beloved wife of Jim Green, longtime Conservancy supporter and former crewmember. 

Frieda, who sailed on the SS United States’ maiden voyage with her parents, met Jim thanks to a chance encounter aboard the ship during her second voyage in 1957. Their love story was featured in the acclaimed documentary film, “.” We send our heartfelt condolences to Jim and their children, John, Heidi, and Chris.

JimGreenCruise2

Frieda and Jim Green aboard the SS United States during a 1964 cruise through the West Indies. Courtesy of Jim Green.

 

Frieda K. Green
1931-2016

Longtime Valencia resident Frieda Kerstgens Green passed away following an extended illness on Nov. 25, 2016. She was 85.

Born Oct. 6, 1931 to Henry and Margaret Kerstgens in their family-run hotel in Thompson, Conn., she was given the name Elfriede Adele. She spent most of her formative years in Holliston, Mass., graduating from Holliston High School and The Art Institute of Boston. Following in her father’s footsteps, she became an accomplished portrait and seascape artist.

Frieda met her future husband during a seemingly chance encounter aboard the transatlantic ocean liner SS United States in 1956. On a blustery day in the middle of the North Atlantic, her kerchief was picked up by the wind, fluttering to a serendipitous landing near the feet of Jim Green, a member of the crew. Jim dutifully retrieved the headscarf and returned it to the grateful passenger – and so began a friendship and partnership that lasted 60 years.

Was their encounter fortuitous or calculated? We’ll never know for sure. During an on-screen interview for the 2008 American Public Television documentary SS United States: Lady in Waiting, Jim recounted the story, and the inquisitive interviewer asked Frieda if she perhaps lost the kerchief on purpose. “I’ll never tell,” she replied.

They were married in Frieda’s hometown of Holliston on March 29, 1958, and started a family. They raised three children: John, Heidi and Christopher. The family relocated several times as Jim, an executive at IBM Corp., was transferred to corporate offices in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Minnesota and, eventually, California in 1976.

Frieda worked many years at Hart High School as an ROP (Regional Occupational Programs) counselor. She also volunteered her time as a docent at California Institute of the Arts and in the gift shop at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital. Her quick smile and bubbly personality were infectious.

She is survived by her husband Jim; son John and wife Sherri; daughter Heidi McKenzie and husband Michael; son Christopher; grandchildren John Green III, Mariah McKenzie, Michael McKenzie Jr. and Sean Tomer; former daughter-in-law Dawn Zirbel; nephew Henry Kerstgens III and wife Cheryl; nephew Ronald Culver; nieces Karen Clancy, Ruth Carter and Candy Culver; and many other relatives and close friends. She was preceded in death by her older sister Margaret, younger brother Henry Jr., and nephew Richard.

A celebration of Frieda’s life is scheduled 11:00 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017 at Valencia United Methodist Church, 25718 McBean Pkwy., Valencia. A lunch will follow in the church’s reception hall.

The SS United States departing for Europe. Photo courtesy of Louise Kleber.

The SS United States departing for Europe. Courtesy of Louise Kleber.

We sailed out of New York Harbor while the Verrazano-Narrows bridge was still under construction. The workers waved to us as we passed underneath, and we waved back. I was bound for Southampton — the first leg of my trip to India on a Fullbright fellowship. I shared a cabin with two other Fullbright scholars also bound for India, and a new member of the diplomatic corps.

When we inquired about the loud banging noise we could clearly hear from our cabin, we were told an automobile owned by Kirk Douglas had broken loose in the storage hold. I have no idea if it’s true, but it was the closest I came to seeing a celebrity during the voyage.

I remember being surprised and upset that photographs of the people on the pier who had come to see us off were for being offered for sale. I thought it was manipulative because some of us would not see our friends and families for a year or more, and naturally felt we had no choice but to purchase the photos showing “our” people. Now, over fifty years later, I cherish the photo I bought.

— David Roger Anthony, former passenger, who sailed on the SS United States in July of 1963

Courtesy of Julia Hatmaker.

Courtesy of Julia Hatmaker.

Reporters from NJ.com, Curbed Philadelphia, Penn Live, and CBS 3 Fox Chasing News came aboard the SS United States to cover Santa’s inspection of the region’s largest chimney — the ship’s six-story-tall forward smokestack.

Although his reindeer were too shy to speak to the media, Santa shared some wise advice for parents and children alike. For quotes from Santa, photos of the ship ablaze with lights, and commentary from supporters who attended the event in person, check out the following pieces: “,” “,” “,” “,” and this fantastic video by Bill Magee, “.”

 

Mary Anne Chamberlain (right) poses with a friend she made aboard the ship (left), a young girl from Germany. Although neither girl could speak the other’s native language, they quickly formed a friendship. “Dad knew enough German to communicate with her parents, and her father knew enough English,” Chamberlain recollects. “Perfect!” Photo courtesy of Mary Anne Chamberlain.

Mary Anne Chamberlain (right) poses with a friend she made aboard the ship (left), a young girl from Germany. Although neither girl could speak the other’s native language, they quickly formed a friendship. “Dad knew enough German to communicate with her parents, and her father knew enough English,” Chamberlain recollects. “Perfect!” Photo courtesy of Mary Anne Chamberlain.

I remember thinking it was funny being in a pool when there was a huge ocean right there, and sneaking into first class with my brother to explore the front half of the ship. A very nice steward caught us and gently brought us back to our parents in cabin class. Once, while we were playing cards on deck, a gust of wind came up and blew the cards away – some of them ended up in strangers’ tea cups! Everyone was quite good-natured about it.

My father took a great interest in the SS United States, he was so impressed by her speed and grace in the water. My brother and I loved standing on the deck and watching the wavy, light green-blue trail the SS United States left behind as she sped through the water. We also loved people-watching, listening to the many different languages spoken on board, and going through the safety drills.

The SS United States was a true and strong seafaring beauty, with real elegance and magnificent attention to detail in every way. Today’s ships seem to be more about cramming thousands of people into floating cities, it’s like being at a giant shopping mall with dozens of restaurants, pools, climbing walls, and bars, yet very little attention to passenger comfort or aesthetics. As the years go by, our appreciation for the SS United States grows exponentially!

— Mary Anne Chamberlain, who sailed SS United States with her father, mother, brother, sister in 1964 and 1966.

As Christmas Nears, Santa Claus to Survey Philadelphia’s Largest Chimney Aboard the SS United States; Philadelphia Welcome Delegation includes Mummers Fancy Brigade and Tony Luke’s Cheesesteaks sponsored by MBB Management

NORTH POLE, December 19, 2016 — Santa Claus will be in the Philadelphia area on Wednesday evening in advance of his annual trip around the world to deliver presents to good girls and boys. He will be conducting a survey of chimneys throughout the city to ensure swift delivery of presents on Christmas Eve. While in Philadelphia, he will be able to be spotted visiting the area’s largest chimney – the six-story-tall forward smokestack on America’s Flagship, the SS United States. Santa’s visit to the ship will coincide with the lighting of the ship’s funnels and other portions of the famed ocean liner for the holiday season.

Santa can be viewed on board the ship starting at  from the parking lot near the Chik-fil-A Restaurant across from the ship on South Columbus Boulevard. Members of the Mummers Fancy Brigade will also be on hand to celebrate the season — and America’s Flagship — beginning at 6:00 pm.  will provide specialty cheesesteaks and hot chocolate served by MBB Management.  MBB Management is a full service hospitality management company that oversees the entire Tony Luke’s brand. Santa insisted on Tony Luke’s cheesesteaks for his annual Christmas visit to Philadelphia.

“Santa would like to thank the SS United States Conservancy for lighting this historic ship so beautifully for him as he conducts his important chimney survey,” stated the chief North Pole Spokes-elf Chip Evergreen. Santa is also considering using the newly-lit SS United States as a beacon on the Philadelphia waterfront in the event of bad weather.

For Santa’s visit, the SS United States will be lit for the first time using new, energy efficient LED lights to illuminate more of the historic vessel than has been done in decades. The new lighting was made possible by the generous donation of ,000 from cruise industry executive Jim Pollin that paid for a new generator and equipment to light portions of both the interior and exterior of the historic vessel.

The lighting of the ship will begin at 6:30pm. Santa will be able to be seen from a distance on board around 6:45pm. “We are thrilled that Santa will be visiting the SS United States. The SS United States may have smashed the transatlantic speed record, but Santa holds the global speed record,” said Susan Gibbs, Executive Director of the SS United States Conservancy. “We are happy to be a stop on his seasonal survey of chimneys in the Philadelphia area. The ship will be aglow with new lighting, bringing this iconic symbol of America to life again for this special time of year.

The Conservancy is deeply grateful to Tony Luke’s, MBB Management and the Mummers for supporting the SS United States. To help save America’s Flagship with a gift this holiday season, click .

Annual Appeal 2016_donation ask

The SS United States Conservancy has achieved many major milestones over the past year:

  • Our efforts to save the SS United States received marquee coverage from major media outlets around the world, including the New York Times, National Geographic, Fox News, the Associated Press, USA Today, CBS News, NBC Nightly News, NPR, and many more.
  • We expanded our permanent collections, including adding over 600 artifacts from the Mariners’ Museum of Newport News, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the estate of Dr. Sara Forbes, and the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Hunnicutt, III.
  • We further advanced our museum planning efforts, including hosting an intensive museum design session with the Conservancy’s curatorial team, preservationists, digital specialists, historians, architects, and marine engineers.
  • We expanded our online presence with the launch of a new blog “Call Sign KJEH”, and enhanced our member newsletter. Our Facebook fans now number almost 18,000.
  • We organized a festive crew reunion and celebration in Philadelphia that attracted supporters from across the nation. More inspiring events are planned for 2017.

As the year draws to a close, the Conservancy continues to advance redevelopment plans for the SS United States. Extensive new feasibility studies and technical assessments garnered through the Crystal Cruises option agreement have proved to be a valuable resource in ongoing talks with a number of developers and cities. To read more about these efforts in our annual appeal letter, click .

While redevelopment plans progress, the Conservancy is continuing to showcase the ship’s history, build our curatorial collections, and educate the public about her legacy — to learn more about our education and outreach initiatives, click As the Conservancy works to secure a bright future for the SS United States, we still have to pay for the ship’s upkeep

You can play a pivotal role in saving the “Big U” for future generations, and introducing her legacy to new audiences, by joining the thousands of SS United States Conservancy members who help keep the greatest ship afloat with their generous donations. Click to make your contribution today.

Photo courtesy of Brian M. Lumley

Photo courtesy of Brian M. Lumley.

“Every so often something so rock and roll comes past our desk that we just can’t pass it up,” writes journalist and photographer Brian Lumley. Lumley, who primarily covers the music scene in Cleveland, Ohio, recently got the opportunity to tour the SS United States.

“Too much of America’s cultural history has been lost to neglect. We shouldn’t endorse the loss of such a fine example of 20th century ingenuity and power. Conceived in a time when America was at the height of our economic, engineering and inventive powers, this post-war gem represents everything that truly made this country shine. Maybe her rescue and rebirth could herald another such time.”

Click to read Lumley’s evocative description of his visit to the ship and view the photos he took during the tour.

Menu from a 1958 crossing made by Wilma Herzog (née Eis). Courtesy of Wilma Herzog.

Menu from a 1958 crossing made by Wilma Herzog (née Eis). Courtesy of Wilma Herzog.

I wanted to see the “Big Apple,” New York City, but had no money to go there. I had no intentions to stay in the United States forever, either. I was lucky enough to get a job contract, I thought I’d stay for one year at the utmost. And what a beginning: a trip via the SS United States. I felt like a king!

I had not eyes enough to see. How can I say how impressed I was by this grand ship and its service? How we were spoiled as passengers: music, dance, a library where late night, snacks were served.

Most of hometown, Gerolstein, was destroyed by bombs during WWII – 85 percent. My immediate family survived, but was then homeless and had to flee. We ended up living in primitive shelter where each morning I received a bowl of wonderful, warm soup sponsored by the American Quakers. While we dug in empty potato fields looking for overlooked potatoes, and ate dandelion greens and boiled nettles, we were told that in the USA, they dumped shiploads of wheat into the ocean. My desire drew – that marvelous, wealthy land, I had to see it, no matter what!

No one in my family knew I was to go to New York for a year; I did not want them to interfere with my plan. I waited to tell my parents until the night before I was to leave, and when I did, I asked that no one make a fuss or even go with me to the train. After all, I would be back in one year. Today, I’m shocked to think of this! My poor parents!

One day during the crossing, the SS United States encountered bad weather. The crew installed red velvet ropes for the safety of the passengers. At mealtimes, the tables were nearly empty, only a few dared eat. I got terribly seasick, so the room steward brought me some dry bread. I can’t recall the names of any of the crew now, but I do remember how the table steward addressed even us young girls elegantly as “Madame” – wow!

I had never sailed on a ship before, and until a German girl who travelled frequently informed me, I had no idea that I had to tip anyone! I was shocked, and worried that I did not have enough money for decent tips for the cabin steward and table steward. I took two envelopes and put 15 Deutsche Mark in each, and little letters saying thank you for all the wonderful service, and explaining that I had no more money to give! Then, I entered American soil with just 5 German marks in my pocket.

The only valuable item I had with me in my cardboard suitcase was “Der ewige Brunnen,” [in English, “The Eternal Fountain”] a book of German poems. When I put my book of poems into my suitcase, I did not know that it would become my one and only consolation. Everything was strange to me, a country girl. The efficient elevators, people running busily this way and that way, and not looking at each other. I just looked and looked!

Often people asked me questions that made me wonder, like whether there was toilet paper in Germany. Lots of questions about the war, of course. One morning in the office where I worked, one of my co-workers said to me, “You seem to be a nice girl, but you’re a German. You can’t do anything about your genes, they contain antisemitism.” I nearly fainted! I sat up nearly all night and to calm my soul, I read aloud all the wonderful German poems in my book written in our wonderful German language by our great German poets. It was not easy.

After six months in New York City, I met my future husband, and in 1961, our daughter was born. I learned so much in the United States — most of all, I learned to be grateful, and to express it. I think of what President Kennedy once said, too, “Don’t ask what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country!” This formed and changed my life thereafter. To this day.

My daughter surprised me recently with many books and information about “my ship” – the SS United States. I hope it will be restored. Everyone can jet anywhere, there’s nothing to it, but being at home on a wonderful ship like the SS United States, traveling several days in style, that is the best, “non plus ultra.”

— Wilma Herzog, neé Eis, who immigrated aboard the SS United States in 1958

Heinz Bayer sees the SS United States for the first time since it brought him to the United States from Germany in the 1960s. Courtesy of Julia Hatmaker.

Heinz Bayer sees the SS United States for the first time since it brought him to the United States from Germany in the 1960s. Courtesy of Julia Hatmaker.

A news team from PennLive was on hand at our crew reunion in September to interview attendees about what the SS United States means to them. You can now watch stories from five individuals — Heinz Bayer, who emigrated from Germany aboard the SS United States; Joe Rota, a long-time crew hand; Harold Goldfarb, who once served as the ship’s surgeon; and Susan Gibbs, granddaughter of the ship’s designer, William Francis Gibbs, and the Conservancy’s executive director.

Click to watch those interviews.

 

 Courtesy of Julia Hatmaker.

Courtesy of Julia Hatmaker.

This excellent article by Julia Hatmaker delves into the rich history of the SS United States — including William Francis Gibbs’ legendarily obsessive fireproofing — and projects what the future could hold for “the jewel of the American maritime experience.”

Hatmaker’s piece includes gorgeous video reporting from our crew reunion in September. “It is not fair to say that this is just a ship,” former passenger Heinz Bayer told her. “It is more than a ship. It is for people like me, a way into a new life … and a new world. It becomes like a mother that takes you someplace where you’re safe, and the SS United States had been my mother in regards to that.”

Click to read the full piece.

We’re proud to announce that our New York Chapter carried on the tradition of participating in the New York Veterans Day Parade, also known as America’s Parade. They marched up Fifth Avenue to honor the brave individuals who served our nation, and to commemorate the SS United States’ proud career as a peacetime flagship liner always ready to serve her nation if duty called.

Thank you to our New York Chapter Co-Chairs Paul Stipkovich, Glenn Lappin and Carl Weber for leading the SS United States Conservancy’s contingent, as well as to Lloyd Burket, Ralph Casado, Eric Fahner, Jaye Maynard, Fred Rodriguez, Rita Sharkey, Mike St. Amour, Eileen Wangner, and to all the chapter members, family members, and supporters who gave their time and enthusiasm to the event. The generosity and dedication of all involved made it possible to represent the SS United States with bright, festive conviviality.

To all our nation’s veterans and active-duty service members, we salute and thank you!

  • Courtesy of Paul Stipkovich.

  • Courtesy of Eric Fahner.

  • Courtesy of Eric Fahner.

  • Courtesy of Paul Stipkovich.

  • Courtesy of Eric Fahner.

 

 

Debra Milgrim-Heath (née Katz) boarding the SS United States with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Emil Katz. Courtesy of D.K. Milgrim-Heath.

I sailed from the NYC docks to Le Havre, France with my parents in April of 1962. They wanted to take me to see Europe in the springtime.

Before she married my father, my mother was a stage actress by the name of Inez Rawlson and a part of the international jet set. My father was famous in his own right; he was the CEO of Emil Katz & Co., a renowned lace import/export company. Thanks to my dad’s company, my parents knew all the top dress designers, and many actors and models. My mom went to all the European fashion shows: Dior, Lanvin, Chanel, Ferragamo, Givenchy, Hermes, to name a few.

One night we got an invitation to sit at the Commodore’s table. I saw the invitation before my parents, dressed myself in my fanciest clothes, and set off to the location on the invitation. My parents searched high and low for me before spotting the invitation and realizing I had gone without them!

Each dinner felt like an occasion, with the getting dressed formally, the many courses of delicious food, and the flaming desserts.

While we were in the English Channel, the ship hit rough water and tilted. I was in the Letter Writing Room when it happened – you could compose your correspondences there, it was stocked with writing supplies as well as photos of the ship – and held onto a decorative column for dear life!

Although I only sailed on the SS United States once, my father was a longtime yearly passenger. The memory of that crossing with my parents will always be special in my heart.

— Debra Milgrim-Heath, former passenger

Pittner05

The Pittner brothers aboard the SS United States, 1955. Courtesy of Michael Pittner.

I was awed by the sheer size of the SS United States when we boarded in Le Havre. I was a mere eleven-year-old lad, and an adventurous one, so the second we were aboard, my goal was to explore the ship from stem to stern. I would return to my parents to tell them where this was located and where that was to be found — I was just bubbly with excitement. I was astonished that a ship could have a swimming pool. I remember distinctly it was filled with salt water, which I didn’t expect when I jumped in. Yuk to the taste, yay to the swimming.

Another thing I loved to do was to lean into the breeze as the SS United States sped along. Shuffleboard? What an odd game, but, there it was. Something to do while racing across the Atlantic. The just-released Disney movie “Lady and the Tramp,” was shown, which was a huge deal to me, although at the time, I spoke zero English!

I thought it was REALLY cool to be able to sleep in a bunk bed (never having seen one of those before). It was fun playing peek-a-boo with my parents who had the bunk below. I remember the extravagant meals, too — coming from a war-torn country, the kinds and  amount of food available was, I felt, only for kings and queens. We actually felt ashamed to eat those luscious meals.

I remember, too, the celebration on the 4th of July, though I had no clue what the fuss was about. There were party hats, music, balloons, outstanding food, and lots of fun. I had no knowledge of a “4th of July,” so I honestly thought the crew and passengers were throwing a party to welcome my family to the USA!

— Michael Pittner, who emigrated from Germany aboard the SS United States in 1955  with his father Eugene, his mother Emma, his fifteen-year-old brother Winfried, and sixteen-year-old brother Norbert

The Pittner family sees the SS United States for the first time. Courtesy of Michael Pittner.

The Pittner family sees the SS United States for the first time. Courtesy of Michael Pittner.

Standing at the gangplank with mouths wide open from amazement of the size of the ship, we were photographed and later received the pictures onboard. Not only was the SS United States beautiful on the outside, but also the interior was wonderful to see, too luxurious for our way of life then.

Michael (our eleven-year-old “pain in the ass”) went on a voyage of discovery throughout the ship. After a short time he knew it from the bottom to the top, he has “taken ownership of it.” We were to leave the Le Havre Port shortly after midnight and, because we were so tired from the many exciting events of the day and the long train trip, we wanted to take a little nap. But we fell so fast asleep that we had not noticed the departure and therefore left old Europe without any fanfare (at least for us).

After breakfast the next morning, we went right on deck. The sea was a bit rough, the sky covered with clouds, and the ship rolled a little, but still one could see in the distance the last European islands disappear.

We ate the finest food for lunch; the head steward — a person from Hamburg — had chosen the food for us because we didn’t know the different names on the menu. There were such chunks of meat on each plate that one portion alone would have made a lunch for all of the residents of the little village in Germany from which we came!

That evening, we looked up the “passenger list,” a book, really, which was printed for each trip. In addition to the alphabetic listing of passenger names and the rank explanations of ship officers, it also was a roadmap for the common areas of all kinds, explaining the varied horns, bells and whistles, the daily programs and all sorts of interesting technical information about the ship itself.

Each day onboard was similar to the one before: games, promenade, swimming, and cinema. As the sun rose over the horizon on our last morning on the ship, we could see islands, fireboats, and in between wisps of fog, the famous Statue of Liberty. Skyscrapers (something we had never seen before, except in books) loomed over the New York skyline and we passed many piers. On the Hudson River we even passed the British steamer Queen Mary. We pulled up along Pier 86 at around 8:00 am.

Being new immigrants, we were the last to be processed by passport control. When we were finally were able to disembark, our luggage was ready to be picked up on the pier and we were able to complete the customs process in short order. Seeing the SS United States one last time was a little bittersweet, because that wonderful ocean liner had been our “home” for five days.

— Eugene Pittner, who emigrated from Germany aboard the SS United States in 1955  with his wife Emma and their eleven-year-old son Michael, fifteen-year-old son Winfried, and sixteen-year-old son Norbert.

Charles W. Cushman Photograph collection Indiana University Archives_manhattans-skyscrapers-from-jersey-city-ferry-boat-1941

Manhattan skyline as seen from a ferry on the Hudson River, 1941. Courtesy of the Charles W. Cushman Photograph Collection/Indiana University Archives.

I came to work at Gibbs & Cox as the result of an employment ad for a “junior typist” in the New York Times. I was told by the manager of the recruitment department that it was the only time such an ad was placed. In spite of my age (either 15 or 16), I was called in, took a typing test, and passed it.

What I didn’t know was that the job required security clearance, and that FBI agents were questioning my neighbors to determine whether I demonstrated any “subversive” qualities. With nothing on my record, and no odd behaviors, I passed that hurdle, too.

I guess it was not generally known that a passenger ship could be converted to a warship, and as I worked with plans, it was imperative that I not photograph them for sale to a possible enemy. It seems funny now, but was obviously viewed by the government as something serious.

Those were the days before computers, of course, so my task was to copy plan numbers by means of an ordinary typewriter. I still remember the head of my unit, who checked my work for complete accuracy, asking if I ever made a mistake. I did, but I corrected them, which was not easy! You had to razor off part of the paper, re-type whichever section contained the error, and hope everything lined up. 

Hour after hour of this, day after day, was not the most exhilarating experience, but it paid .50 a week – a fortune for someone from my economic background. And the office was bright, modern, and congenial. Had I stayed, in a few years I might have risen in the administrative ranks.

Mr. Gibbs, whose appearances in that part of the company were not all that frequent, was an imposing figure to me at my age. I felt a certain amount of awe regarding the job itself, as it was my first real one. When I saw the recent publicity surrounding the efforts to restore the ship and make it beautiful once more, memories of the pride of Gibbs & Cox in the design, and its success as it set the record for crossing the Atlantic, came back to me. 

I’m not one to long for the “good old days,” however. There were no such things. The good days are still ahead of us. 

— Jerrold Ross, junior typist at Gibbs & Cox during the summer of either 1940 or 1941

 

The SS United States Conservancy welcomed over 150 guests at our 2016 Crew Reunion and Celebration, among them, seventeen former crew members, twenty-four former passengers, and several former Gibbs & Cox employees, including one of William Francis Gibbs’ former assistants!

Bill Magee, of MageeMedia Productions, did a remarkable job of capturing the spirit of the event on video. His documentation of the event ensures that stories told by the crew members that day —  and ultimately, the history of the Big U — will be preserved.

Click to watch a short highlights reel that features excerpts from interviews with Joe Orlando, a former Gibbs & Cox employee, and former crew members Joe Rota and Joe Muchulsky, as well as Dan Landau’s stirring performance of “To Every Journey,” his homage to the ship.

Click to watch the director’s cut that includes the entirety of the interviews with “the three Joes,” as well as a bonus interview with former crew member Larry Walker, whose father also worked aboard the SS United States.

The Conservancy also produced a commemorative booklet featuring recollections from former crew members, as well as photos from the ship’s service career. You may access a PDF of that booklet .

Thanks to our dedicated “crew” — both past and present — the reunion was a resounding success. A special thank you is due to Conservancy Board Member Mark Perry, Advisory Council Member Frank Slate Brooks, and Executive Director Susan Gibbs for sponsoring our happy hour reception at the Union League, as well as to Advisory Council Member Sean Edwards for helping us secure the beautiful McMichael Room.

All photos courtesy of .

Conservancy Board Member and former crew member Joe Rota, who was a First Class elevator operator, bellboy (the uniform gives this one away!), waiter, and photographer from 1955 to 1959 and from 1964 to 1965.

SS United States Conservancy New York Chapter Co-Chair Paul Stipkovich waits to board the Spirit of Philadelphia.

Conservancy supporters Dotty Duddy and Maria Mijares pose near the railing of the Spirit of Philadelphia.

Videographer and Conservancy supporter Bill Magee deep in conversation with Conservancy Board Member Mark B. Perry.

Former crew member Renato Pellegrini, who was a First Class waiter in 1967 and 1968.

Advisory Council Member Sean Edwards and his wife Kelly CG Edwards talk with Heinz Bayer, who immigrated to the United States aboard the SS United States.

Former Ship Surgeon Harold Goldfarb in the midst of an interview for the Conservancy's archive of documentary footage.

Former crew member Larry Walker, who worked as a Cabin Class waiter, First Class elevator operator, and Tourist Class bedroom steward on three voyages during the summer of 1968.

Conservancy supporter and former SS United States passenger Carl Wesch.

Zachary Miller. who attended with a large group of his fellow SUNY Maritime College students, prepares for an interview.

Former crew member Robert Sturm, who worked as a Junior Engineer on board the SS United States in 1957, speaks about his recently published book "SS United States: The View From Down Below."

Conservancy Executive Director Susan Gibbs speaking about the ship her grandfather built as the Spirit of Philadelphia passes the SS United States.

All eyes were on the SS United States as the Spirit of Philadelphia passed her on the Delaware River.

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Photo courtesy of Lori Ridington.

In an article for the Asbury Park Press, the docents of the examine the crucial role ocean liners played as troop transports during wartime, and analyze the specifics of what would have been required to convert the SS United States to a troop ship.

“The first order of business in converting a cruise ship to a troop ship was to remove all furniture, art work, pianos, and any luxuries which had been provided for paying passengers. These would be stored somewhere until the need for the troop ship ended, and could be restored to passenger service again.”

Click to read the article in full.

Liz and Tracey Phalen pose in front of the SS United States, March 1963. Courtesy of Tracey Phalen.

Liz and Tracey Phalen pose in front of the SS United States, March 1963. Courtesy of Tracey Phalen.

It was so exciting when we moved away from shore with all the people waving and streamers flying — just like the movies!

We lost about 1 1/2 hours per night for 4 nights, so I had to put our watches ahead before going to bed and had to catch up on sleep with naps.

There were so many activities aboard—I remember I took my girls Liz and Tracey to the Huckleberry Finn movie and they had a ball. Tracey, the baby of the family, was so good too (for a change).

The food was tremendous. They had a menu with so many different selections and everything was delicious. It seemed like we ate all day and we would weigh a ton by the time we reached Bremerhaven.

Liz wore the little black dress to dinner one night and Tracey had hers on also. A lady came over and said, “Your children look adorable!” And they did!

— Joyce Phalen, former passenger, who sailed with her daughters Liz and Tracey, and her husband Rich.

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Film still from “Tow Boat,” courtesy of Charter Weeks and the SS United States Conservancy.

Our principal interest was documentary filmmaking, and in order to get hired to do this, we had to have a sample. So, we decided to film a day in the life of a tow boat in New York Harbor. Moran Towing agreed – honestly, we were hoping they’d give us some money! We spent about six or eight weeks shooting the material, then we put together the film. When we presented it to Moran, they came back to us and said: “Nah, we’re not really interested in spending money on this.”

It was a terribly fun project. One interesting thing that happened was that we had rented a helicopter to film the sequence of maneuvering the SS United States into the harbor. Well, the guy who was in the helicopter accidentally tripped a switch that made the film run backward. What was should be half and hour of footage ended up as less than six minutes. We looked it at like, we have to incorporate this into the finished piece, so with editing, what we did was edit it so when the helicopter video zooms in, it segues into a zoom in along the engine room, then cuts to the coffee cups. That sequence of shots, it was a way to use the limited video we had. The ending, with the shot zooming in on the boat out on the river, that resulted from that complication, too.

The film, what’s called a work print, was largely shot on color negative, which was superimposed on a color positive to create the edited version. You shot thousands of feet of film of which you only use a portion, a typical shooting ratio was about 20:1, meaning for every 20 feet you shot, you used 1. In those days, we cut film on a machine called a Moviola. We didn’t just piece together the film, but also the soundtrack. For Tow Boat, there were eight different tracks for music, voice over, effects, and so on. It took six weeks to cut a twelve-minute film.

One of the ways you can transition from point to point in a film is with a wipe, when the image shifts from one side of the screen to the other. In Tow Boat, during the undocking, the Buena Ventura is pushed from the left to the right, then the footage immediately cuts to the SS United States, almost like a wipe. Moments like that, they’re visual treats.

When we shot the footage, the intended purpose was to raise money! We hoped to get paid, which we did not, but we did get a product to use for future presentation so our company, Chicago Films, could get work. Over time, the project has matured in its connection to the world. I married Marie Harris, whose grandfather, Basil Harris, was the president of United States Lines. Now, I see the footage as a means of preserving the history of the ship in some small way.

— Charter Weeks, photographer and filmmaker, and restorer of the footage

I crossed from New York to Southampton, England on the SS United States in 1956, 1960, and 1965. Dinner and dancing every evening of the journey was a very glamorous environment for a 10-year-old “voyeur” and for a 19-year-old participant, too! The Duke and Duchess of Windsor were on one trip; they were on deck and at dinner frequently. On one crossing, there was a hurricane – velvet ropes were strung along gangways and hallways to steady passengers.

One of my most vivid memories was that on the first day of the return trip, everyone at lunch ordered a hamburger. Most meals in England, even lunches, were elaborate affairs. A quick “American” meal was hard to come by, so a hamburger was the perfect first meal — plain “home” cooking. During that lunch, the band played songs recognizing famous U.S. states and cities: “California, Here I Come,” “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” “New York, New York,” etcetera.

— Mary Anne Cox (née Barry), former passenger

Photo of Mary Anne Barry at age 10, in the white dress on the far right, handing in her bingo card during her 1956 crossing with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Barry. Donated by Mary Anne Cox.

Photo of Mary Anne Barry at age 10, in the white dress on the far right, handing in her bingo card during her 1956 crossing with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Barry. Donated by Mary Anne Cox.

I loved watching the arrivals at ports of call – Le Havre, Cherbourg, Southampton – for all the excitement of entering the harbors with pilot boats and tugs guiding us in and out. Waving crowds and waiting friends added to excitement.

Chasing News_SS US from crew reunion

Reporter Diana Blass covered the Conservancy’s Crew Reunion and Celebration for Chasing News. Click to watch video footage from the event.

 

Arthur Bello, engineer and boiler room operator, is pictured bottom row, fifth person in from the left. Courtesy of Drew Bello.

Arthur Bello, engineer and boiler room operator, is pictured bottom row, fifth person in from the left. Courtesy of Drew Bello.

When Uncle Art was supervising the installation of the propellers, he met William Francis Gibbs.  Art said to Gibbs, “Real fine lines – that’s a beauty!” to which Gibbs responded “That she is.”

He told me that the SS United States had special, secret trials runs where she ran on two engines that peaked at 200 RPM and two that reached 199 and 201 respectively. The ship ran at 1000/1000, meaning 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit with 1,000 pounds of steam pressure. When she went against two naval Destroyers in Cape Henry, Virginia, the Navy’s radar system recorded the 5-mile run — the SS United States blew the Destroyers out of the water. Apparently the Navy then placed restrictive plates, steam chokes, on the engine to reduce the steam going in, thereby decreasing her RPMs. Originally her horsepower was 67,000, but the restrictive plates toned it down.

Art was the second engineer, then eventually into moved to the boiler room. Following the maiden voyage, the SS United States ran on six boilers with thirteen burner total, six on the steam side, seven on the opposite side. When they were all roaring, he said the white heat flames resembled Hell.

My brother passed away in a tragic clubhouse fire when he was just a child. One week later, my father and I were able to board the Big U with my uncle. At the time, I believe my father and I were the only civilians who saw the engine room. Since then, I’ve felt like the ship was my adoptive brother.

— Drew Bello, nephew of Arthur Bello, Second Engineer and Boiler Room Operator

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Courtesy of Ken Landfield/Alaska Dispatch News.

“It’s remarkable how much information is on that sheet of paper, mostly typed with some handwritten notations,” muses Ken Landfield in an opinion piece for Alaska Dispatch News. The piece of paper in question is the ship’s manifest from the voyage that brought Landfield’s parents (and many other passengers) across the Atlantic to the United States.

Click for more from Landfield on the immigrant experience in 1952, American pride, and peanut butter and root beer.

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Having never been aboard the Big U prior to this stint as ship’s surgeon, I was as flummoxed as the newly boarded passengers were about the layout of the ship. After the first three or four lost, puzzled passengers stopped me – dressed in my spiffy officer’s maritime uniform – to ask the location of this or that, I beat a hasty retreat to my cabin to study the ship’s layout. Needless to say, ego conflated with ignorance ensured I quickly learned the SS United States’ layout!

As ship’s surgeon, I took care of the Tourist Class passengers and the crew. Because I was “their” doctor, the crew could not do enough for me. The first evening, when I ordered “hors d’oeuvres and scotch” to my room, a beautiful tray loaded with goodies and a full, unopened 750 ml bottle of Ambassador scotch appeared!

The medical highlight of the trip? I was awakened in the middle of the night by a middle-aged male passenger with acute rectal pain. Examination quickly turned up the cause for this gentleman’s severe “PIA”: a thrombosed hemorrhoid! Although I was an ophthalmology resident, I had spent a full year in a real “cutting” surgical internship, so I felt very comfortable in performing, on the rock and rolling North Atlantic high seas, in the Dispensary Operatory, an I&D (incision and drainage) of his thrombosed hemorrhoid. He was one of the most grateful patients I have ever had in over 50 years of practice.

After 52 and ½ years, my time as ship’s surgeon on the SS United States still stands out as one of the most memorable and determinant experiences of my life. Wonderful captain, wonderful crew, and lots of wonderful experiences with the most interesting passengers. In this relatively early post-WWII era, transatlantic crossings were a pleasurable experience to be savored as part of the unfolding travel experience. Today the “travel” portion so often involves being jammed into claustrophobic Economy Class seats that make “crossing the Pond” an endurance contest, rather than the gracious pleasure that it was aboard the SS United States.”

— Harold Goldfard, M.D., Ship’s Surgeon (May 1964)

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Ensign Starace in dress uniform, 1957. Courtesy of Nicholas Starace.

I still have the pay stub from my very first trip — a whopping 4.61 before taxes, for eighteen days’ work with some overtime. That was big money in those days, certainly more than I had ever dreamed of making.

I served as third assistant engineer on board the SS United States starting in 1957, right after graduating from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. Nick Bachko, then-technical director at U.S. Lines and a Kings Point graduate himself, came to the Academy looking to hire two deck officers and two engineering officers. I was lucky enough to get one of the engineering jobs. I could not have asked for a better steppingstone into my career.

To give you an idea of just how fastidious the owner and crew were about her upkeep and appearance, a “smoke watch” would be posted every time she entered or left New York Harbor, where she drew so much attention. On those days, the order of the day was “NO BLACK SMOKE.” Oil-fired steam boilers that are properly maintained and operated should emit only a light haze. Nothing was to mar the majestic presence of this great lady as she made her way into and out of port along the Hudson River.

A watch-stander was therefore posted on the stack deck to immediately report any black smoke to the engine room. The concern was not for environmental reasons (there wasn’t the sensitivity about that then as there is now), it was primarily a matter of good operating practice, and at U.S. Lines we prided ourselves on the professional manner in which we ran our ships.

If there was black smoke emanating from one or both of her two stacks, we would soon hear about it from the U.S. Lines head office, as the vessel was always observed as she steamed past the office en route to and from her mid-town berth. To be honest I cannot remember if we ever got a reprimand, but the threat kept us on our toes.

— Nicholas “Nick” Starace, Third Assistant Engineer (1957)

SS United States Sun Deck. Courtesy of Anders Johannessen.

SS United States Sun Deck. Courtesy of Anders Johannessen.

“After nearly 47 years in lay-up, SS United States is at a crossroads once again,” writes maritime photographer Anders Johannessen. Johannessen recently visited the ship, and came away with over 100 photographs, which he has generously made available to the public on his site “Cruise/Liner.” He accompanies the photos with his thoughts about the past and present of the SS United States.

To view the full gallery, click .

Courtesy of Joe Rota.

Courtesy of Joe Rota.

I was up in the radio room next to the bridge and there must have been a dozen officers milling around, which was very unusual, and they all had their binoculars and were pointing out the starboard window. I stepped out and saw this submarine surfacing just about a couple of hundred yards off the starboard side. The thing that really surprised me was that she was keeping up with us, and we were doing over 30 knots. This sub came up and surfaced, flashed her light, and then went back down again. She might have been up for a minute.

I said “Wow! What was that all about?” The radio operator called me in and said, “You didn’t see anything.” Later on in the afternoon, the relief man was there, and I said, “You’ve got to tell me what’s going on!” He said, “That was the atomic submarine Nautilus.”And I said, “What did she say? What message did she flash?” And he said, “Happy Birthday.” It turns out an admiral’s wife was on board.

— Joe Rota, who held the positions of First Class Elevator Operator, Bellboy, Waiter, and Photographer, in that order (1955-1959, 1964-1965)

SSUS_NY

From the SS United States Conservancy Archives.

Senior Editor Tom Steighorst explores the unique redevelopment opportunity the SS United States offers.

“To me, it’s one of the most innovative, exciting, unique real estate projects in the country right now,” Executive Director Susan Gibbs told Steighorst. “Because the ship has approximately 500,000 square feet of usable space, one can imagine a variety of very exciting uses of that space.”

To read the article in full, click .

First Class Ballroom_SS US

Photo of the First Class Ballroom courtesy of Robert G. Lenzer.

If you’d like a glimpse into the SS United States in her heyday, look no further than these photos of her midcentury modern interiors.

“The engineering feats of the massive ship were astounding,” writes Melissa Romero for Curbed Philadelphia, “but [William Francis] Gibbs made sure that the interiors were just as impressive. Under his strict orders, everything in the boat save for the grand pianos and butcher blocks had to be 100 percent fireproof.

Interior designer Dorothy Marckwald of the firm Smyth, Urquhart & Marckwald led the design efforts. The 23 public rooms, 395 state rooms, and 14 first-class suites were midcentury modern gems, doused in red, blues, greens, and golds. And keeping in line with Gibbs’ request, wood was absent from any material, instead opting for linoleum floors, and flame-proof furniture.”

Click to view the photos and accompanying article by Romero.

Photo courtesy of Robert Sturm.

Courtesy of Robert Sturm.

Starting as a junior engineer, it felt like entering as a freshman at college. The complexities of the machinery contributed to that feeling, the culture aboard was another factor. It took about three voyages before I began to feel at home.

I eventually completed forty-four voyages, at which point I had a feeling of proprietary membership in a close fraternity of fifty engineers.

 My wife Ruth and I were married four days after I signed off, December 22, 1959.

— Bob Sturm, Junior Engineer (1957-1959)

Photo courtesy of Ed Clayton.

Courtesy of Ed Clayton.

When I was off-duty, I mingled with passengers in the modern, stylish First Class interiors. I never met anyone famous, but I knew when notables were onboard, like John Wayne. The entire ship was unionized, and it was tough to get in. I was considered unlicensed personnel in the Steward’s Department. The best part of working on board the SS United States was her speed – we would be cruising at 32+ knots, even in heavy seas. Just being at sea, that was what I enjoyed most.

— Ed Clayton, Third Baker (Voyages #323, #324 and #325, 1968)

The August 5th joint announcement released by the Conservancy and Crystal Cruises has been covered widely by media sources in the United States and beyond ranging from major print outlets to travel and maritime industry blogs: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and .

Dear Conservancy Supporters:

Today the SS United States Conservancy is sharing with our supporters that our option agreement with Crystal Cruises will not advance. As you know, in February of this year the Conservancy signed an exclusive option agreement with Crystal with the goal of returning the SS United States to seagoing service. Unfortunately, transforming America’s Flagship into a modern, commercial cruise ship in compliance with current international regulations proved too challenging and would have imposed major changes to the ship’s historic design well beyond those initially envisioned.

To our members and supporters from across the country and around the world: we vow to do everything in our power to never “give up the ship.” We remain deeply committed to saving this unique and powerful symbol of the nation’s strength, history, and innovation.  Crystal’s comprehensive assessments of the SS United States determined that the vessel remains in remarkably strong structural condition, as the Conservancy has long contended. That means America’s Flagship still has enormous potential as a stationary mixed-use development and museum in New York or another urban waterfront setting.  We will immediately resume our aggressive outreach to qualified developers and investors to secure the ship’s future.

During the option period, Crystal’s technical team invested significant resources and conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the vessel. These assessments included: underwater inspections of the hull by divers, examinations of her fuel and salt water ballasting tanks, three-dimensional scans of the entire vessel, preparation of a vessel tow plan, and a series of intensive engineering and technical studies. Crystal has generously provided many of these materials to the Conservancy, and these will be invaluable to us as we advance redevelopment alternatives.

We are also grateful to Crystal for providing a significant 0,000 donation to the Conservancy.  Thanks to this contribution – and the continued support from our members – the SS United States is not in immediate danger.

The Conservancy acquired the SS United States five years ago, and together with our generous supporters we saved America’s Flagship from certain destruction. Today more people than ever before are aware of the ship’s plight and potential and they are adamant that we preserve this ship, an iconic national symbol and our sole remaining ocean liner, for generations to come. The next chapter of the SS United States’ story has yet to be written, and I assure you that we are nowhere near ready to turn the final page. We will continue to advance our historic mission, full speed ahead!

The Conservancy was founded in 2004 to educate the public about the historic significance of the SS United States and protect and promote the great liner’s legacy. We are continuing to build our major museum collection and archives to fulfill our curatorial mission. Earlier this year, we announced important acquisitions to our future museum collection, including a rare panel from the ship by artist Charles Tissot and hundreds of artifacts from The Mariners’ Museum of Newport News. Our past partnerships with the Independence Seaport Museum, the Forbes Galleries, and the RMS Queen Mary and our planned collaborations with the Norman Rockwell Museum and the Virginia Museum of Transportation will help us share the ship’s historic legacy with a growing audience.

We are busy planning a national reunion of former crewmembers and passengers (also open to Conservancy members and the public!) to take place in Philadelphia on September 17. Together, we have built a global movement, and while our job is not yet finished, we have a great deal to celebrate. For more information about the event, please click .

Thanks to you, our dedicated and determined supporters, the SS United States remains afloat today. You are the reason she is still with us. We can’t thank you enough for enabling us to preserve and protect the rich history of America’s Flagship. Together, we will continue to work tirelessly to save the SS United States.

In gratitude for your continued support,

Susan Gibbs signature
Susan Gibbs
Executive Director

America’s Flagship Found Structurally Sound But Technical Challenges Prevent Her Return to Modern Seagoing Service

SS United States Conservancy Will Continue To Pursue Redevelopment Opportunities

LOS ANGELES, August 5, 2016 – Following an intensive, six-month evaluation, Crystal Cruises today determined that while the SS United States is structurally sound, the technical and commercial challenges associated with returning the historic liner to service as a modern cruise ship have unfortunately proven insurmountable. As a show of support for the vessel, Crystal Cruises will be making a significant donation of 0,000 to aid in the Conservancy’s ongoing mission to save the ship. The Conservancy intends to resume its pursuit of stationary redevelopment opportunities for America’s Flagship.

In February, Crystal and the SS United States Conservancy announced they had entered into an exclusive option agreement with the goal of converting the iconic 1950s-era vessel into a modern, luxury cruise ship that would comply with all modern safety and technical standards – unprecedented for a single vessel refurbishment. Crystal commenced a comprehensive feasibility study and professional evaluation, convening a world-class team of engineers and experts while incurring over million in costs.

“Over the past six months, Crystal has conducted an extensive feasibility study to restore ‘America’s Flagship’ to oceangoing service. Unfortunately, the hurdles that would face us when trying to bring a 65-year-old vessel up to modern safety, design and international regulatory compliance have proven just too great to clear in both a technically and commercially responsible manner,” said Crystal President and CEO Edie Rodriguez.

“While it has been determined that Crystal’s exciting vision for the ship would have required overcoming various technical hurdles and major changes to her historic design, the studies performed have confirmed the ship is structurally sound,” said Susan Gibbs, Executive Director of the SS United States Conservancy. “America’s Flagship continues to hold enormous potential as a stationary mixed-use development and museum in New York or another urban waterfront setting. The SS United States Conservancy remains deeply committed to saving this unique and powerful symbol of the nation’s strength, history, and innovation.”

Led by retired U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Tim Sullivan, Crystal’s impressive team of maritime experts and engineers conducted numerous assessments on the ship in the Port of Philadelphia, where it has been docked for 20 years. The evaluation and testing included in-depth assessments of the ship’s structural condition; underwater inspections of the hull by divers; the examination of her fuel and salt water ballasting tanks; and a series of intensive engineering studies to deduce what would be needed to bring her back into service.

Regrettably, the technical feasibility study concluded that while the ship is remarkably intact and structurally sound, modifying the ship for today’s standards for oceangoing service (SOLAS) would require significant changes to the hull that would pose stability challenges. Additionally, the installation of a modern, state-of-the-art diesel electric propulsion plant would have necessitated altering of the existing shaft lines and rebuilding about 25 percent of the hull to reconfigure the ship to a twin shaft-twin rudder arrangement. While it was known that the vessel would need to have been essentially rebuilt from the inside out, these specific challenges, among others, collectively posed significant risk to the success of the project.

“Our company has great affection for this historic and irreplaceable vessel, and we will be making a 0,000 donation which will help support the Conservancy preserve the vessel through the remainder of the year,” said Rodriguez. “We firmly believe the SS United States is an American treasure and deserves to be preserved and redeveloped as a stationary destination for future generations to experience and enjoy.”

The Conservancy will immediately restart its aggressive outreach to qualified developers and investors to secure the ship’s future, while continuing its ongoing mission to educate the public about the legacy of the vessel and building its museum collection and archives. A national reunion of former crewmembers and passengers is planned in Philadelphia on September 17.

“The Conservancy is deeply grateful to Crystal Cruises for recognizing the SS United States’ historic importance and for working so hard on the ship’s behalf,” said Gibbs.  “I would also like to thank our members and supporters from across the country and around the world for their continued support. Together we will continue to work tirelessly to save America’s Flagship and honor the legendary liner’s legacy.”

Crystal would like to thank partners and agencies involved in helping complete the feasibility study including: the U.S Coast Guard; Atlantic Logistics; the U.S Environmental Protection Agency; the American Bureau of Shipping; the U.S. Maritime Administration; the Seafarer’s International Union and multiple U.S. Congressional committees. Finally, Crystal urges the public to visit  to help the SS United States Conservancy continue its efforts to save America’s Flagship and advance its educational and curatorial programs to honor the nation’s only remaining ocean liner.

About the SS United States Conservancy

A national nonprofit organization, the  leads the global effort to save and repurpose America’s Flagship, the SS United States.  The Conservancy raises public awareness and financial resources for the maintenance, restoration and ultimate reuse of this iconic vessel and works to ensure that the fastest ocean liner ever to cross the Atlantic remains an inspiration for generations to come.  For more information about the SS United States visit  or on the Conservancy  page.

About Crystal Cruises

Crystal Cruises is the world’s most awarded luxury cruise line, having earned more “World’s Best” accolades than any other cruise line, hotel, or resort in history. Crystal Cruises has won “World’s Best Cruise Ship” in Conde Nast Traveler’s Reader Choice Awards for 22 years; been voted “World’s Best Large Ship Cruise Line” by Travel + Leisure readers for 20 consecutive years; and the “Best Luxury Cruise Line” by Virtuoso for two-consecutive years (2014 & 2015). In summer 2015, Crystal embarked on the most significant brand expansion in the history of luxury travel and hospitality, introducing three new classes of cruising – the recently launched Crystal Yacht Cruises (December 2015), Crystal River Cruises (July 2016), Crystal Exclusive Class Ocean Cruises (late 2018) – and Crystal Luxury Air (March 2016).

Visit crystalcruises.com for more information and join the thousands who follow the Crystal Cruises Facebook page and @crystalcruises on Twitter and Instagram to engage in the conversation with #crystalcruises.

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Eva Heins and her son Eduard J.K. Heins boarding the SS United States in Le Havre. Courtesy of Eva M. Heins.

My husband, Edward J. Heins, Jr., was a crew member on the SS United States for her maiden voyage and sailed on the ship as her chief plumber for some time thereafter. He insisted my son and I come back on the “his ship” after one of my trips to Austria to be with my family. On May 2nd, 1963, my son Eddie (aged 6 at the time) and I embarked on the SS United States from Le Havre to New York.

My husband had given me some names of his former crew members to look up, and once we were settled, I got in touch with them. We were just cabin class passengers, but Eddie and I were given special tours of the ship – we even went “down below” and saw the huge screw turns that powered the big ship. We got to see the majestic first class ballroom lounge, too, with (I believe) the only wooden thing on the ship, the piano. Everything was very elegant and we had superb service. One of my husband’s former acquaintances had worked his way up to Chief Steward, so we did not want for attention. 

The only bad part was that the trip was over all too soon. We crossed the Atlantic back to the U.S. in probably half the time it took us to get to Europe. My husband came to New York to meet us – of course, that also gave him the chance to renew some old friendships.

A crew member named Dan Lanahan, who I believe was by then the Chief Plumber, invited us to his apartment for some more reminiscing. One of the stories told was that of when my husband was called to take care of a problem in Rita Hayworth’s cabin. With Rita being a famous actress and the top glamour girl at that time, he felt compelled to take a souvenir, so he brought her toilet seat back to the shop and hung it on the wall, I guess as a “here sat Rita Hayworth” type tribute!

— Eva Heins, wife of Edward J. Heins, Jr., former Chief Plumber

Joe Muchulsky_first class deck steward_SSUS

Courtesy of Joe Muchulsky.

I caught the end of that bygone era, the age of glamor. The passengers would wear different gowns and tuxedos every night. It wasn’t like today with gals wearing short shorts and flip flops to the lunch table. When the checkered cabs would pull up at Pier 86, they’d roll out the steamer trunks for the passengers that were coming on board. Sailing day was very high energy, you could feel it in the ship. The two days when energy would increase were always arrival and departure.

 When the ship would sail from Manhattan, the whistle would just reverberate and resonate under the West Side Highway, this steel structure, it was just an amazing sound. The cobblestones on the street would actually shake, vibrate, rather, from the frequency of the steam whistle.

— Joe Muchulsky, who held the positions of Assistant Linen Keeper, First Class Deck Steward, Tourist Class Waiter, Cabin Class Waiter, and First Class Waiter, in that order (1966-1969)

Photo courtesy of Alex Keisch, who noted: “The second mate took the enclosed picture and staged it so that we could get the stacks in the background. Anyone familiar with the ship would know that I am shooting the sun into the wheelhouse!”

Photo courtesy of Alex Keisch, who noted: “The second mate took the enclosed picture and staged it so that we could get the stacks in the background. Anyone familiar with the ship would know that I am shooting the sun into the wheelhouse!”

It fell on the cadets to draw the weather map each day. We worked at least an hour transposing the coded numbers into interlacing weather systems on a grid of the North Atlantic. It was all black pen on a white paper background, with one great splash of color: a red, white, and blue stack with a dot placed carefully and precisely on the leading edge. The importance of this red stack can’t be overstated since it marked our new position each day, proudly demonstrating the expanse of ocean we had traversed in the last twenty-four hours. It was the captain’s habit to check this creation of ours each morning — we all thought he was more critical of the care taken in coloring the stack than of the actual information the map revealed.

I was twenty-one years old then, and thought the Big U would always be like it was then. I also thought I would stay twenty-one forever. I was wrong on both counts!

— Alex Keisch, Cadet, SS United States (May 18, 1966-May 31, 1966), Kings Point Class of 1967

Photo courtesy of Miguel Cruz.

Courtesy of Miguel Cruz.

After closing the scullery, we would venture into the First Class galley and pick up a couple of filet mignons, some French bread, a number 10 can of draft beer, and take them back to the aft crew deck below the main deck and watch the seas roll by. Talk about the good life!

 At night we would gather in ‘Times Square,’ the crossroads of the crew quarters, and shoot the breeze. I remember listening to Sandy Saddler, the ship’s athletic director, who was always dressed to the nines, eagerly recounting his epic bouts with Willie Pep. Meeting and getting to know the enormously varied individuals who made up the crew was an eye-opening experience for a kid fresh from high school.

 When I was returning to the ship for a departure from NYC, I always stood on the street at Pier 86 for a moment, just looking directly at the bow of the ship. I don’t think I ever saw a more beautiful manufactured object, a perfect blend of art, engineering, function, and grandeur.

— Kiernan Meaghan, waiter in the Engineering Officers’ mess (1962) and Cabin Class scullery (1963)

United-States-Alexanderson-FeaturedIf the SS United States gets a new captain after all these years, “he or she will have some pretty big shoes to fill,” writes John Edwards. The last captain of the United States was Leroy John Alexanderson, a United States Lines captain and commodore who was master of the ship for the last five years of her service career.

Read the full profile of Alexanderson .

Photo courtesy of Hal Bingaman.

Courtesy of Hal Bingaman.

The most memorable part of the crossing was our near-forty knot speed, slicing through the Gulf Stream. Visiting the engine room was next: a quarter-million horsepower, spinning four long shafts from the power turbines to eighteen foot props; spotlessness everywhere, even in the engine room. The staff of SS United States were bright and efficient, a skilled team in complete harmony. They tended to our daughter’s needs and comforted my wife’s storm-illness.

We had five days and nights of family time — unusual during Cold War military service. One dinner came with a trout fish for my daughter under a silver dome in a swimming pose. But Juliann wouldn’t touch the “pretty fish.” However, I was pleased to do so.

— Harold Bingaman, former passenger and first lieutenant fighter pilot assigned to the Royal Air Force Station Shepherds Grove in Suffolk County (at the time of his voyage).

In this two-page spread, Macaulay examines the interaction between the propeller and the boiler.

Click image to enlarge.

Sketches showing how the propellers, turbines, and boilers worked together to generate power. Click image to enlarge.

Gibbs’ new ship would be driven by four screw propellers each turned by a pair of turbines producing 60,000 horsepower. High temperature, high pressure boilers would superheat the steam to around 900 degrees. This would spin the blades of a high pressure turbine at 5,000 revolutions per minute (rpm). That same steam would then be piped into a larger low pressure turbine, spinning its blades at 3,500 rpm. A set of double reduction gears would link both turbine shafts to a single propeller shaft creating a ideal speed of around 200 rpm. 

Under each low pressure turbine was a condenser containing several hundred closely-spaced tubes through which cold water from below the ship was channeled. When exhausted steam passed between the tubes, it was converted back into water, creating a vacuum that drew more steam into the condenser. Water was collected in a hot well below each condenser and then pumped through various tubes for cleaning and reheating on its way back to the boiler. 

He also compares the Big U’s engine to the Queen Mary’s.

Queen Mary was equipped with single reduction gears. Her engines produced just 40,000 horsepower, she was 30 feet longer, 17 feet wider, 6 feet taller, sat 8 feet deeper in the water, and was 30,000 tons heavier. This was never going to be a fair fight.

Photo courtesy of Beverly Jackson.

Courtesy of Beverly Jackson.

I joined forces with my parents for a going away party held in their stateroom for those who came to see you off. Until I entered my own room and saw flowers everywhere, I confess I was apprehensive that maybe no one would send me any, but all my beaus came through! Then came the time when the party must end: “All ashore who are going ashore!” blasted over the loud speaker and off the visitors went down the gang plank while the orchestra played.

Farewell parties are no longer possible due to strict security measures, but whenever a Crystal Cruise ship leaves port, they play Louis Armstrong singing “What a Wonderful World” – I cannot hear that song anymore without relieving sailing out of places like Elba, Cartagena, Yokohama, Santorini, Shanghai, and best of all, Istanbul at midnight under a full moon.

Back now to the United States about to set sail, steam billowing out of the two red funnels, everyone waving and shouting goodbyes you couldn’t hear, passengers throwing a veritable net of brightly colored paper serpentine streamers over the railing, linking us to those we were leaving behind. Then we heard the grinding of the anchor being hauled up, the churning of machinery deep within the ship in full action, and soon we were sailing past the Statue of Liberty with the skyline of New York City fading fast from our view.

— Beverly Jackson, author and former passenger

Photo courtesy of Paul MacCarthy.

Courtesy of Paul MacCarthy.

It’s a very famous call sign. Whenever you were talking to someone from the ship, anywhere around the world, it was the first thing you would say: this is Superliner United States KJEH. If you were talking to somebody in Dubai, you’d say, “This is Kilo-Juliette-Echo-Hotel.” If you were talking to somebody nearby, you’d say KJEH, because they’d know. It was the night before we arrived on one of the last trip coming across from the UK to New York; for dinner on the last night there were special menus and special music, all the guys would be wearing their best tuxedos, and the women in formal evening dress looking a like a million. A couple came in after dinner, they said to me, “We want to make a call to a very small town in New Jersey, Saddle River — you’ve probably never heard of it.” “Heard of it?” I said, “I live in Upper Saddle River.” It’s a small world.

— Paul MacCarthy, radio operator on the SS United States (1957-1969)

Here we will share firsthand accounts from those whose lives crossed paths with the ship — passengers, crewmembers, shipbuilders, and more. The SS United States touched many lives all over the world, and not always in ways you’d expect. These transmissions from the ship’s past and present ensure the intangible history of the SS United States lives on. By broadcasting stories from individuals with deep connections to the ship, we can transmit her great legacy into the future. Join us, won’t you?

 

From the SS United States Conservancy Archives.

From the SS United States Conservancy Archives.

Cruise Industry News reports on the visit Crystal Cruise Crystal Cruises executives made to the SS United States over the weekend.

Click for a short summary of technical evaluations so far. 

Photo courtesy of Frank Slate Brooks.

Photo courtesy of Frank Slate Brooks.

We invite you to join us for our special summer gathering, hosted by Frank Slate Brooks, Conservancy Advisory Council & Blue Riband Council member, and Southeastern Chapter co-chair.

The evening event will feature outdoor showings of “Lady in Waiting,” ”Bon Voyage,” and other film footage of the SS United States, as well as delicious appetizers and beverages, and plenty of memorabilia from the ship.

Click  for a printable PDF of the invitation.

Please RSVP to  with “summer event” in the email subject line. We hope to see you there!

Dear Conservancy Supporters:

I am writing to thank you for your continued support of the SS United States and to share a brief update on our progress.  As you know, in February the SS United States Conservancy signed an exclusive option agreement with Crystal Cruises in hopes of returning America’s Flagship to seagoing service.  Crystal executives, including President & CEO Edie Rodriguez and her technical advisors, convened in Philadelphia over the weekend to assess progress and plans.  In recent months, Crystal has been evaluating the various technical issues and requirements of the ship’s potential conversion. The historic vessel must be completely re-engineered to comply with modern rules and standards, while retaining her historic profile and visual cues. This is an exhilarating — and challenging — undertaking, and it takes time. Crystal is covering all of the ship’s monthly carrying costs as this feasibility study progresses.

Under the leadership of retired U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Tim Sullivan, Crystal has assembled a truly impressive team of maritime experts and engineers to evaluate how the conversion could best advance. In-depth assessments of the ship’s structural condition have been performed. Underwater divers have conducted inspections of the vessel’s hull, and her fuel and salt water ballasting tanks are also being examined. Evaluations of the various products and materials used in the ship’s construction are ongoing. Because the ship’s original steam powerplant will need to be modernized and replaced, a series of intensive engineering studies are currently underway.

While Crystal’s planning advances, the Conservancy has been building up its curatorial programs. Last month we convened a high-level meeting of curatorial advisors, maritime historians, exhibit designers, and other experts to generate concepts and recommendations for future shipboard displays and an exciting land-based exhibition open to the general public. Highlights from this session will be shared in the coming weeks. We continue to expand our permanent collections, and we obtained a number of fascinating artifacts this spring. We will continue to share highlights of these acquisitions via our member updates and social media. If you don’t already “like” our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter, or subscribe to our electronic newsletter, we encourage you to do so!  We also hope to see many of you next month at our special summer gathering in Greensboro, North Carolina, hosted by Blue Riband Council member Frank Slate Brooks.

In closing, we can’t thank you enough for  of the SS United States Conservancy: your donations and membership contributions are vital in sustaining our ongoing preservation and curatorial efforts.  We will keep you posted as plans for the ship’s restoration — and our future shipboard and land-based exhibitions and programs — continue to advance.

As William Francis Gibbs liked to say: “Here’s to the everything you want doubled, good health, and the Big Ship!”

Susan Gibbs signature
Susan Gibbs
Executive Director

Photo courtesy of Byron Huart.

Although Byron Huart, maritime historian and photographer, travels the world documenting ships, the SS United States will always hold a special place in his heart. “Whenever I’m in Philly, I always go down to photograph her at sunrise or sunset,” Huart told Philadelphia Tribune staff writer Bobbi Booker. “I consider the SS United States a ship that has cheated death many times.”

“I’ve visited the ship, toured it, documented and photographed the ship many times,” he said. “The ship was built like a battleship.” He believes she deserves a renaissance since “there will never be another ship like her again.”

Huart has produced over 200 video features, thousands of photographs, and numerous articles featured in publications such as Maritime Matters, Cruise Business Review and the 75th anniversary edition of PowerShips magazine. “It is important because I represent the future, and I want to inspire more young people to go out there and do what I do,” Huart said. “The mission I’ve embarked on is bigger than going out there and taking pictures of ships: it’s documenting history that no one else is willing to go out and do.”

Photo courtesy of Byron Huart.

A new exhibit by Huart, “City of Ships: A Photo Exhibition,” is on display through July 1st at the National Lighthouse Museum at Lighthouse Point, Staten Island, New York. To read the full article on Huart, and view more of his work, click .

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The SS United States in her current berth in Philadelphia. Photo by Shana Gray.

Hugh Lessig of the Daily Press covers the Conservancy’s recent acquisition of over 600 artifacts, and how that will further the Conservancy’s education and preservation goals. Lessig notes that in tandem with the ongoing option agreement with Crystal, the Conservancy is focused on developing a land-based exhibitions to tell the story of the SS United States in more detail.

“After reviewing the entirety of our SS United States collection, we felt that these donated artifacts would better serve the SS United States Conservancy in telling the story of this historic ship,” said Elliot Gruber, president and CEO of The Mariners’ Museum and Park.

The article also features a photo gallery showing images of the SS United States in her current condition, as well as 3-D views of some of the interior spaces (courtesy of Gibbs & Cox Maritime Solutions). 

Read the Daily Press article .

The Mariners’ Museum of Newport News Makes Major Donation of Furniture, Fittings, Artwork, and Historic Photos as SS United States Conservancy Advances Museum Plans

WASHINGTON DC — Continuing its commitment to protect and showcase the legacy of America’s Flagship, the SS United States, the SS United States Conservancy is proud to announce the acquisition of more than 600 artifacts to its growing curatorial collection.  The generous donation of artwork, fittings, furniture, and historic documents from the ship was made by The Mariners’ Museum of Newport News, VA, as well as the Dr. Sarah E. Forbes Collection, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Hunnicutt III, and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

The donation comes less than two months after the Conservancy announced it has entered into an exclusive option agreement with Crystal Cruises, with the goal of returning the SS United States to service as the world’s fastest luxury ocean liner.  The announcement received international media attention.  At that time the Conservancy also revealed its plans to develop a land-based museum and exhibitions about the ship’s history and broader themes of design and innovation.

“As we ramp up our museum planning and expand our permanent collections, this extraordinary donation helps ensure that the legacy of America’s iconic flagship will inspire for generations to come,” said Susan Gibbs, Executive Director of the SS United States Conservancy. “The Mariners’ Museum continues to be a wonderful partner in our efforts to save the United States. These original items from the ship represent irreplaceable examples of her innovative design features, and they also pay tribute to the people who made this ship a global Ambassador for our nation.”

The new additions to the Conservancy’s collection include fittings and furniture used aboard the ship, as well as advertisements, documents, commemorative materials, glassware, silverware, tableware, models, photographs, and artwork.

“After reviewing the entirety of our SS United States collection, we felt that these donated artifacts would better serve the SS United States Conservatory in telling the story of this historic ship,” said Elliot Gruber, President and CEO of The Mariners’ Museum.

Many of the donated items from the SS United States had originally been displayed at the renowned Windmill Point Restaurant located in North Carolina’s Outer Banks and owned by Newport News physician, the late Dr. Sara E. Forbes.  The Forbes collection was donated to The Mariners’ Museum in 2008.

“We felt the best way to honor Dr. Forbes’ legacy was to reunite a large portion of her SS United States collection with the ship she loved so much”, said Jeanne Willoz-Egnor, Director of Collections Management at The Mariners’ Museum.  “I know she would be thrilled to hear about the exciting plans being made for its future.”  Mr. and Mrs. Hunnicutt donated glassware used on board the ship.

The Mariners’ Museum also donated a serving cabinet from the First Class Dining Room, several structural items that were given to the museum by Frederic Gibbs, brother of the ship’s designer William Francis Gibbs, as well as a medallion commemorating the ship’s maiden voyage.

The donation includes a series of spectacular black and white photographs by Albert W. Durant of the SS United States during its Top Secret trial runs in early 1952. The photographs taken by Durant, Williamsburg, Virginia’s first African American city-licensed photographer, depict African-American kitchen staff and stewards aboard the SS United States. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s John D. Rockefeller Library also owns a set of the images and was the original source of the donation.

The Conservancy is continuing to expand its collections of objects and ephemera related to the historic vessel for eventual display as part of a permanent exhibition.  It is also collecting oral histories from former officers, crew members and passengers, and is planning a reunion in early summer.  For more information, please contact the Conservancy at .

About the SS United States Conservancy
A national nonprofit organization, the SS United States Conservancy leads the global effort to save and repurpose America’s Flagship, the SS United States.  The Conservancy raises public awareness and financial resources for the maintenance, restoration and ultimate reuse of this iconic vessel and works to ensure that the fastest ocean liner ever to cross the Atlantic remains an inspiration for generations to come.  For more information about the SS United States visit www.ssusc.org or the Conservancy’s Facebook Page. 

About The Mariners’ Museum and Park
The Mariners’ Museum and Park connects people to the world’s waterways through exploration and engaging experiences. The organization is an educational, non-profit institution accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and preserves and interprets maritime history through an international collection of ship models, figureheads, paintings and other maritime artifacts. The Mariners’ Museum has been designated by Congress as “America’s National Maritime Museum.” For hours and information, visit MarinersMuseum.org

Media Contacts

Tom Basile
SS United States Conservancy

917-579-2216
Crystal Breede
The Mariners’ Museum

757-591-7713

tissot_SSUSFirstClassPrivateRestaurant1

The stunning Charles Lin Tissot panels as they appeared in their heyday in the SS United States’ private dining room.
(Photo courtesy of the Carl Weber collection).

The Conservancy has been moving forward “full speed ahead” with its curatorial and historic preservation programs. We are delighted to share that we’ve acquired an important panel designed by artist Charles Lin Tissot that originally hung in the SS United States‘ private dining room — the most exclusive dining area aboard the Big U. The panel, known as the “Snowflake Crystal Montage,” features crystal sculptures mounted on highly polished aluminum sheets.

The acquisition of the panel was made possible by generous donations from Conservancy supporters Mario Alvarez-Garcillan, Frank Books, and Carl Wesch. Conservancy board members Charles Anderson, Bob Forbes, Susan Gibbs, and Mark Perry also contributed generously. We are deeply grateful to Carl Wesch for bringing the panel to our attention and for galvanizing the efforts that culminated in the acquisition. Keith Harper, of Gibbs & Cox, provided additional support.

Acquiring this extraordinary Tissot panel is a significant achievement for the Conservancy and advances our ongoing mission of building our permanent collection of SS United States‘ art, artifacts and archives.

  • Tissot panel acquired by the Conservancy.

  • A close up of the artist's signature, also visible in the bottom right corner of the image above.

    A close up of the artist's signature, also visible in the bottom right corner of the image above.

  • This photo of passengers seated in front of the panel gives a sense of its size and presence.

    This photo of passengers seated in front of the panel gives a sense of its size and presence.

Macaulay exhibition_video still

Video still courtesy of United States Lines.

The SS United States Conservancy and the  in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, are partnering with renowned author/illustrator and Conservancy Advisory Council Member, on a very exciting exhibition “Superliner United States Writes Headlines” slated to be unveiled in fall 2017.

This short shares highlights of David Macaulay’s forthcoming book about America’s Flagship, as well as the vessel’s designer, William Francis Gibbs. The interviews take place in Macaulay’s studio and aboard the SS United States, where he dives into the ship’s magnificent history and recounts his personal connection with the ocean liner. Further information on the exhibition will be shared as the opening approaches — in the meantime, enjoy this fantastic interview!

The SS United States docked in Philadelphia. Photo by Stephen Mallon.

The SS United States docked in Philadelphia. Photo by Stephen Mallon.

National Geographic perfectly captures the SS United States‘ magnificence and historical significance in a beautifully-illustrated story written by Robert Kunzig and photographed by Stephen Mallon.

“If the United States were a building, it would be a National Historical Landmark. If it were an airplane, it would be in the Smithsonian. Because it’s an ocean liner -— and surely one of the most beautiful, with its gracile lines and stacks swept back as if by the wind — it’s tied up at a pier on the Delaware River, between freighters offloading fruit and cocoa. When you stand on its bow today, you gaze not at foaming Atlantic breakers but across Christopher Columbus Boulevard at a Longhorn Steakhouse and a Lowe’s home improvement store…Against all odds, it now has a chance to return to sea.”

Read the National Geographic article .

Crystal Cruises President and CEO Edie Rodriguez (left) and Conservancy Executive Director Susan Gibbs (right) with Fox and Friends co-hosts

Crystal Cruises President and CEO Edie Rodriguez (left) and Conservancy Executive Director Susan Gibbs (right) on the set of Fox and Friends

Fox and Friends interviewed Conservancy Executive Director Susan Gibbs and Crystal Cruises President and CEO Edie Rodriguez. They discussed what the latest option-agreement has in store for America’s Flagship, and how the Conservancy’s mission to preserve her artifacts is more important than ever.

“This ship has incredible history,” said Gibbs. “To experience the history, the grandeur, will be a unique experience. The Conservancy is passionate about preserving that history, serving as stewards of that history in partnership with Crystal, as well as developing a land-based museum to curate this ship’s amazing history.”

Watch the full clip .

The Conservancy’s announcement that it has entered into an option agreement with Crystal Cruises to bring the SS United States back into service in tandem with the Conservancy’s ongoing curatorial and historic preservation programs received worldwide media attention.

National television coverage included Conservancy Executive Director Susan Gibbs and Crystal Cruises President and CEO Edie Rodriguez appearing on as well as a story on .

Print stories ran in outlets through the nation, including , , the , , , and .

The Conservancy’s announcement that it has entered into an option agreement with Crystal Cruises to bring the SS United States back into service in tandem with its ongoing curatorial and historic preservation programs received worldwide media attention.

The news about the SS United States’ momentous milestone went global, with stories in many international outlets. You can read the articles here: , , , (Italy), and (Argentina).

The Conservancy’s February 4 announcement that it has entered into an option agreement with Crystal Cruises to bring the SS United States back into service received extensive news coverage throughout many media outlets.

While the breaking news was covered by hundreds of television and print outlets all over the world, many travel and maritime websites and blogs also joined in and covered the news. You can read the articles and blogs here: , , , , , (February 6 podcast, first hour, 24:50), , , and Mark B. Perry’s .

PLANS ANNOUNCED TO RESTORE AMERICA’S FLAGSHIP

Crystal signs exclusive purchase option agreement to begin work on returning the historic vessel to service as the fastest cruise vessel in the world

 

NEW YORK, February 4, 2016 – Already in the midst of the most significant expansion in the company’s celebrated history, Crystal Cruises’ next step in expanding its award-winning fleet is truly an historic endeavor. Together with the SS United States Conservancy, Crystal today announced it will save “America’s flagship,” the SS United States, and embark on the enormous undertaking of bringing the ship into compliance with the latest standards, and returning her to oceangoing service. During the announcement, made at a press conference at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal in New York City, Crystal also committed to covering all costs associated with preserving the ship while undertaking a technical feasibility study, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.

“The prospect of revitalizing the SS United States and reestablishing her as ‘America’s Flagship’ once again is a thrilling one. It will be a very challenging undertaking, but we are determined to apply the dedication and innovation that has always been the ship’s hallmark,” says Crystal President and CEO Edie Rodriguez. “We are honored to work with the SS United States Conservancy and government agencies in exploring the technical feasibility study so we can ultimately embark on the journey of transforming her into a sophisticated luxury cruise liner for the modern era.”

“Crystal’s ambitious vision for the SS United States will ensure our nation’s flagship is once again a global ambassador for the highest standards of American innovation, quality and design,” said Susan Gibbs, executive director of the SS United States Conservancy and granddaughter of the ship’s designer, William Francis Gibbs. “We are thrilled that the SS United States is now poised to make a triumphant return to sea and that the ship’s historical legacy will continue to intrigue and inspire a new generation.”

In order to meet modern demands and be in full regulatory compliance, the SS United Stateswill have to be extensively re-built to meet over 60 years of new maritime rules and shipbuilding practices. The modern United States by Crystal Cruises will be transformed into an 800-guest-capacity vessel, featuring 400 luxurious suites measuring about 350 square feet with dining, entertainment, spa and other luxury guest amenities that are true to the ship’s storied history. Features of the original SS United States such as the Promenade and Navajo Lounge will be retained, while new engines and sophisticated marine technology will be installed to maintain her title as the fastest cruise vessel in the world.

Adds Rodriguez: “It is truly a privilege for the world’s most awarded luxury cruise line to be entrusted with the opportunity of restoring a ship that served as a symbol of patriotism and maritime supremacy and bring her into the modern day, while also giving guests a taste of a bygone era of luxury travel.”

Crystal will be examining exciting new itineraries for the 60,000-gross-ton United States by Crystal Cruises including not only the traditional transatlantic voyages from New York City, but cruises from key U.S. ports as well as international voyages around the globe which are a signature offering of Crystal and part of the line’s “World Cruise.”

The epitome of American post-war innovation and design, the SS United States was launched in 1952 and captured the transatlantic speed record on her maiden voyage – a record to this day that still stands. She remains the largest passenger ship ever designed and built in America. Before her retirement in 1969, the SS United States was the most glamorous and elegant ship in the world, having transported four U.S. presidents, international royalty, many of Hollywood’s “golden era” celebrities, as well as a million passengers. While the ship captivated travelers with its features and elegance, the ship’s origin was equally intriguing. She was designed as part of a top-secret Pentagon program during the Cold War, which stipulated it could be quickly converted from a luxury liner into a naval troopship in the event of a war, carrying 15,000 troops with a 240,000 shaft horsepower propulsion plant capable of traveling 10,000 nautical miles – almost half way around the globe – without refueling.

In October 2015, the SS United States Conservancy’s Board of Directors announced that the persistent challenge of covering the vessel’s monthly expenses had compelled them to engage a ship broker to explore the potential sale of the ship to be responsibly recycled. This news resulted in an outpouring of public support worldwide and led to the Conservancy raising additional funds which enabled the organization to continue its preservation efforts and pursue negotiations with potential investors and partners.

“The Conservancy could never have reached this momentous milestone without the lifeline provided by our supporters from across the country and around the world. Thousands responded to our SOS last October and they refused to give up the fight for America’s Flagship,” continued Gibbs.

To facilitate the complex technical feasibility study and to ensure a smooth execution of the project, Crystal has appointed retired U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Tim Sullivan to build and lead a team with a wide range of cruise line technical, legal and regulatory expertise. With 36 years of active service, Admiral Sullivan has extensive experience in ship operations as a Commanding Officer of numerous Coast Guard cutters, and over the years has engaged in high level of interaction with a myriad of U.S. government agencies and international regulatory entities.

“Tim’s integrity and leadership will help ensure the feasibility study is conducted with appropriately wide consultation, and rigorous adherence to both safety and environmental awareness,” said Rodriguez.

The Conservancy will continue to expand its curatorial and archival collections as it advances its mission of educating the public about the SS United States‘ history. The organization will work with Crystal to establish shipboard displays and other educational programs. Planning is also underway for a land-based museum dedicated to preserving the legacy of America’s Flagship along with broader design, innovation, and discovery themes.The museum will feature a wide range of original artifacts and historic components from the ship’s heyday.

Read Conservancy Executive Director Susan Gibbs’ prepared remarks .

About SS United States Conservancy
A national nonprofit organization, the SS United States Conservancy leads the global effort to save and repurpose America’s Flagship, the SS United States. The Conservancy raises public awareness and financial resources for the maintenance, restoration and ultimate reuse of this iconic vessel and works to ensure that the fastest ocean liner ever to cross the Atlantic remains an inspiration for generations to come. For more information about the SS United States visit  or on the Conservancy Facebook Page.

About Crystal Cruises
Crystal Cruises is the world’s most awarded luxury cruise line, having earned more “World’s Best” accolades than any other cruise line, hotel, or resort in history. Crystal Cruises has won “World’s Best Cruise Ship” in Conde Nast Traveler’s Reader Choice Awards for 22 years; been voted “World’s Best Large Ship Cruise Line” by Travel + Leisure readers for 20 consecutive years; and the “Best Luxury Cruise Line” by Virtuoso for two-consecutive years (2014 & 2015). In summer 2015, Crystal embarked on the most significant brand expansion in the history of luxury travel and hospitality, introducing three new classes of cruising – the recently launched Crystal Yacht Cruises (December 2015), Crystal River Cruises (July 2016), Crystal Exclusive Class Ocean Cruises (late 2018) – and Crystal Luxury Air (March 2016).

Visit crystalcruises.com for more information and join the thousands who follow the Crystal Cruises Facebook page and @crystalcruises on Twitter and Instagram to engage in the conversation with #crystalcruises.

 

 

The following statement was released by the Conservancy today:

“The Conservancy is planning to make on announcement on February 4 about the future of the SS United States. Unfortunately, we can’t provide additional information at this time, but more information will be released in the coming days. We can’t thank you enough for your continued support and enthusiasm as momentum continues to build on behalf of America’s Flagship.”

The story was covered by AP. You can read the full article 

We are thrilled to announce an exciting and generous challenge grant from a supporter who has requested anonymity. This supporter has committed ,000 to the Conservancy – if we can match it dollar for dollar!

Funds raised will support the conservancy’s crucial preservation efforts and help us build the conservancy’s permanent curatorial collection of SS United States art and artifacts. Momentum continues to build in support of america’s flagship and the conservancy is deeply grateful for such generous support. Donations of any size can be made 

We would also like to thank everyone who contributed so  generously to the Conservancy’s year-end annual appeal. We continue to process these donations and will share a summary once they have been tallied. Your contributions have been indispensable as we continue to keep the ship safely afloat.
 
In sum, 2016 promises to be a momentous year for the SS United States, and we can’t thank you enough for your continued support. ”

You can read the full announcement in the conservancy’s e-newsletter 

December 2015 – Soundings Magazine’s Mary South covers the SS United States

 

The SS United States Conservancy was recently featured in Soundings Magazine. The story covers the history and magnificent beauty of the SS United States from her glorified beginnings as America’s Flagship, to her lonely days at Pier 82.

You can read the full article .

Historic cruise ship gets 0,000 lifeline as preservationists save it from scrapyard November 25, 2015 – Fox News

 

The SS United States Conservancy was recently featured in Fox News. The Conservancy’s fundraising efforts were profiled as well as the Conservancy’s progress and recent success in fending off a trip to the scrapyard.

 

You can read the full article .

Donations save the iconic SS United States from the scrapyard November 25, 2015 – Daily Mail

 

The SS United States Conservancy was recently featured in Daily Mail. The Conservancy’s fundraising efforts were profiled as well as the Conservancy’s progress and recent success in fending off a trip to the scrapyard.

 

You can read the full article .

Donations Help the S.S. United States Fend Off the Scrapyard Novemeber 24. 2015 – The New York Times

 

The SS United States Conservancy was recently featured in The New York Times. The Conservancy’s fundraising efforts were profiled as well as the Conservancy’s progress and recent success in fending off a trip to the scrapyard.

 

You can read the full article .

RALLYING AROUND OUR FLAGSHIP: SS UNITED STATES RECEIVES MAJOR DONATIONS, CONSERVANCY BOARD REJECTS SCRAP BIDS

Organization Working to Save and Repurpose America’s Flagship Announces More than 0,000 Raised in Seven Weeks

Critical Funds Give Ship More Time Afloat as Redevelopment Negotiations Continue

WASHINGTON DC… November 24, 2015 – In early October, the  was  from being forced to sell America’s Flagship to a recycler. However, thanks to the generosity of supporters from around the world to the campaign,we are pleased to announce that we have raised sufficient funds to keep the ship afloat well into next year.  The Conservancy had announced last month that it had retained a broker to explore the ship’s sale to a U.S.-based recycler because of the financial burdens imposed by the 1,000-foot-long liner’s monthly expenses.The Conservancy acquired the SS United States in 2011 and has been working to convert the historic vessel into a mixed-use museum and development complex.

Thanks to several major donations, as well as additional contributions from more than 800 supporters, the Conservancy’s Board of Directors voted late Monday not to accept any of the three bids submitted by the recyclers. The Conservancy has now raised well over 0,000 since it issued last month’s SOS, including two 0,000 gifts and a 0,000 donation. The Conservancy’s board was also encouraged by recent progress on the redevelopment front.“People from the world over have sent a loud and clear message that the SS United States must not be destroyed,” stated Susan Gibbs, the Conservancy’s Executive Director. “From a 6th grader named Thomas in Florida who sent in a bill along with a wonderful drawing of the ship in red, white, and blue magic marker, to our three extraordinary leadership donors, the outpouring of support has been incredibly encouraging.The SS United States has been given a temporary lifeline, and we are now powerfully positioned to advance our shared goal of saving America’s Flagship for future generations.”

As a result of the campaign, which was covered in  in dozens of countries, the Conservancy’s ongoing redevelopment negotiations have also gained new momentum.  Prior to October’s SOS campaign launch, the Conservancy had already identified two potential locations that could accommodate the vessel, and new investor interest in recent weeks has introduced new possibilities and programming concepts for the historic liner. “Several qualified partners have recently made site visits with their engineers, architects and executives,” said Gibbs.”The possibilities for the SS United States’ revitalization are truly exciting.”

The 0,000 donation was made by a West Coast supporter, who expressed his desire to remain anonymous. In a statement to the Conservancy’s Board he said: “Letting the SS United States go to the breakers would be like letting the Statue of Liberty be melted down and turned into pennies. Unthinkable.Imagine a future in which this incredible, one-of-a-kind symbol of American know-how has been preserved, ready to be experienced by visitors of all ages.”

Former SS United States deck officer Richard O’Leary also stepped up and contributed 0,000 to the effort.  “I believe strongly that the Conservancy’s effort must succeed,” stated O’Leary.  “This ship represents a grand example of what Americans can accomplish. To illuminate her red, white and blue stacks once again would serve as a gleaming and powerful symbol and would showcase the greatness of this country.  I invite others to join me in supporting this important cause.”

Cruise industry executive Jim Pollin, whose generous contributions and challenge grant in 2014 helped keep the ship afloat and saved one of its propellers, also contributed 0,000.  “The SS United States has again inspired people around the world to action,” Pollin said.  “What message would it send to the world if we allowed one of our soaring national symbols to be destroyed?  We can’t let that happen. We must save our Flagship.”

With the ship’s immediate future secured, the Conservancy will continue its ongoing negotiations with existing and new developers who are actively engaged in exploring options for the ship’s adaptive reuse.”This immediate lifeline gives us crucial time to finalize a redevelopment agreement that will secure a long-term sustainable solution for the ship,” said Gibbs.  “We are more confident now than we have ever been that we will finally achieve our goal and bring new life to this great symbol of American history, design, and innovation.”

 

Read the  coverage of this breaking news! 

The Conservancy is very pleased to announce receipt of a major in-kind donation: . and  have teamed up to offer expert cathodic protection support to the SS United States.   

 

All steel-hulled ships are at risk of corrosion because of complicated chemical reactions that occur when metals meet water, and these galvanic threats can be minimized by installing “sacrificial anodes” – electrochemically active metals – on the ship’s hull. Thankfully, the brackish water of the Delaware River has minimized these threats, and the hull of the SS United States remains strong.  However, this support from and  will include an in-depth assessment and provide additional protection as the ship is readied for redevelopment.

 

Texas-based Anode Solutions and Anode Systems Company, founded in 1984 in Grand Junction, Colorado, protect a number of the nation’s great historic ships, including Battleships Texas and New Jersey, the USS Midway, USS Intrepid, and RMS Queen Mary.  The Conservancy is deeply grateful to Hans Schmoldt of Anode Systems and Lance Thomas of Anode Solutions for their generous support.  They are truly helping us keep the SS United States afloat!

1f8ad1ce-16f4-477c-8c3f-44e02ad14f74 c5c8607c-a0b3-4cc5-a239-a5886c2482d5 Image courtesy of New York Chapter C0-chair Paul Stipkovich

Image courtesy of New York Chapter C0-chair Paul Stipkovich

Although never called into duty, the SS United States was always at the ready to serve her country in the event of war. Designed for quick transformation from luxury liner to troop carrier, the SS United States could transport 15,000 troops 10,000 miles without refueling!


This past Veteran’s Day, our New York Chapter marched in “America’s Parade” in New York City – we could not have been more proud. New York Chapter members who escorted the Big U’s mighty funnels down 5th Avenue included Ely, Michael, William, Ralph, Cassie, Janette, Donald, Jaye, Carl, Glenn, Susan (and friend), Delia, Paul and Freddie.  The Conservancy also thanks board member Dan McSweeney, United War Veterans Council President, for providing us with this opportunity. Check out the photos below of our wonderful supporters who went above and beyond!


To our nation’s veterans and active-duty soldiers – we salute you!

 


Photos courtesy of Byron Huart

At the beginning of October, the SS United States Conservancy’s Board of Directors made the difficult decision to engage a broker to explore the possible sale of the SS United States. That decision was made in an effort to ensure that our organization was being as financially responsible as possible given the persistent challenge of covering the vessel’s ,000 monthly carrying costs. Since that time, there has been an outpouring of support worldwide that demonstrates the enduring importance of America’s Flagship to a growing, global community. The ship has garnered major media attention from outlets at the local, national, and international levels. While the numbers are not yet final, the Conservancy has raised well over 0,000 as a result of this global call to action. These resources have given us some additional time to advance our redevelopment plans in conjunction with several potential partners. Those discussions and negotiations have picked up momentum in recent weeks as well.

This progress has been made thanks to your commitment, and we are still compiling the necessary information to help the Board fully and responsibly evaluate our current situation from a financial and redevelopment standpoint. As a result, the Board has opted to defer any additional determination about the ship’s immediate future until later this month.

Clearly, your continued backing has given us some flexibility in our timing. During this week and next, we hope to further build on the momentum created over the past month to extend the life of the ship and to advance our ongoing efforts to ultimately save her. The recent outpouring of public and media support is a testament to the viability of our shared goals for America’s Flagship. We are profoundly grateful for all you have done, and we ask that you continue to help us build momentum during this crucial time.

  • A Star Spangled Fundraiser

  • Blue Riband Council and Advisory Council member Frank Slate Brooks & performer Marc Jonson

  • Musician Dan Landau

  • Conservancy board member & executive committee chair Frank DeGiulio looking at silent auction

  • Event sponsor: Whistle Pig

  • Event chair and Advisory Council member Sean Edwards (center) with fiancee Kelly Ganczarz, and the Union League's Stuart Mahan

  • Conservancy supporter Marie Prewett, Florida chapter chair Andy Herndan, Mary Herndan

  • Blue Riband honoree Ray Griffiths

  • Blue Riband Outreach Award winners - Paul Stipkovich and Bill Magee

  • Conservancy board member Kevin Billings with Real Admiral Mark Buzby

  • Susan Gibbs, Joe Rota, and Taylor Zappone join event performers Marc Jonson (center left), Dan Landau (center right), and Rachel Neitzke (far right)

  • Paul Stipkovich, Carl Wesch, Mario Alvarez-Garcillan, Bill Magee, and former crewmember Jim Green (L to R)

We would like to thank everyone who joined us at the Conservancy’s “Star-Spangled Fundraiser” at Philadelphia’s historic Union League on October 29.  The event raised crucial funds for the SS United States and drew Conservancy supporters from as far away as Spain, California, Hawaii, Florida, and Illinois. The event drew nine Conservancy chapter chairs from across the country and Europe, and beloved Southeastern US chapter chair, Jordan Morris, was with us in spirit.  We were also honored to have former crew members in attendance, including Joe RotaJim Green, and Alex Keisch.

The evening’s highlights included soaring musical perfomances of original songs inspired by the SS United States by renowned musicians Marc Jonson and Dan Landau.  Rachel Neitzke’s dance performance to Dan Landau’s “To Every Journey” was spellbinding.

The night would not have been made possible without our supporters and sponsors!  Event chair and Conservancy Advisory Council member Sean Edwards was the star of the evening–we remain profoundly grateful for his initiative and support. We also thank leadership donor Frank Slate Brooks for his enduring commitment to saving the SS United States.

 

Huge thanks to our event sponsors:

 

Dr. Marie Prewett,  Kevin Billings, Atlantic Logistics, Shady Brook Farms, Typetanic Fonts, Cardno, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Williamette Valley Vineyards, Broker’s London Dry Gin, WhistlePig Straight Rye Whiskey, Woodford Reserve,  Zonin1829 Wine, & Flying Fish Brewing Co.

 

Thank you to all the contributors to the event’s silent auction and raffle, including:

 

Kyle Ober, Dotty Duddy, Independence Seaport Museum, Maria Mijares, Mario Alvarez-Garcillán, Laura. D Zajac & LDZ Design, Ted Piersol & Honeybrook Gold Club, Paul Stipkovich, Glenn Lappin, and Christopher Moody & Life Celebrations Services. 

Congratulations to Paul Stipkovich and Bill Magee for receiving the Conservancy’s special awards for their ongoing outreach on behalf of the SS United States.  Ray Griffiths and his colleagues at Atlantic Logistics were also honored for their outstanding work on keeping the ship safe and secure at her Philadelphia pier.

Again, we can’t thank you enough for your support!  Momentum is truly building to Save the United States!

Photos courtesy of Kyle Ober

 

Time running on piece of American history October 26, 2015 – NBC News

The SS United States Conservancy was recently featured on NBC News. The Conservancy’s fundraising efforts were profiled as well as the Conservancy’s progress and urgent challenges as an end-of-month deadline looms.

You can view the full video

Time running on piece of American history October 23. 2015 – Fox News

The SS United States Conservancy was recently featured on Fox News. The Conservancy’s fundraising efforts were profiled as well as the Conservancy’s progress and urgent challenges as an end-of-month deadline looms.

You can view the full video

Legendary ocean liner faces scrapheap without new funds October 20. 2015 – Yahoo News (AFPTV)

The SS United States Conservancy was recently featured in Yahoo News (AFPTV). The Conservancy’s fundraising efforts were profiled as well as the Conservancy’s progress and urgent challenges as an end-of-month deadline looms.

You can read the full article .

Iconic ship in danger of being scrapped, could seek N.Y. move October 20. 2015 – New York Daily News

The SS United States Conservancy was recently featured in New York Daily News. The Conservancy’s fundraising efforts were profiled as well as the Conservancy’s progress and urgent challenges as an end-of-month deadline looms.

You can read the full article .

Luxusliner “SS United States”: Das Ende des Kennedy-Dampfers October 19. 2015 – Spiegel Online

The SS United States Conservancy was recently featured in German Language Spiegel Online. The Conservancy’s fundraising efforts were profiled as well as the Conservancy’s progress and urgent challenges as an end-of-month deadline looms.

You can read the full article .



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