History of the Queen Mary

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Built in the United Kingdom in the 1930s, the Queen Mary’s history includes the Great Depression and the World War II. Built as an ocean liner for $700 million dollars, the ship has gone through major changes becoming one of the most famous ships in history. Some say the Queen Mary is one of the most haunted places in the world with as many as 150 known spirits lurking upon the ship. Relocated to Long Beach, California in 1967, the Queen Mary is a tourist attraction.

The Queen Mary is  a colossal ship that was bigger, faster, and more powerful than the Titanic. The 1,000-foot ship started construction in 1930 at the John Brown shipyard in Clyde, Scotland. The Depression held up construction for three years until 1934. The ship was finally complete on May 27, 1936. The building of the Queen Mary became a groundbreaking technological achievement in 1936. The Queen Mary becomes popular with British Royalty and Hollywood celebrities becoming the grandest ocean liner ever built until 1939. Considered by the upper-class to be the only civilized way to travel, it held the record for the fastest-ever North Atlantic crossing.

When World War II broke out in 1939, luxury travel immediately ceased and the ocean liner became a troopship that would become known as “The Grey Ghost.” During this time, it hauled as many as 15,000 men while playing a huge role in victory. They were equipped with anti-aircraft guns; the furnishings were removed and replaced with bunks and hammocks. Medical stations were installed and their dining rooms converted to mess halls and hospital areas. The Queen Mary’s black paint was replaced with gray to help camouflage her from patrolling aircraft. Her speed would become her greatest defense.

The Queen Mary traveled from Australia and Singapore to India and South Africa carrying troops of the commonwealth. After America entered the war, she began transporting U.S. service personnel around the world also. To this day, it holds the record for the most passengers carried in a single crossing at 16,000. It also carried German and Italian prisoners of war to the U.S. and Canadian prison camps. After 10-months of military duty over, the ship reclaimed her place as a world-class ocean liner until 1960. The 1960’s were a decade of major change and with the rise of popularity in air travel; ocean liners were slowly becoming unpopular. Officially retiring from ocean travel, the Queen Mary was moved to Long Beach on December 9, 1967, where it would serve as a living landmark, popular attraction, event venue, hotel, and tourist attraction.

Over the past 60 years, the Queen Mary has been the site of at least 49 reported deaths, not to mention having gone through the terrors of war. Located 50 feet below water level is the Queen Mary’s engine room, which is said to be a bunch of paranormal activity. The most recent recorded death, a drill  crushed an 18 year-old crew member in 1966. The young man has often been seen walking the length of Shaft Alley before disappearing. Two more popular spots for the Queen’s other worldly guests are its first and second class swimming pools. Women have often been seen appearing in 1930’s style swimming suits wandering the decks near the pool. Others have reported the sounds of splashing and spied wet footprints leading from the deck to the changing rooms. Other phenomenon occurring throughout the ship, are the sounds of distinct knocks, doors slamming and high pitched squeals, drastic temperature changes, and the aromas of smells long past according to legendsofamerica.com

The legendary ship is known as one that helped out in many situations. Originally made as an ocean liner for the rich, it was transformed and adjusted to serve as troopship in World War II.  It became very successful with holding many records and its greatest defenses being used in times of need. Generations later, the ship is a historic legacy. Tourists can learn the story and its greatest moments to this day.