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 Home > History > From Boston to Sydney on the Queen Mary

I boarded with my back pack, my "B" barracks bag ("A" bag was stored in the hole), my Model 17 30-06 Enfield rifle and modern pot helmet.

As you entered the gang plank you had to give your name, rank and serial number loud and clear and, after the officer checked the roll, you were cleared to go aboard. Once aboard, we found that the ship was the Queen Mary!

I later learned that we had been scheduled to go on the French liner Normandie, but that ship had burned in N.Y. Harbor and much of our equipment, which had already been placed on board, was lost!

As we walked up the gang plank, we were handed a small blue card which gave our bunk assignment. I was on B Deck - port side. The Queen Mary had not been converted totally into a troop ship. We found we had been assigned to a 2nd class stateroom which had six triple deck bunks arranged around the room. The room had double doors and two port holes. The first door permitted entrance to an alcove. From the alcove there was a door to the right (forward on the ship) which opened into a separate and our own private bath room. It had all the necessary toilet and bath equipment. The only inconvenience was there was only salt water for washing. The second door was the entrance to the state room. It appears the only thing that had been removed was the built bed and dressers, the beautiful woodwork and panelling remained. There were 15 men assigned to this room. The remaining three vacant bunks were for our "B" bags ("A" bags were stored in the ship's hole) and other equipment. It was pretty crowded! I was assigned to the middle bunk on the outboard wall. The two port holes were at my bunk level which proved to be an inconvenience later. While we were in Boston Harbor we were not allowed to open the port holes or go on deck. After settling in we were instructed on the procedures for being able to live, on ship board, with more than 10,000 people! In fact, besides written instructions, the Captain addressed all via the inter-com. Our great adventure aboard the Queen Mary had begun!

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