Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The S.S. United States - The "BIG U"

The S.S. United States is an ocean liner built in 1952 for the United States Lines. At 53,329 gross tons, she is the largest ocean liner to date built entirely in the United States and is still the fastest liner ever built. In 1952, on her maiden voyage as the new flagship of the United States Lines, the United States captured the Blue Riband with the fastest transatlantic crossing on record.

The entry of the United States marked the first time a U.S. flagged ship held the Blue Riband, surpassing European speed records which had stood for decades. The United States lost the eastbound record in 1990, but still holds the westbound record. The United States plied the transatlantic with passenger service until 1969, and she outlasted the demise of her original owners. The ship is currently docked in Philadelphia until a decision is made about her fate.

S.S. United States being re-painted at the Hudson River Pier, New York April 1959. (Dick Leonardt Photo)

S.S. United States leaving New York, August 1961. (Dick Leonhardt Photo)

Arriving in New York November 1965.

Leaving on the "Big U" - Pier 86 North River, June 1966.

Leaving on the "Big U" - Pier 86 North River, June 1966. Photo by ships photographer.

On Board the S.S. United States June 1966. Original photos posted on Flickr.

The following pictures show the condition that this great ship is in today. SAVE THE S.S. UNITED STATES.



Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

WOW what a fantastic and informative post. I knew about the speed records and her USA origins and I have always liked her unique profile.

However I had no idea she was still around, has she been parked there since 1969? She doesn’t look so good now, it there an actual “movement” to save her? Thanks for this historic look at a bygone era.

Viewliner Ltd. said...

For VDT: The ship was recently purchased by the Norwegian Cruise Line. What exactly is going to happen to her is still up in the air. Check at the bottom of the post and click on Save the SS US Foundation for more info.

Major Pepperidge said...

I used to have some slides showing the S.S. United States in New York circa 1955, looking amazing! Not sure if I still own them though....

Viewliner Ltd. said...

You gotta look for them Major. I would love to see them.