1948 Olympic Team sails aboard liner America
USA Olympic Rowing Team sails for London 1948 Olympics aboard the liner SS America.

1948 Olympic Team sails aboard liner America

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The USA Olympic Team sailed aboard the SS America.

1948 Olympic divers Vicki Dravas, Pat Elsener, Juno Stover and Zoe Ann Olsen (l. to r.) smile aboard the liner S. S. America before sailing for Olympics in London.

1948 Olympic divers Vicki Dravas, Pat Elsener, Juno Stover and Zoe Ann Olsen (l. to r.) smile aboard the liner S. S. America before sailing for Olympics in London.

  • The 1948 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XIV Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event which was held in London, England, United Kingdom.
The USA Olympic Team sails from New York aboard the liner SS America to London 1948 Olympics.

The USA Olympic Team sails from New York aboard the liner SS America to London 1948 Olympics.

  • The 1948 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XIV Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event which was held in London, England, United Kingdom.
  • After a 12-year hiatus because of World War II, these were the first Summer Olympics since the 1936 Games in Berlin.
USA Olympic Rowing Team sails for London 1948 Olympics aboard the liner SS America.

USA Olympic Rowing Team sails for London 1948 Olympics aboard the liner SS America.

  • The 1940 Games had been scheduled for Tokyo, and then for Helsinki; the 1944 Games had been provisionally planned for London.
  • This was the second occasion that London had hosted the Olympic Games, having previously been the venue in 1908.
USA Olympic Soccer Team aboard the 1948 SS America.

USA Olympic Soccer Team aboard the 1948 SS America.

  • The Olympics again returned to London in 2012, making it the only city to host the games three times.

The SS America sailed from New York to Europe from 1946 until 1963…

SS America sailing in 1940. WW 2 is happening. The liner's name and flag is painted on the hull, so it won't be sunk by German subs.

SS America sailing in 1940. WW 2 is happening. The liner’s name and flag is painted on the hull, so it won’t be sunk by German subs.

  • To many ship lovers, she was the most beautifully decorated liner to fly the American flag, less rigid and not as menacing-looking as her soon-to-debut fleet-mate, the SS United States.
  • Many American tourists preferred to travel on an American-built and owned ship, as some considered them safer and cleaner.
  • With the introduction of the larger and faster United States in 1952, America’s reign as queen of the US merchant marine was taken away from her.
SS America in the 1950s. Horse racing in the First Class Lounge.

SS America in the 1950s. Horse racing in the First Class Lounge.

I sailed with my grandmother in the 1960s the SS America. One of the evening diversions on the SS America was horse racing. Bets would be placed on the horses, a wheel spun and they were off, moved along by bellboys. America’s Purser John Lock, had a knack for giving the horses funny names. Such as, calling horse #1 “Chilly, by cold wind out of Atlantic”, horse #2 Pop, by Cork and Bottle”, horse #3 Mal de Mer, by Trouble out of Rough Seas,” and horse # 4 “High-ball, by Scotch out of Bottle.” Horse racing happened on most ships until the modern cruise era… when the Vegas hotel atmosphere took over.

  • Their disparity in size and speed prevented them from becoming true running mates like the RMS Queen Mary and RMS Queen Elizabeth of the Cunard Line.
  • But she still was a favorite of many.
  • After 1955, she sailed to tropical ports such as Bermuda and the Caribbean.
  • In 1962, she sailed on 14 transatlantic voyages.
  • In 1963, she sailed on 8 transatlantic voyages. After 1963, she was laid up in Newport News, Virginia and sold to the Chandris Lines.
  • No longer flying the American flag.

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About Michael L. Grace

During the mid-80s, Michael Grace worked as a writer on the TV Hit Series THE LOVE BOAT. He wrote many of the two hour special featuring great stars of the past, including Lana Turner, Claire Trevor, Anne Baxter, Ethel Merman, Alexis Smith, etc. The public’s access to these stars, in familiar dramas and comedies, made them want to go on a cruise. They could see the stars in an ordinary world as “regular” people. The phenomenally successful series was responsible for creating the cruise industry as we know it today. By the time he was writing for Love Boat, the great steamship companies and their liners were flying hand me down foreign flags, painted like old whores, scrapped or doing three day cruises to the Bahamas. He had sailed on over thirty ships and liners with his parents, aunt and grandmother in late 50s to early 70s. The very successful CRUISING THE PAST website has been an outgrowth of Michael’s strong interest in cruise and social history. Drawing on his own knowledge and a vast maritime and social history collection, he is able to produce a very successful website. Michael is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. He has written for television and films. Read more by going to "About" (on the above dashboard) and clicking "Editor"…