“CATCHER IN THE RYE” AUTHOR J. D. SALINGER, DEAD AT 91, SERVED AS CRUISE DIRECTOR ABOARD SWEDISH AMERICA LINE’S MS KUNGSHOLM.

MS KUNGSHOLM on Carribean Cruise – by 1941, with the war in Europe, most liners were not crossing the Atlantic.

For the following informain we wish to thank Lars Hemingstam and his excellent website on the Swedish American Line – click here to visit.

“The young man—his name was Ray Kinsella, and he was a member of the ship’s Junior Entertainment Committee—waited for Barbara at the railing on the portside of the promenade deck. Nearly all passengers were ashore and, in the stillness and moonlight, it was a powerful place to be. The only sound in the night came from the Havana harbor water slucking gently against the sides of the ship. Through the moon mist the Kungsholm could be seen, anchored sleepy and rich, just a few hundred feet aft. Farther shoreward a few small boats corked about.” J. D. Salinger – A Young Girl In 1941 With No Waist At All – Mademoiselle 25, May 1947, pages 222-223, 292-302

Cruising The Past: “Catcher in the Rye” author J.D. Salinger has died at age 91 in New Hampshire.

In 1941, the position of entertainment director for the Swedish America Line’s M.S, Kungsholm (built in 1928) was held by Salinger.   He authored a number of short stories with the Kungsholm or a “liner” as the setting.  The official Swedish American Line website documents Salinger’s position aboard the Kungsholm.  He made one cruise.

Mr. Salinger would go on to become a world-renown author with the publication of “The Catcher in the Rye” in 1952.

Salinger was undoubtedly the Kungsholm’s most famous crew member.

Salinger also used his shipboard experience aboard the M.S. Kungsholm in his New Yorker short story “Teddy” (republished in his collection Nine Stories) which takes place on an ocean liner – and can be viewed by clicking here.


The First Class Lounge on board MS Kungsholm – by many regarded as one of the most beautiful rooms afloat.

Heading toward Jamaica in 1929 on-board the MS KUNGSHOLM. Many filmed sequences aboard ship. Also, great scenes of Jamaica. Cruising The Past –  A 1929 cruise aboard Swedish America Line’s MS KUNGSOLM from Sweden to the Caribbean. From Worldcruiser2 at Youtube. The video is from home movies of a Swedish couple sailing in 1929. The cruise The musical score is dramatic to say the least. Many scenes aboard ship. Very elegant – right before the Great Depression. J. D. Salinger (Cather In The Rye) was cruise director aboard the MS KUNGSHOLM in 1941.

MS Kungsholm was a passenger liner owned and operated by the Swedish American Line from 1928 to 1941 on transatlantic services from Gothenburg to New York as well as crusing out of New York. It was built at the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Germany. In 1942 the ship was requisitioned by the United States Government, who placed it United States Lines flag, and renamed it USAT John Ericsson (NY-307).  Following the end of World War Two the John Ericsson was sold back to the Swedish American Line in 1947. Instead of returning to service SAL it was sold to Home Lines in 1948 and renamed MS Italia. With Homes Lines the ship served on a variety of routes, including Genoa—South America, Genoa—New York, Hamburg—New York, Hamburg—Quebec, New York—Nassau as well as cruises from New York to the Caribbean. In 1964 the ship was sold to Freeport Bahama Enterprises for use as a floating hotel under the name MS Imperial Bahama. In 1965 the Imperial Bahama was scrapped at Bilbao.

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About Michael L. Grace

MICHAEL L. GRACE is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. SNOOPY continues to be one of the most produced shows (amateur & stock) in America/Worldwide and has had long running productions in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and in London's West End. There are over 100 individual productions every year. He has written movies for TV, including the award-winning thriller LADY KILLER, various pilots and developed screenplays for Kevin Costner and John Travolta. Besides co-writing and co-producing SNOOPY, he wrote and produced the one-man play KENNEDY. He produced P.S. YOUR CAT IS DEAD by pulitzer prize winning author James Kirkwood. He wrote the stage thriller FINAL CUT which had productions in the UK, South Africa and Australia. His one-man play, KENNEDY - THE MAN BEHIND THE MYTH, was developed for HBO and has starred Andrew Stevens, Gregory Harrison and Joseph Bottoms. He has recently been involved in European productions with CLT-UFA, Europe's leading commercial television and radio broadcaster. He wrote MOWs THE DOLL COLLECTION, THE BOTTOM LINE and LAST WITNESS for German television. While in college and graduate school he worked as a foreign correspondent for COMBAT, the famous leftwing Paris daily, and as a travel writer. He visited more than 50 countries. He struggled as an actor, then joined the enemy and entered the training program at William Morris. He became a publicist and worked for Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley's manager, at Paramount and MGM. He followed with a brief stint as a story executive, working in the frantic horror genre period of the early 80s and wrote THE UNSEEN. He went onto write for episodic television and develop series pilots. He was a continuing writer on such series such as LOVE BOAT, PAPER DOLLS, and KNOTS LANDING. He developed screenplays for such major award winning directors as Nicolas Meyers, Tony Richardson and J. Lee Thompson. He has written for all the major networks and studios. He has been hired numerous times as a script doctor, doing many uncredited rewrites on TV movies and features. He is currently writing A PERSON OF INTEREST, a thriller novel, and, IT'S THE LOVE BOAT... AND HOW IT CHANGED CRUISING BY SHIP a non-fiction book dealing with how the hit TV series as a major cultural phenomenon and altered the style of cruising by ship. He was raised in Los Angeles. He attended St. Paul's, USC and the Pasadena Playhouse. He received a B.A from San Francisco State University where he majored in theatre arts and minored in creative writing. He is listed as a SFSU leading alumni. He also apprenticed at ACT - The American Conservatory Theatre. For a brief period he had intentions of becoming an Episcopal(Anglican) priest and attended seminary at Kelham Theological College in the UK. When "the calling" wasn't there, he left seminary and did graduate work at the American University of Beirut. He has guest lectured at USC, UC San Diego, McGill, Univ. of London and the Univ. of Texas on the business aspects of making a living and surviving as a writer, focusing on development hell, in the Hollywood entertainment industry. Grace is a lifetime member of the Writers Guild of America, the Dramatist Guild and former regional chairman of the Steamship Historical Society of America. He resides in Palm Springs.

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