The annual USS Tortuga LSD 26/46 Association reunion was held aboard the HMS Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA in September of 2004. Many members were in attendance and various tours were offered.
We wish to thank Lawrence (Larry) Fay the Long Beach reunion coordinator & our newly elected Vice President & Chaplain
for his many hours of hard work for putting together the reunion arrangements.
We also want to thank the following people who assisted him, Roscoe Griffith, Earl Kazmier, Linda McDonald, Bob McDonald, Debbie Kuhns, & Georgie Widmark.
Please let us never forget that there are many people who contribute their time and efforts to the association on a strictly non paid basses. We applaud these volunteers for their dedication and for making our association what is today. Too often we take "all of our volunteers and their work for granted" and we tend forget that whether it is putting out a Newsletter, maintaining a roster, taking care of reunion details, making a banner for the association, or maintaining a website and posting pictures, a lot of time and hard work is always going on behind the scenes to make our association the best one in the fleet!
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE QUEEN MARY.
HMS Mary Graces Long Beach Harbor.
By all measures HMS Queen Mary was truly "titanic." Bigger, faster and more powerful than her predecessor the Titanic, Queen Mary lived a long life that included 1,001 successful Atlantic crossings. Built in Southampton, England in 1937, the Queen Mary held the record for the fastest-ever North Atlantic crossing, and for three years she carried the rich and famous across the Atlantic in great luxury.
Queen Mary Today
Now Queen Mary rests in the Long Beach harbor, converted into a hotel and tourist attraction. Guides' voices echo in the now-empty engine room, where 27 boilers once generated 160,000 horsepower. On the dining room wall, a map tracked the position of the Queen Mary and her sister ship the Queen Elizabeth as passengers anticipated their passing in mid-ocean. Now they are still.
While not so big and sleek as today's mega-cruise liners, the Queen Mary is an elegant reminder of a bygone era. There are several options for visiting the Queen Mary: Self-guided Shipwalk tours take visitors over the 1020-footQueen Mary, from the engine room to the wheelhouse. Daily guided tours explore the glorious past of Queen Mary, from the luxurious dining room to the indoor fresh water swimming pool. The Ghosts and Legends of the Queen Mary tour dramatizes paranormal and historic events over the last sixty years.
The Scorpion, a Foxtrot-class Russian submarine, is moored just below the Queen Mary's bow. A tour of the cramped quarters and military conditions (78 crew shared 2 showers and 3 toilets) provides an interesting contrast to the Queen Mary's size and luxury. You can sleep at the Hotel Queen Mary, imagining yourself on a transatlantic journey along with Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable and others. The smaller rooms are reasonably priced, but somewhat dark and cramped. For a taste of the luxury of a bygone era, splurge on a Deluxe Stateroom or a Royalty Suite.
Queen Mary in World War II
In 1939, the world began to darken as World War II approached. On September 2, 1939, the Queen Mary crew blacked out her portholes. The following day, England and France declared war on Germany. Refitted as a troop ship, her capacity increased from 2,410 to 5,500, Queen Mary carried troops to the war and Winston Churchill to war conferences for the next six years. She survived a collision at sea, carried the most people ever on a floating vessel (16,683), and participated in the D-Day invasion.
Queen Mary after the War
Fifteen days after victory in Japan, Queen Mary donned a new coat of paint in Cunard colors. She then made 13 voyages through 1946, carrying war brides and children to the United States and Canada. Finally, Queen Mary resumed her glamorous life as a cruise ship. That is, until technology made her obsolete. Slowly, air travel became the preferred way of crossing the Atlantic, and transatlantic cruise ships fell out of fashion. Queen Mary survived until 1967, when Cunard sold her for $3.45 million. Queen Mary made her 516th and final voyage to Long Beach, California on December 9, 1967.
BEAUTIFULLY RESTORED 1943 WWII STEARMAN BI-PLANE.
TAKEN OVER LONG BEACH HARBOR.
Keep "em flying Larry!
JACK & GEORGIA HAMMOND
The following pictures were sent to me for posting by Jack Hammond, Jack has once again came through for us and has taken many excellent reunion pictures for our enjoyment. Like all of the past reunion pictures, they will continue to be posted for many years to come so you may relive your wonderful experiences and share them with the ones that were not in attendance at these reunions.
"A BIG BRAVO ZULU JACK, JOB WELL DONE"
MORE LONG BEACH REUNION PICTURES
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"94 PICTURES IN THIS SEGMENT"
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