The American War Bride Experience

GI Brides of World War II

USAT Argentina

Passenger List Below.
To view a large photo, click the photo



January 26, 1946

The Argentina left Southampton, England, for New York carrying 452 brides, 30 of them pregnant, 173 children, and one war groom. This was the first official war bride contingent. This transport was nicknamed the "Diaper Run," "Operation Mother-in-Law," and "The War Bride Special." Stormy seas whipped the Argentina during her trip to New York and four out of five passengers were seasick. Women collapsed on the decks, fell in passageways, and sat miserably on staircases. Crewmen were kept busy swabbing the decks and corridors. The ship had been so soiled with vomit that an outbreak of disease was feared.

February 4, 1946
The Argentina arrived a day late due to stormy seas but that did not keep the radiant but tired GI brides who came from England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, and Malta, from crowding the decks of the ship at 3:30 a.m. in 13 degree weather to see the Statue of Liberty. They were met by a band, with cameras rolling and Mayor William O'Dwyer awaiting them along with 200 newsmen. Due to the Argentina being the "first official war bride ship," newsmen and photographers surrounded the passengers. Because of this, the wives were delayed in meeting their husbands who were waiting for them on the dock, some even after 12 hours after spotting the first lights of Manhattan.



Nursery Ship Argentina Secures Beachhead In N.Y.

By Victor Kalman
NEW YORK, Feb.4 – (UP)

The “nursery ship” Argentina steamed into strike-bound New York harbor Monday with 456 Jubilant British brides and 170 babies of American servicemen.
The 30,000-ton Army transport sliced thru ice-caked North river and docked at 6:30 a.m., a peaceful ending to a nine-day voyage marked by storms and sea-sickness.
For most of the women, who are to rejoin their husbands in 45 states, the beachhead was secured, but the battle wasn’t over. Special trains stood by to take them north, south, and west to husbands, homes and … in-laws.
For 200 wives, however, the situation was well in hand. Their husbands were waiting at the American Red Cross chapter house here.
The Argentina, portholes ablaze as the brides completed last-minute packing, entered the harbor under a clear, star-lit sky at 3:15 a.m. “God Bless America” and “The Star-Spangles Banner” blared over the loudspeaker.
A few braved the biting north wind to see the Statue of Liberty – symbol of their new homeland. There was little activity in the bay because of the tugboat strike. An occasional ferryboat whistled greetings.
Lt. Col. Floyd Lyle, of Fair Lawn, N.J., the transport commander, said after docking that it was the roughest voyage he had ever experienced, but that the brides and babies had come thru in fine style.
The brides, excited over the prospects of seeing their husbands, said they had all but forgotten the trip’s hardships.
Lyle said that as many as 200 were seasick at one time, but that the babies were well taken care of by nurses, stewardesses and Wac’s. <
The Argentina’s trip was a test run for other nursery ships schedules to bring some 65,000 wives and 15,000 children to the United States by the end of June.

WET TRIP – INSIDE AND OUT

Lyle said laundry was one of the trip’s problems. Practically all of the 18,000 disposable diapers were used up.
Inability of the British women to understand “Americanese” was solved, when volunteers with English accents took over the announcers’ duties on the loud speaker.
First bride off the ship was Mrs. Joan Lowry, 20, who said she was anxious to “see the clothing shops and eat American Food --- it’s so good, you know.” Mrs. Lowry, an attractive brunette, was to rejoin her husband, Bernard, of Waynesboro, Virginia.
Two brides were not quite so enthusiastic as the others. Their husbands still are in London. Mrs. Peggy Roberts, 18, will wait in Elizabeth, N. J., for the return of her husband, Yeomen 2/c Donald Roberts. Maureen Feary, 19 year-old Londoner, will live with her in-laws at Batavia, N.Y., until her husband, Seaman 2/c William Feary, arrives in the states from England.
During the five months she had been separated from her husband, Mrs. Charlotte Manca, stunning blue-eyed blonde, studied the batting and pitching records of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Her husband Ugo, former sergeant in the Eighth air force, lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. The Mancas don’t expect to suffer as a result of the housing shortage, because Ugo’s a real estate agent.

ONLY ONE IRISH BRIDE ABOARD

The only Irish bride aboard was Mrs. Ethel Mansfield, 19, who hailed from Londonderry in northern Ireland. She will live with her husband’s parents at (3391 Flushing Rd.) Flint, Michigan. Her husband, M. 2/c Ford Mansfield, plays the piano in a Navy band in Chicago.
Sixteen-year-old Mrs. Benjamin Franklin Butler, mother of a 14 month-old son, was the youngest bride. They will live in Roanoke Rapids, N.C., where Butler, a former Army cook, works in a cotton mill.
Mrs. Marjorie Kimball, 28, who is joining former T/Sgt. Archie Kimball at Lemon Springs, N.C., was the only mother of twins on the ship, Garry and Maxine, 17 months old. Have curly blond hair, soft blue eyes and eat enormous quantities of American food.
“They hardly used to eat at home, but on the ship they just couldn’t get enough.” Mrs. Kimball said.
Second bride to descend the gangplank was Mrs. Doreen Iovannone, smartly-dress, dark-eyed young wife of Carl Iovannone of Altoona, Pa., who was ‘very excited.”
She was followed my Mrs. Doris Van Meter, smiling, freckle-faced wife of George Van Meter of Clovis, N.M. She said she last saw her husband 16 months ago.

FRANCIS FALLS OUT OF BUNK

Mrs. Margaret Halcomb, accompanied by little Patricia, was looking forward to ‘having a look at the shops and buying some shoes” after she joined husband Charles in Princeton, N.J.
Curly, brown-haired Francis Hardiman Jr., wore a patch over one eyebrow. He fell out of his bunk during rough weather and suffered a deep cut. Francis, with his mother and eight-month-old sister, Angela Patricia, was just about home. His father lives in New York.
One man board said he had ‘over 450 wives.” The girls called him “hubby” and the babies called him “daddy.” Said Chief Deck Steward Robert Proverbs, of Boston. Steward took care of many children when their mothers were ill during the rough journey. [missing] ...
Southhampton and might have been at sea Monday except for the 24-hours postponement of the sailing caused by high seas and storms which swept the south England coast Sunday.
During the delay other brides tattled on her and she was hustled off the ship.
From the Pueblo Chiefton, Feb. 5, 1946

Thank you Jane Diepeveen for sending in the article.

Jane's father was Col. Floyd Lyle, a troop transport commander. He was also in charge of the war brides on ships going from England to the U.S., known as the "diaper run". Two of the ships he was on were the Argentina and the Vulcania. She doesn't know the names of the others. If you have knowledge of him commanding your ship, please drop her an email.
I stumbled on your website while googling English warbrides..I was stunned to access your site and see the Wives Whispers from the USS Agentina for Feb. 2, 1946. That is the ship and the sailing that my mother, my twin brother and I came over on! In fact, we were the only twins on the ship and we were on the newsreel and in the papers. We have absolutely no recollection of the journey as we were only 17 months old at the time. That was such a long time ago and I understand it was a really rough journey and that at least one child died aboard. My mother had us on leashes to keep us safe. Maxine K. Griffin
WATCH THE Film
Moore-McCormack Site
Could this be the Argentina?

Down Argentina Way Song

The SS Argentina was the first ship to send War Brides to the U.S. The nine days trip from Southampton, England to New York Harbor. Some 456 wives and 170 babies were the passagers on this trip and all were British. All together more then 70,000 women from all over Europe were to arriving to the United States.

Photos of the SS Argentina and
Life Magazines, issue February 18, 1946 are below.

Pictures will take a long time to load up, please be patient.

In cabin with child

On deck the SS Argentina


I am intersted in any photos.
Check out the news articles and photos on my site.
Seeking the name of the only male war groom that was on this ship dduring its official war brides journey of Jan. 26, '46.



Passenger List

Daisy Kathleen (Beal) Stevens; Feb. 4, 1946; Bedford, England > Indianapolis, IN.
Ethel Louise Johnson and dau. Carol; Feb. 4, 1946; Norfolk, England > Kansas City, Kansas. From dau. Melynda
Mary Elizabeth (Slade) Shirley and son Graham J. Shirley; Feb. 4, 1946; Reading, Berkshire, Eng. > Columbia, So. Carolina from son Barry
Mildred Hinsley Trayer; Feb. 4, 1946, Overton-on-Dee, North Wales > US
Ruth Murtaugh; March 2, 1946, London, England > Minneapolis, MN
Marjorie Eileen Kimball and twins Maxine Ruth and Howell Garry; Feb. 4, 1946, London, England > Portsmouth, Virginia
Jeanne DeOmar Bender; Feb. 4, 1946, England > Scotts Valley, CA
Beatrice Stromberg; Feb. 4, 1946, Scotland > Elkridge, Maryland
Alice Castle; Feb. 4, 1946, England > New York
Eileen W. Lawhead with husband Donovan; May 25, 1946, New Malden, Surry, England > California
Renne (Seabrooke) Bullock with daughter, Joy; Feb. 1946, Liverpool, England > US
Olga Bertha Ebling; Feb. 4, 1946; > England > Batavia, New York
from daughter, Gail
Enid (Stewart) O'Leary; July 3, 1946, Glasgow, Scotland > Portsmouth, New Hampshire, from daughter Maureen
Joan Lowry; Feb. 4,'46, UK > Waynesboro, Virginia. (article)
Peggy Roberts; Feb. 4, '46, UK > U.S. (article)
Maureen Feary; Feb. 4, '46, London, England > Batavia, N.Y. (article)
Charlotte Manca; Feb. 4, '46, UK > Brooklyn, N.Y. (article)
Ethel Mansfield; Feb. 4, '46, Londonderry, Northern Ireland > Flint, Michigan (article)
Mrs. Benjamin Franklin Butler and son; Feb. 4, '46, UK > Roanoke Rapids, N.C. (article, youngest bride age 16)
Marjorie Kimball and twin Garry and Maxine; Feb. 4, '46, UK > Lemon Springs, N.C. (article)
Doreen Iovannone; Feb. 4, '46, UK > Altoona, Pa., (article)
Doris Van Meter; Feb. 4, '46, UK > Clovis, N.M. (article)
Margaret Halcomb and Patricia; Feb. 4, '46, UK > Princeton, N.J. (article)
Mrs. Francis Hardiman, Francis, Jr. and Angela Patricia; Feb. 4, '46, UK > New York (article)
Joyce DeLong; , Hampshire, England > Somers, Montana

From Viviene Dunn Rowe
List or Manifest of Alien Passengers for the United States Immigrant Inspector at Port of Arrival.
(New York) Aboard the S.S. Argentina, March 14, 1945

NAME; CHILD'S NAME; MOTHER'S BIRTH PLACE
Anderson, Edith; Scotland, Dundee
Adria--son, Ellen K.; England,
Barndollar, Ellen C., with son William J.; England, London
Breen, Lillan M.; England,
Baird, Constance E.; England, Portemouth
Bullock, Renne with dau. Joy; England, Liverpool
Cole, Catherine P. with son Michael; Ireland, Nenoch
Correra, Dorothy J.; England, Barnstaple
Dickerson, Mary T. with dau. Jean; Ireland, Kells
Diehr, Sara with dau. Adrianne; England, Barking
Sheila Vallance Dunn and daughter, Vivienne; Mar. 1945; London, England > Kuttawa, Kentucky.
Edwards, Margaret A., with dau. Anne G.; Scotland, Aberdeen
Fieg, Eilda K., with son John E.; England, Alconbury
Gricol, Rita D with dau. Dorothy A.; England, Richmond
Goode, Kathleen M.; England, London
Gordon, Iris D.; England, St. Albans
Huffstutler, Frances M. with son Keven R.; England, Salford
Hass, Elizabeth and dau. Elizabeth G.; England
(This was copied from a copy and very differcuilt to read. ) Any question?


Margaret Andrews Pearson and dau. Gail; Jan. 26, 1946; England > U.S.
Yvonne Farrington Gentry Jones; Jan. 26, 1946 - England > N.Y.
Joan Gladys Stangroome Stubbs; Jan. 26, 1946 - Southampton, England > Norfolk, Virginia; arrived in NYC Feb. 3, 1946.
Audrey Brown, CA
Nellie Belk nee Knowles, AZ
Yvonne Jones, TX
June Angell, RI
Mrs. Wm Taliaferro
Mrs. Dickerson
Mrs. Goldstien
Mrs. Goss
Mrs. Bender
Mrs. Watson
Mrs. Strunk
Mrs. Beers
Mrs. Murrey
Mrs. Holt
Mrs. Sassi
Mrs. Sanderson
Mrs. Atkinson
Children celebrating 1st birthdays were Shirley Kramer, Melvin Dzieglewiez, Ralph John, Leamon Blanton, Marlene Slagle, Barbara Crotta,Robert Kidd, Mernell Grayson 2nd birthday, Mark Olley 3rd birthday.
Diana Ivy Borghese
Queenie Benigno and daughter Teresa
Vickie Kingsburg
Betty Doreen Little with son, Jamie; England > St. Louis, MO
Molly Tagart
Joan Posthume
Rosa Ebsary
Eileen Cowan
June Porter
Ivy Hammer
*Mrs. Edna Bulter; Jan. 46; England > Roanoke Rapids, NC
*Mrs. Harold Cooper; Jan. 46; England > Manhattan Beach, CA
*Betty Newton; Jan. 46; Bristol, England > Meridan, MS
*Margaret Gerdus; Jan. 46; Accrington, England > Binghamton, NY
*Mary Burkett; Feb. 46; Tewkesburg, England > US
*Margaret Jean Tune; ; Hounslow, Middlesex, ENG > US
From the Ship passenger list:
Edith Anderson
Ellen K. Adrieeasen
Ellen C. Barndollar, and son William J.
Lilian M. Breen
Constance E. Baird
Renee Bullock, and daughter Joy Helene
Catherine P. Cole and son Michael
Dorothy Correra
Mary T. Dickerson and daughter Jean
Tara Diehr and daugher Adrianne D.
Margaret A. Edwards and daughter Anne G.
Eilda K. Fieg and son John E.
Ann Flenagan
Rita D. Gricol and daughter Dorothy A.
Kathleen M. Goode
Iris D. Gordon
Frances Huffstutler and son Keven
Elizabeth Haas and daughter Elizabeth G.



From Joan Stubbs

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