The American War Bride Experience

GI Brides of World War II

St. Louis Globe Democrat

1666 GI Wives, 668 Children Reach U.S. from England

NEW YORK, Feb. 10 (AP)

One of the greatest overseas journeys of women and children in history ended today as the giant Queen Mary docked at Pier 90 with 1666 wives of American servicemen and their 668 children.

From the time the bigliner picked up her pilot at 8:30 o'clock this morning until she was nosed snugly into her berth by 11 army tugs, her rails were crowded with women, many carrying children and braving biting cold for their first glimpse of America.

The ship was met by a neat, white Army Transportation Corps vessel aboard which a band played "Roll Out the Barrel" and "Here Comes the Brides." As the last notes of this traditional wedding air faded, a pleasant, women's voice from the small craft called: Welcome to America, girls."

Army tugs were used to bring the Queen Mary to her berth because the regular harbor facilities were paralysed by the tugboat strike.

The great ship is scheduled to make about five more trips carrying wives and children to North American, but this first voyage was epothal since it converted the Queen Mary into a floating nursery.

As the "Queen" slipped past Ambrose Light the usually unruly ocean was as calm as an inland lake, calmer in fact than the 31,000-ton vessal's passengers, who croweded the rails from shortly after breakfastshouting with excitement as their new land unfolded before their eyes.

There was no serious illness aboard despite the storms, rough seas and cold weather. The army Medical Department said there was only one case of three-day measles and two cases of German measles among the children.

One of the 10 army nurses aboard said the major duty of the medics was to "calm the mothers' fears."

The wives began departure from the sea phase of "operation nursery" this evening when the first 500 wives, living within a radius of 200 miles of New York, left the ship.

Many were met by their husbands, some of whom had been in New York since Friday, the day the ship normally would have docked had she not been delayed by storms.

The remainder will leave the "Queen" tomorrow in assorted units headed for every state in the Union. None was granted time off to "do" New York.

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