June 22, 1927 The ocean liner SS Île de France embarked on her maiden voyage from the French port of Le Havre to New York City by way of the then-town of Plymouth, England. Those on board for this transatlantic journey included Myron T. Herrick, U.S. ambassador to France and a former governor of Ohio;... Continue Reading →

Aviation pioneer Ben Kuroki was born in Gothenburg, Nebraska. His parents were Japanese immigrants. Kuroki grew up in the Cornhusker State, graduating from high school in 1936. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Kuroki’s father encouraged both him and his brother Fred to join the U.S. military. The brothers were turned down... Continue Reading →

Influential novelist and short story writer Ernest Hemingway acquired a 38-foot (12-meter) boat that would become an important part of his life and legacy. The boat had been constructed by Wheeler Shipbuilding of Brooklyn, New York, at the company’s Coney Island yard. Hemingway, who paid $7,495 for the customized boat, assumed ownership of the vessel in... Continue Reading →

The twin-screw turbine steamer SS Ben-my-Chree was launched at North West England’s Cammell Laird shipyard, where she had been constructed. The steamer was the fourth Cammell Laird vessel to be named Ben-my-Chree, which means “girl of my heart” in the Manx language that is native to that region’s Isle of Man. This latest version of... Continue Reading →

[Unfortunately, no pictures of HMSAS Africana exist.] After several years of military service that included life-saving actions during World War II, HMSAS (His Majesty’s South African Ship) Africana was decommissioned. The ship, which was launched in 1930, spent most of her existence as a South African vessel at a time when the country had semi-independent... Continue Reading →

Margaret “Maggie” Gee became an aviation pioneer during World War II when she was one of only two Chinese-Americans to serve in the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). The organization, which was formed in August 1943 from both the Women’s Auxiliary Flying Training Detachment and Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron, consisted of female pilots who performed... Continue Reading →

As World War II in Europe was fast approaching its end, an extensive operation known as “White Buses” began using a fleet of vehicles to rescue concentration camp inmates in Nazi Germany. White Buses was jointly conducted by the Swedish Red Cross and the Danish government. (Sweden was neutral throughout the war; Denmark, for its... Continue Reading →

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