SS America picture gallery

SS America

S.S. AMERICA – 1938 to 1941 cruise ship

The day after the America’s launch Hitler invaded Poland and Caribbean cruises replaced the North Atlantic crossing.

SS America
SS America, final preparation prior to Launch
August 31, 1939 Launch day Newport News Shipping and Dry Dock Co
SS America is short-stacked. The lower smokestack dropped soot on the back decks. At the time of this photo, the United States was a neutral country. To reduce the danger of German submarine torpedoes the American flag and bold markings were painted on the hull.
SS America with new improved Full stacks.
SS America 1940 sets off for a cruise
SS America sailing through the Panama Canal
U.S.S. POINT – 1941 to 1946 navy’s largest troop ship

From Casablanca to Bombay and Sydney the ship steamed 436,000 miles transporting 505,020 passengers. Beloved by her Navy crew, they ran a safe and friendly ship, faced danger from fire, stormy seas, torpedoes, and strafing, never losing a passenger.

Click on the picture for full view


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America gets transformed into the troopship U.S.S. West Point
The forward smoke stack is a dummy and served as an observation station
S.S. AMERICA – 1946 to 1964 the queen of the merchant marine.

Returned to almost new after her hard Navy service, the America spent 18 years on the North Atlantic sailing 2,800,000 miles carrying 476,462 passengers in style and comfort. Elegant without being overbearing she represented the best in American engineering, art, cuisine, and interiors.

Artist rendition by Thomas C Skinner
Sailing day, leaving New York City

SS America Wikipedia

America brmerhav
SS America in Bremerhaven, 1958. From the Lawrence Driscoll Collection

17 thoughts on “SS America picture gallery

  1. Chris Gill

    Hello My Father sailed on the SS America/West Point they left Camp Myles Standish and arrived at Boston Harbor and sailed Sept.7th 1944 and arrived in Liverpool England Sept.14th and then traveled by land to to Southampton England where they boarded troop transports to the Mulberry Harbor at Omaha Beach Normandy where his outfit spent a month in a marshing yard “D” near a Apple Orchard before moving out into Holland and then Belgium Thank you for sharing your collection so I could see the ship my Father sailed on during WWII
    Chris G.

  2. Mark Fluitt

    Hi, I came across an original photograph of the America as it is pulling into Havana Cuba. The photographer is M. ILLA. His business name is WATERFRONT PHOTOGRAPHY, Cuba 62 Havana, Cuba. It measures 18″×7.5″.
    Black and white photo with only damage being a fold vertical middle.
    Can you advise me on value either to a collector or museum?
    Thank you,

  3. Darin K.

    Then-Senator JFK travelled on the SS America from England to the U.S. sometime in 1958, but I’m not sure exactly when. My mother and one of her sisters were on the same trip, returning from their first 2-year stint in the American Foreign Service. They spent some time with the Senator, on deck and later meeting up for cocktails. (JFK had soda pop.) I have a couple photographs of them together on deck.

  4. Larry Driscoll Post author

    To learn more about a soldiers life on a troopship go to your library and request a copy of the book SS America USS West Point SS Australis the many lives of a great ship by Lawrence Driscoll. One chapter is dedicated to life sailing on the WEst point

  5. Mel Hughes

    Trying to learn more about a soldier’s life aboard a troop transport during WW2. Things like, were there drills for soldiers while aboard naval vessels, assemblies, any kind of accountability. Would appreciate “a day in the life” for any soldier transported overseas by a navy vessel. Thanks.

  6. Tom Emard

    In 1959 my family sailed from Bremerhaven, Germany to New York city. My father was a Lieutenant Colonel and served as the Commanding officer a the postal operation in Bremerhaven. The day before we departed for new York we entered the ship via a big gangplank on the side of the ship. Our accommodations were first class and my two sisters and brother were all younger than ten years old. My smallest sister was only three years old. Our father told us that the trip would be something we would always remember. Even after all these years, I can still recall the formal dinning area and the glamor of balroom dancers.

  7. John lucey

    My grandfather and my two aunts sailed on her to Ireland in 1953 or 1954.
    They gave me an ivory handled pocket knife with an image of her on one
    side and the words S.S. America on the other. They loved the voyage.
    Sad to see her torn apart and rusting away on some reef, she deserved

  8. Kathy Coulter

    I have a lovely woven grass bag with a luggage tag from what I’m pretty sure is this ship. My grandmother’s friend was a passenger. I took it from my grandmothers house after she passed away.
    The sailing date is June 26 from Southhampton to New York. They were Mr. And Mrs. Philip Wolfe from Vancouver BC, Canada. Their first class stateroom was M 18.
    I have a couple of photos I could send you.

  9. Renate E. Schluter-Putz

    I sailed on the SS America in the winter of 1952 cross-Atlantic as a child with my parents. I have pictures of the Kindergarten that was held for us while our parents were terribly seasick in their cabin.
    A wonderful ship….

  10. Larry Driscoll Post author

    Hello Henry.
    Thanks for your kind comments…its a labor of love.
    As far as pics let me check the archives out for some pics that will help you.

  11. Henry

    Hi Larry

    Absolutely love your website. I also recently bought your book on the SS America and I found it very informative and contained many images of the ship that I’d never even seen before. I noticed that Rafael Pastor Bedoya’s photos of the wreck site are no longer on the site in their entirety and I was wondering if you could send me the images he took via email. I am currently studying a degree in Maritime Science at the University of Plymouth and I am trying to create a 3d model of the wreck site for a project that looks into the deterioration of shipwrecks and the factors that influence their decay over time and I thought the SS American Star would a good choice for it. I understand Rafael took some fantastic photos of the wreck site and these would be of great use to me and would be much appreciated. And if you happen to have any other photos from other photographers of the wreck in 1994 or 95 would also be of great use to me.

    Kind Regards


  12. Larry Driscoll Post author

    I referenced back to the book I wrote on the America. On Feb 28, 1946, the ship left the Portsmouth Navy Yard for the Newportnews Shipping and Dry Dock Co for reconversion to an ocean liner.On November 10, 1946, she sailed into New York Harbor to take on passengers for the first Atlantic crossing.

  13. Diane Moody

    In doing research for a novel, I’m trying to locate a schedule of travel dates for the America during May of 1946. Was she still transporting troops back to the states? Or perhaps war brides? From what I’ve read on your site so far, am I correct that she didn’t serve as a passenger ship again until November of 1946?

    Thanks for any help you can give me!

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