As a frequently sentimental woman, the following description of the Rose, which I found on the Internet, reads like an obituary and brings tears to my eyes. There are many of us former military dependents and military personnel who probably have fond memories of the old ship that gave us not only transportation, but pleasure.

The General Maurice Rose operated out of New York in the Atlantic and Mediterranean from 1950 to 1965. Steaming primarily between New York and Bremerhaven, Germany, she completed more than 150 round-trip voyages. In addition, the Rose was deployed to the Mediterranean 17 times. Between January and March, 1957, the Rose made three trips to Europe in support of transporting Hungarian refugees back to the United States. The Rose departed New York August 14,1957, for transport duty to Southeast Asia and returned to New York October 18. For the first eight months of 1966, she made eight round-trips to Europe and back. She sailed again from New York on September 8 for troop-lift duty to South Vietnam. The ship returned to New York in late January 1967 for overhaul and was placed in Ready Reserve status at the James River Reserve Fleet, Virginia. The General Rose was scrapped in Texas during the year 2000.

On a Thursday at 2 p.m. in June 1958, about 160 passengers boarded the US Navy ship, General Maurice Rose. My mother, my sister Tupper and I were sharing Cabin 0116 on the port side of the boat deck, which were quite nice quarters. We were to have the third seating for meals at Table 18 in the dining hall aboard ship.

Family passport circa 1955 -- Joan Tupper, me, Darby III, and Mama Garnette Williams

The young people who’d lived in Tripoli or on Wheelus Air Force Base, who came with me, according to my “meticulous” records were:

Diana, Merle and Russ Darling; Jon Jorgenson, Charlene and Chuck Montgomery, Judy and Kathy Jones, Diane Penn, Pat Sabo, Wilnetta Edwards, David Crabtree, Mike Branham, Willy Maguire and Ronnie Yarbrough.

I know all these specifics because I kept, for lo these many years, a scrapbook of our Mediterranean Cruise. It’s one of those cardboard photo albums with black pages; I used the old-fashioned corners, in this case pink, to hold photos, postcards and odd bits like tickets, the Rose daily newspaper, a menu for the farewell dinner on July 7, and the wrapping paper from a box of Italian shoes (sexy backless cork wedge heels) my mother bought for me in Naples.

My reduced family had a terrific time, mainly because my strict father had flown home with my little brother. Since my mother was fun and indulgent, I knew I was going to have a fabulous trip and I would document it in detail, in white ink, mind you, so I’d never forget.  I listed every teenager getting onboard with me, every teenager seeing me off (including three Italian boys), and the fact we actually left the harbor at 6 a.m. on a Friday. After sailing to and docking in Athens, Istanbul, Izmir, Naples, Leghorn (Livorno), and Gibralter, we would finally arrive at Brooklyn Navy Yard on July 8.

Stay tuned as I share adventures in the coming weeks.

One Comment

  1. Elaine Frank says:

    thanks so much for this information on the ship. I had to stay in a cabin with my parents and brother while my sisters got to stay will all the teens in a special cabin. I don’t remember which dinner seating we were but I remember the stewards walking up and down the halls hitting the bells so we listened to find out when our seating was going to be. I remember the teens had a special place they hung out at and played records and asked the radio station on the ship to play records but i was 10 and not allowed to go there and be with the teenagers lol. I remember the movies that were played and the lifeboat drills. I remember visiting all the ports with my parents and seeing the sites. SI remember on ship looking out at the different islands we passed that had volcanos on them and they were active. Thanks so much Victoria for helping to bring back these memories. How did you reseach the ship. We came back from Japan on the USS Anderson. I would like to know what happend to that ship. We went over on a troop carrier in 51 with 2000 troops going to Korea. Its name was the Sulton I believe and it had large guns. Troops were not allowed up on deck during the day because of the families and kids on board. I would like to research that ship too.

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