Jeanne Haslwanter, Passenger in 1966
I sailed on the Big U on June 17, 1966 from NYC to Southampton. This was the second ship I had ever been on. I was going to visit a relative in England. I remember standing next to a gentleman on the boat deck as we were ready to leave. He was explaining to me how the ship was going to pull out and “go that way”, pointing up the Hudson. Old salt that I was, with one other trip from NYC, I tried to explain to him that we would pull out and go the other way. He so very sure which way we were going to go, that he was very surprised when we indeed did go the other way. I remember how fast the ship slid away from the pier. It was hard to find my relatives on the end of the pier until my sister let out a scream that could have shattered glass, and I got to wave goodbye. The crossing was very smooth for the North Atlantic.
It was overcast but not rough. In bed at night it felt like I was on a train, not a ship, the momentum was so great, you could feel it. I have never felt that on any other crossing. I have a photo of my cabin mate trying to play shuffleboard, but it was too windy, now I know it was from the ship’s speed. Most people went out on deck the last day out from Le Harve. I wrote in my journal that we had slowed down at lot to make Le Harve on time. We arrived there at 4 AM. I chose the United States to cross on because I knew it was special. It was unlike any other ship I have ever been on. I long for the day we can all board her again.
The pictures showing land were in Le Harve, the baggage being unloaded was on 6/21/66 the day before arriving a Le Harve. Sailing date was 6/17/66. In one photo you can see an officer on the little bump out when the ship was leaving the pier in Le Harve.
Diane is the daughter of SS United States and SS America crewmember Gerhard H. Schefold who served on the ships from 1964 to 1969. During his five year career with United States Lines, Schefold served as Cabin Class Dining Room Captain and Interpreter, Cabin Class Assistant Headwaiter, Cabin Class Headwaiter, First Class Wine Steward, First Class Assistant Headwaiter, First Class Headwaiter, Private Dining Room Headwaiter, Cabin Class Assistant Chief Steward, Cabin Class Chief Steward, and Second Steward in First Class. Diane remembers visiting the ship with her father as a child and still has many items that he brought home from his extensive travel with United States Lines. The following are photos contributed by Diane which belonged to her father: