Wednesday 4 July 2012


Happy 4th of July to all my American friends. Probably the first ship I ever got to tour was actually a boat, quite a large boat, the American submarine USS QUILLBACK (SS-424). The opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in June 1959, meant that many ocean-going ships from around the world could now  do business in Great Lakes ports such as Toronto, Detroit, Chicago and points even further west in Lake Superior by transiting the new seaway and Welland Ship Canal. To celebrate the opening of the seaway, many US warships toured the Great Lakes during the summer of 1959, and at a port visit in Port Weller, my family got a guided tour through this big black 'boat' with all of it's ladders and round doors. It was cool. Actually, it was a hot and humid like today and the sub was air-conditioned. It was REALLY COOL. I was 7 years old then and pictured with me in front of the QUILLBACK is my mother, Janet, and sisters Cheryl (2) and Karin (10). For your information, the QUILLBACK was launched in 1944 and served in the Pacific in WWII. It also spent time in the North Atlantic, Mediterranean and Caribbean before being decommissioned in 1973.

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