by William H Miller
Built in 1952 for the United States Lines, the SS United States was unlike any other ocean liner. She had been designed from the outset to serve as both a transatlantic ferry and as a troop and hospital ship in time of war. Her design was a military secret and her power plant similar to that fitted to the largest of American battleships. She could do a staggering 45kt, over twelve knots faster than her nearest rival could. She soon became the ship to be seen on, and the illustrious passenger lists included the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, who favored the ship's Duck Suite. The entry of the SS United States, the largest passenger ship built in America, marked the first time since the 1850s that an American ship had held the Blue Riband. This amazing ocean liner surpassed European speed records by a huge margin and a ship as fast is unlikely ever to be built again.William H. Miller tells the story of the SS United States from her construction at Newport News to the present day. Today, she lies derelict in Philadelphia, but big plans are in place to restore her and turn her back into a luxurious floating hotel.