The ocean liner articles
for the S.S. Argentina, S.S. Brazil and S.S. Uruguay contained herein were published by and for Mooremack Employees Ashore and Afloat.
("The Mooremack News," December
(Courtesy of Vincent
Early in July the maritime and travel press, forty
strong, gathered at the Downtown Athletic Club, to hear a bit of
interesting information about old friends—the Good Neighbor liners
Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. The word was that the
Argentina would sail from New York on July 25, reviving the
passenger service which had suspended with the coming of the war.
The response to the news was tremendous; old friends
of the ships and hundreds who wanted to become friends, flocked to
Moore-McCormack offices and to travel agents for space. Then suddenly
the plans were changed. Shipyard workers, unable to reach an agreement
with their employers on demands, went out on strike. For twenty weeks
the ships sat, patiently, while negotiations proceeded, now with rumors
of the strike’s impending end, then with rumors that the opposing sides
were too widely separated to hope for settlement.
The only bright aspect of the picture was the fact
that the Uruguay had been moved to the Todd yard in Brooklyn for
some work, though the main contract was to be carried out by the Federal
yard in Kearny. N. J. This work was carried out at the Todd yard.
Eventually the rumors of settlement grew stronger.
First the Atlantic Basin yard settled and work was resumed on the
Brazil. Finally came official word that the entire strike was
ended. Immediately the Uruguay was moved from Todd’s to Federal
and then the men flocked back to the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Company yard
in Brooklyn to get to work on the Argentina.
The end of the strike brought again the flood of
requests for passenger space, and on the third floor at No. 11 Broadway
and in the Moore-McCormack passenger offices throughout the country the
telephones jangled and excited voices asked, persistently. "When
can I sail to South America?"
Early this month, while workmen were still hammering
away in the rebuilt passenger office at 5 Broadway, the company for the
second time in the year announced the resumption of the passenger
service. The Argentina, said tile announcement, will sail from
Pier 32, North River, on January 15, to be followed February 12 by the
Uruguay. The Brazil should be ready in March.
Leo E. Archer, general passenger traffic manager,
found applications for first class quarters exceeded the available
space, but offered hope to applicants for tourist accommodations. He
recommended that travelers think more seriously of the Spring and Summer
seasons. Demands for space were not the only result of the strike’s
ending, however. Fashion magazines asked permission to use the ships'
public rooms as background for photographs of their models; writers on
subjects allied to interior decoration demanded information about the
furniture, decorations and art works that enter into the ships' new
designs. One motion picture company asked to fit the ships into their
promotional plans for a new movie. A thousand and one details of
operation cropped up, and as the News prepared to go to press another
thousand were on their way.
Not the least important detail was that of staffing
the ships. Captain Thomas Simmons, who has been acting as port captain
in New York since his ship entered drydock, will return to the bridge of
the Argentina as her master, it was announced. He was in command
when the Argentina returned to New York on December 27, 1941,
completing her last pre-war trip in the South American trade. He was in
command when she sailed from New York on January 23, 1942, for
Australia, on her first wartime trip as a troopship. He stayed with her
when she was assigned to the Atlantic and remained through her last
wartime voyage which ended on August 31, 1946. During her wartime
career the Argentina steamed approximately 335,906 miles and
carried about 200,000 passengers.
Included in Captain Simmons’s staff will be Harold G.
Glynn, who has been the ship’s purser since her entry into the Good
Neighbor Fleet service in the Fall of 1938; William A. Quinn, whose
record as chief steward of the ship is equally long, and Charles
Hafliger, chief engineer, who since April, 1932, has filled positions
aboard the Argentina all the way from sixth assistant engineer to chief.
("The Mooremack News," October
(Courtesy of Vincent
The most ambitious travel program to be
made public in preparation for the coming Winter season was announced
recently by Moore-McCormack, in a schedule that calls for the assignment
of two of the company’s Good Neighbor liners — the S.S. Argentina
and the S.S. Brazil—to special cruises to South America in
January and February. It is planned to have both ships present in Rio
de Janeiro, Brazil, the duration of the annual world famous Rio
The two ships which during the Fall months
will sail to South America’s East Coast from Pier 32. North River, New York,
on 38-day cruises in a fortnightly service with their sister ship, the
S.S. Uruguay, will make two special 45-day cruises, with two ports of
call added plus the extended stay at Rio de Janeiro, and longer stays in
other regularly scheduled ports.
In projecting this program Moore-McCormack
Lines will revive a program which was tremendously successful in February of
1941. At that time, two of the company's ships were tied up at Rio during
the Carnival, and hundreds of travelers who were present or who heard of it
have since inquired whether the innovation would again be attempted.
The liner Argentina, the first
of the two to sail, will leave New York, Friday, January 28, proceeding
first to Hamilton, Bermuda, then to Bridgetown, Barbados, and to Bahia,
Brazil, before arrival at Rio de Janeiro
on Saturday, February 12. After this visit to Rio, the ship will proceed on
her regular schedule to Santos, Brazil; Montevideo, Uruguay; and Buenos
Aires, Argentina, stopping again northbound at Montevideo and Santos and
arriving at Rio de Janeiro on February 26, where she will remain the
duration of the carnival, sailing March 2 for New York, with a stop en route
at Trinidad. She will arrive in New York, Monday, March 14.
The Brazil will sail from New York
February 11, and also stop at Hamilton, Bridgetown and Bahia southbound,
reaching Rio de Janeiro the same day as her sister ship, February 26. She
will tie up and remain in Rio until March 1, proceeding upon conclusion of
the carnival to Santos, Montevideo and Buenos Aires, with the same stops
northbound, a second stop at Rio de Janeiro, and a stop at Trinidad. She
will arrive back in New York on Friday, March 25.
The ships will serve as hotels for their
passengers at all stops, except Buenos Aires, as is the practice with the
regular 38-day cruise service. At Buenos Aires the passengers
will occupy a hotel ashore, this being included in the over-all fare.
The Mardi Gras at Rio de
Janeiro is an outstanding festival in many ways.
In the four days that
precede the start of the Lenten season, virtually all of this, the world’s
city, ceases commercial activity and the entire population, augmented by
thousands of Brazilians
from outside the city, devote the days and nights to parades and parties,
featuring magnificent costumes and floats, music and dancing. Many of the
most popular Brazilian songs that have come to the United States and been
heard by millions of people on the radio were written especially for the
Mardi Gras. The songwriters and poets of Brazil make this the occasion for
the production of their finest works. The carnival brings out the spirit of
joy that is so striking in the national character; at no time is it so
clearly reflected as in their carnival.
("The Mooremack News," October
(Courtesy of Vincent
With the sailing of the liner Brazil
from Pier 32, North River,
New York City, on Friday afternoon (Oct. 8) the eleventh year of the
operation of the Good Neighbor Fleet by Moore-McCormack Lines, to the East
Coast of South America, started.
The Brazil sailed October 8, 1938, with
Captain Harry N. Sadler in command. Captain Sadler was again on the bridge
when she sailed after ten years of operation. The ship is scheduled to
arrive at her various ports along the South American coast—Rio de Janeiro
and Santos, Brazil; Montevideo, Uruguay; Buenos Aires, Argentina, and
Trinidad, in the British West Indies — exactly ten years after the original
Only one interruption, that of war, has
been permitted to interfere with the continuous operation of the Brazil and
her sister ships, the Uruguay and the Argentina, during this ten-year period
as units of the American Republics Line. When the Japs struck at Pearl
Harbor, all three of the ships were made ready for wartime service, and
during the course of the war years carried nearly half a million troops and
thousands of tons of equipment across the Atlantic and the Pacific, and
around the world. They participated in the invasion of North Africa, moving
in line one after the other into Oran, Algeria, one dark November night in
1942. The Argentina was the first ship of the merchant marine to transport
war brides to the United States and all three ships operated as carriers of
troops homeward- bound upon the conclusion of the war.
The Good Neighbor Fleet service was
launched in 1938 as the direct result of a visit of the late President
Franklin D. Roosevelt to an Inter-American Conference at Buenos Aires, in
1936. He returned from that meeting with the conviction that the American
merchant marine was not adequately represented in the trade along South
America’s East Coast. He therefore instructed the Maritime Commission to
start a service which would provide good passenger-cargo vessels to Rio de
Janeiro, held by many travelers to be the most beautiful port in the world;
to Buenos Aires, third largest city in the Americas, smaller only than New
York and Chicago; to Santos, through which move the largest shipments of
coffee to the United States; to Montevideo, a distinguished city of homes
and seat of a rich culture.
Acting on the President’s orders the
Maritime Commission assigned the Brazil, the Uruguay and the
the service with Captain Sadler, Captain Thomas Simmons and Captain William
B. Oakley in command. The first two masters are still in command of those
ships, and were in command throughout the war. Captain Albert P. Spaulding
is master of the Uruguay, a post he also held throughout the war.
In the first complete year of operation of
the service, the three ships carried more than 15,000 passengers. This
total completely upset the predictions of observers who had said a regular
passenger service to South America’s East Coast could not succeed because of
the length of the trip. (The run between New York and Buenos Aires,
respectively the northern and southern terminals of the service, is 6,280
The popularity of the service continued,
however, with the ships sailing on alternate Fridays, returning 38 days
later, on the Monday morning following the passing of five weeks. In the
second year the passenger totals exceeded 18,000 and in 1941, despite the
coming of the war, the total went beyond 20,000.
When the war ended and the ships returned
to New York to prepare for resumption of passenger service, some 15,000,000
was expended in rebuilding them, in the installation of new equipment, in
making the ships in every detail the most modern ships possible. The
post-war resumption of the service was launched on January 15, 1948, when
the Argentina again sailed. The Uruguay followed her on February 12 and the
Brazil completed the return of the fleet when she sailed June 4.
The ships now sail Fridays at 5 P.M. instead of midnight.