QE2 and the Falklands


Timothy Trower

Now, don't get me wrong here -- I'm a big fan of the QE2, but I still chuckle over an image from the Falkland Islands War.

The QE2 was not allowed into the war zone with her load of soldiers, whereas the Canberra was right on the spot. In fact, the Canberra had a French made Exocet missile fired at her -- fortunately blown out of the air by the British before it could hit the Canberra. (I've seen a video of this; quite chilling.)

So, the image that I'll always remember is this -- a group of "passengers" on the Canberra unfurled a sign that read "The Canberra Cruises Where The QE2 Refuses"!

Still, this may be the last time that any liner is requisitioned for trooping duties -- the airplane has made such a difference in troop movements.

(As an aside, I wrote my members of Congress urging them to support activating the SS United States as a troopship. At the time, she was still intact ... but nothing ever came of that proposal. She might have had one last blaze of glory.)

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