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SS Lurline

Discussion in 'Other Ships and Shipwrecks' started by Tammy Saphiloff, Apr 21, 2003.

  1. Has anybody heard of the SS Lurline? I'm asking, b/c my gt. gt. uncle, Eugene Laster served as a First Class Stewart aboard her. She crossed back 'n' forth the Pacific from Honolulu, Hawaii to San Francisco, California. Among the many celebrities whom sailed on her, were: William Powell, Carole Lombard, Jimmy Durante, Claudette Colbert, Myrna Loy, Joel McCrea, Frances Dee, and Shirley Temple.

  2. Mark Baber

    Mark Baber Moderator

    Hello, Tammy---

    There were two Lurlines; this one, in service from 1933 to 1963, and this one, in service from 1963 to 1971.
  3. It was SS Lurline I, which was in service from 1933 to 1963, my late gt. gt. uncle, Eugene served on as a First Class Stewart. I have a postcard picture of her...a long with (naturally) a photo of my uncle too. Wish I could post his picture on this thread? huh.gif

  4. Erik Wood

    Erik Wood Member

    My grandfather was a bosun/quartermaster on the first Lurline for Matson. This is the ship that ran between San Franscico and Hawaii.
  5. Hi Erik! Talkin' about this bein' a small world, eh!?! Wonder if your grandfather, and my uncle ever came in to contact with each other throughout Lurline's many crossings? What, may I ask, in all due fairness, is your grandfather's name?

  6. Erik Wood

    Erik Wood Member

    Max K. Weisbarth. His father was a Master for Matson's frieght boats and later a Shipping Agent out of Seattle and San Franscico.
  7. To prove that my Gt. Uncle Eugene Laster (b/c he was my late Grandmother Anna Lorraine Laster Handy's brother, he would be my gt. uncle, wouldn't he?) served as First Class Stewart aboard the SS Lurline I, I've looked most everywhere for someplace to write to that would contain the Manifest with his name on it.

    Erik, would you happen to know where I can get hold of copies of the above Manifest? And/or where I could write to?

    Thank you,
  8. Erik Wood

    Erik Wood Member

    I would try contacting Matson directly or perhaps the Honolulu Maritime Museum. You will probably need to nail down an rough time frame when he was aboard.
  9. Erik Wood

    Erik Wood Member


    I have a few contacts at Matson and I just sent along a note asking for some info. If I get it and it is useful, I will send along via this thread or through the board to your email.
  10. Nailing down the time frame, might be rather tough, but since he served on Lurline I during the above mentioned 1933-1963. I could try 1933-1940 for starters, couldn't I?

    Did you know that there's another time frame for the SS Lurline, that goes further back then the above? Such as February 20, 1907 - February 23, 1910, (which is much prior to Olympic's launch time), from Honolulu to San Francisco.

    Ally, my Hattie cousin-in-law, emailed me this information. There's still more she sent me, but it's about Lurline's sister, the Monterey.

  11. Jim Hathaway

    Jim Hathaway Member

    Matson Lines, in the late 1940s purchased two Douglas DC-4s and named them "Sky Lurline" and "Sky Matsonia" and were offering fly one way, come back on the ship which became very popular.
    In mid Pacific, the plane would make a low pass over the liner.
    The final nail came when Pan American Airlines persuaded the government to use anti-trust legislation to get Matson Lines out of the airline business.
    If you can find a copy of "Ernest K. Gann's Flying Circus", there is an excellent story about Matson's short lived airline career, and in the hard bound edition, there is a beautiful painting of Sky Matsonia buzzing Lurline-
    I can remember seeing Lurline and Matsonia entering and leaving LA Harbor in the 1960s-great memories!
  12. Jim Hathaway

    Jim Hathaway Member

    Here is a photo of one of Matson Lines DC4s operated on a regular passenger service alongside thier steam service in the late 1940s.
    Jim Hathaway
  13. Laura Sprague

    Laura Sprague Member

    I lived in Hawaii between 1961 to 1964. I remember the Lurline and Matsonia of that time frame visiting the port of Honolulu. Boat Day, as it was called, was a big day back then in the Islands, even with the increasing popularity of air travel. Sadly, I never got to sail on either ship, as we flew a Pan American Boeing 707 to Hawaii in 1961 and a World Airways Douglas DC-8 back to the mainland back in 1964.
  14. Jim Hathaway

    Jim Hathaway Member

    In the book, "Advance Force Pearl Harbor" by Burlingame, there are several stories of Lurline during the war,she was transiting from the states when the attack occurred.
    There are also stories of Matson Line's other ships which came under fire, the crew of one spent several weeks in a lifeboat after thier ship was sunk by a submarine.
  15. David Coppel

    David Coppel Member

    I am really surprised that so many people have heard of the LURLINE on different posts.
    My grandfather C.A.Berndtson was the captain of the LURLINE from 1932 until 1946.He ran troops all through the war.I'm sure thats why he died of a heart attack 6 months after getting back in april 1946.He was also the Commodore of the Matson fleet.I heard many interesting stories about his adventures from being a day and a half out of Honolulu when Pearl Harbor was attacked to bringing the troops and warbrides back from Australia. MY father was also the purser on the LURLINE pre war and lucky him married the Captains daughter.He also was the Assistant to the President of Matson in the 50's. My brother was the purser on the LURLINE sometime in the early 60's. I was a Ordinary Seaman on the last liner in 1964.So we all have Lurline and Matson in our blood.
    If there is anything anybody wonders about that's not on the web. ask away!
  16. Dagmar Mikko

    Dagmar Mikko Member

    David or anyone else: My father was on the SS Lurline in May 1945 as an Army grunt. He became a member of the Domain of the Neptune Rex at that time. I knew he was stationed in the Philipinnes waiting for the invasion orders but I don't understand why he would be heading south over the equator to get to Japan. He did end his military service with 3 months in occupied Japan. Is there any way to get a record of the SS Lurline during the 1945 time period and ships's manifest?
  17. David Coppel

    David Coppel Member

    The S.S.Lurline ran troops all over the world.I'm sure he became a member of the domain of the neptune rex, as he had to go south to the Philipines at some time. I don't think the S.S.Lurline took the occupying troops to Japan.
    After the war the S.S.Lurline was the first ship to bring back troops and war brides from Australia in early 1946.
    As far as manifests are concerned, i don't know if Matson ever kept those. The Lurline was under the charges of the military during the war. But you never know, there might be something in the archives in San Francisco.
  18. Anita Wylie

    Anita Wylie Guest

    In response to Tammy Saphiloff's question, I was on board the SS Lurline traveling from Honolulu to S.F. in 12/58. On board with us was Dorothy Lamore, and she graciously spent time every day with a group of us young kids, singing, doing the hula, etc. Even though I was just 7, I had free-run of the ship and loved every minute of it.
  19. Am looking for information as to where I may obtain a passenger list for a cruise from Hawaii to Los Angeles in December 1941, aboard the Lurline.  It was just a few days after the attack.  My Mother, myself, Brother, and Sister were aboard for that cruise.  Any info provided would be greatly appreciated
  20. I was looking up information on the S.S Lurline and came across this link. I came to the U.S. from Australia on the first ship of war brides(the Lurline) after the war ended. We left Brisbane on Sept. 11, 1945. I was the youngest onboard - less than a month old. There were manifests available because I've seen the one of that voyage. Someone sent it to me. I believe the Lurline did take troops to Japan, but the war ended before they arrived.