Academic journal article The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

Exodus 1947

Academic journal article The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

Exodus 1947

Article excerpt

"Chartered for History," a traveling panel exhibit organized by the Mariners' Museum in Newport News and Ohef Sholom Temple Archives in Norfolk, documents the colorful history of the President Warfield, a luxury steamer built in 1928 for leisure travel on the Chesapeake Bay. After fourteen years as a pleasure craft, the President Warfield was refitted as a troop ship during World War II. The vessel survived a U-boat attack while crossing the Atlantic and the invasion of Normandy. Years of combat service levied a toll, however, and in June 1946 the battered vessel was put up for sale as scrap. The ship was bought surreptitiously, by an organization calling itself the Weston Trading Company, and was made ready for its final and most famous journey.

In its last incarnation, the vessel built to carry passengers between Norfolk and Baltimore was rechristened the Exodus 1947 and used to attempt to smuggle 4,500 Jews fleeing from postwar Europe into British Palestine. …

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