Magazine article Sea Classics

Bronx, New York

Magazine article Sea Classics

Bronx, New York

Article excerpt

A scale model of the EMPIRE STATE IV was placed on display at the Maritime Industry Museum at Fort Schuyler on 16 September. The converted Army Transport HENRY GIBBONS, renamed the Training Ship EMPIRE IV, served as the training ship of the New York Maritime College from 1959 to 1973. In its previous life, the ship played an historic humanitarian mission during the darkest days of World War II.

During the war, the ship was one of the many Army transports used by the United States and its Allies. In 1944 it was assigned an extraordinary and dangerous mission to bring 1,000 Jewish and Christian refugees to sanctuary in America. The story has been documented in the book Haven by New York City author Ruth Gruber and will soon be a subject of a major network miniseries by the same name. The decision to open America's arms to these desperate refugees by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt reversed the policy of denying entry due to "quotas being filled" and helped change the character of the country. …

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