UNIT HISTORY



Ready for Combat!
On 9 September 1943, the unit moved back into garrison at Camp Davis to complete training for overseas shipment. Record and familiarization firing of small arms was completed, officers and men were sent through the infiltration course, training in all other subjects was reviewed, and final tests of the battalion's various sections were given and successfully passed.

GRAY GHOST
The Cunard liner Queen Mary, in the wartime gray paint that earned her the nickname "The Gray Ghost,"
steams up the Hudson River toward her berth. Off the Queen's starboard bow are the two massive
Lincoln Tunnel ventilation towers at the foot of 38th Street.

On 5 December 1943, the battalion left Camp Davis by train for the staging area at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey. After staging, the unit was sent to the New York port of embarkation, from where it boarded the Queen Mary, sailing for Great Britain on 23 December 1943. The ship was very crowded, necessitating double-bunking, with many of the men forced to sleep on deck. In addition, the crossing was rough and many of the men were seasick, especially during a storm which raged through Christmas Day. Officially, this voyage of the Queen was designated 30E (denoting her thirtieth wartime voyage to England, the E indicating east; return trips to New York were designated using a W, for west). Her first wartime voyage (designated No. 1) took place on 21 March 1940 (New York to Sydney, Australia). Her first voyage to Gourock carrying American troops (No. 16) took place from 2 to 7 August 1942. Here are some facts about the 225th's crossing:

  • Departed New York 23 December 1943; arrived Gourock 29 December 1943
  • Captain Bisset was in command
  • 11,990 troops were on board along with 1,087 crew (the record was set during voyage 23E, 23 to 30 July 1943, when 15,740 troops crossed)
  • The passage covered 3,662 miles in 5 days, 10 hours, and 30 minutes (the fastest New York to Gourock crossing was achieved by the Queen on voyage 24E, 27 to 31 August 1943, when 2,607 miles were covered in 3 days, 23 hour, and 18 minutes); the variation in mileage can be accounted for by differences in route and course corrections
  • The Queen's average speed for the crossing was 28.06 knots
BUNKING ON THE QUEEN
The Queen looks mighty crowded in this view (taken during an unidentified crossing).
This was pretty much the situation when the men of the 225th crossed the Atlantic the week
of 23 through 29 December 1943, with two men sharing a bunk (sleeping in shifts).

JAM PACKED

The Queen Mary, fantail swarming with GIs, enters the Atlantic
for a crossing to Great Britain. The liner often
transported over 15,000 men in a single trip.


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