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The Patuxent "Ghost Fleet"

The Patuxent “Ghost Fleet” 1927-1941, by Merle T. Cole, 1986 (reprinted 2009), 70 pp., photographs, paperback. (ISBN 978-0-941647-19-9) 


This is a little-known story of how four former passenger liners, once the pride of the German Merchant Marine, came to spend much of the period between World Wars I and II laid up in a quiet backwater of Maryland’s Patuxent River. Interned in the United States during World War I, the stately ships saw limited service with the U.S. Shipping Board until the postwar economic slump caused them to be mothballed, awaiting better times. The ships became an almost permanent feature of the local landscape, an attraction in their own right over the next fifteen years, until darkening war clouds led to their removal, either for scrap or government use.

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