From mid to late January 1942, as Singapore lay under siege, the U.S. Navy landed 20, 000 British troops from America’s three most important former ocean liners. A globe-circling voyage – the longest of the war – but unknown for decades. How it happened, and why it remains unknown today. The July 2002 PROCEEDINGS (U.S. Naval Institute) history feature.
An August 1941 meeting between President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill yielded more than the Atlantic Charter. The leaders set plans to move British troops to the Middle East in three former U.S. ocean liners. But after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the orders changed, and the mighty liners became “the ghost ships of Task Force 14.”