One of the most elegant ships ever built, RMS Queen Elizabeth, was one of the two superliners built by John Brown and Company in Clydebank, Scotland, in the 1930s. The ship did not start out as RMS Queen Elizabeth, but rather as Hull 552. Later, it was named in honor of Queen Elizabeth, and launched, on 27 September 1938. The RMS Queen Elizabeth was 1,031 feet long and 118.5 feet wide. It was the largest passenger liner ever constructed…until then anyway.
During the late 1930s, workers at a Scottish construction site began building a sea vessel for the Cunard Line ocean liner company that would be larger and more luxurious than anything the world had ever seen. However, the outbreak of World War II in 1939 prevented the completion of the Queen Elizabeth‘s finer points. The vessel was hastily made seaworthy for wartime service and was used as a transport vessel for the Allies, carrying massive amounts of supplies and several hundred thousand troops around the world until the war’s end. Because of the concerns over German bombing, the ship was moved to New York to harbor it in a safer place.
After the war, the ship, which was equipped with a 200,000 horsepower engine, was embellished with an elegant art deco style. It made its public debut in 1946, leaving Southampton, England, on its first luxurious run across the Atlantic. The ship continued to be a luxury passenger liner until it retirement in 1968.
Then, the Queen Elizabeth was auctioned off to the highest bidder, eventually being purchased in 1970 by C.W. Tung, a Taiwanese shipping tycoon. Tung renamed the vessel Seawise University and began work on converting the ship into a learning center that would tour the world. However, in early 1972, as the mobile university neared completion, a fire destroyed the pride of the Cunard Line. The fire broke out while the ship was docked in Hong Kong Harbor, and by the next morning the famous vessel was a total loss on the bottom of the sea floor.