SHIPPING: Whither America?

Three years ago Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. laid the keel of the U. S.'s finest luxury liner. Named America, destined for U. S. Lines, the $17,587,000 beauty was to be the U. S.'s new bid for the transatlantic passenger trade. World War II changed all that.

Back from her final sea trials off Rockland, Me. last week, the 26,454-ton, 723-foot, 24-knot America was turned over to tall, horse-faced John Merryman Franklin, U. S. Lines president. As his pen lifted from the $7,328,140 mortgage, an estimated $750,000 worth of yearly interest and amortization charges began...

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