The whereabouts and occupation of the favorite Island steamer Naushon, long queen of the Island line, has been officially revealed in a story in the Stars and Stripes, newspaper of the American forces overseas. A clip­ping of the story, with a picture of the Naushon in her new role, has come to Mrs. Joseph De Witt of Ed­gartown from her brother, Pvt. Morris Shapiro, who is serving somewhere in England.
The Naushon is a hospital ship for the British Navy, and the caption under the picture in the Stars and Stripes places her at London. The story is by Don Hewitt, merchant ma­rine editor of the paper, and ap­peared on Aug. 25, 1943.
There are several inaccuracies for the Vineyard reader to overlook, es­pecially the description of the Nau­shon as a ferry boat. That she never was, but a modern steel steamer com­pleted in 1929 and incorporating many features enjoyed by countless Island travelers. The picture bears out the words of description with which the article concludes, two large crosses being in evidence, one amidships and one forward. The steamer evidently bears no name, but has a large num­ber instead. She is, however, plainly to be recognized.


Story of a Prodigal Boat

The story runs as follows:
This is the story of a prodigal ferry boat who, weary of wending her way between New Bedford, Mass., and Martha’s Vineyard while her big sisters were sailing the bounding main, tooted a final goodbye to the main who played the concertina on the upper deckerina, joined the Navy and several days later arrived in London.
Trudging along the docks this af­ternoon, a Yank from Queens, N. Y., suddenly came face to face with an American ferry boat. He couldn’t have been more astonished if he’d seen a Broadway-7th Ave. Local pull into the Piccadilly underground sta­tion.
Fitted out as a hospital ship, the Naushon which for many years made the trek across Vineyard Sound with cars and passengers, is now sailing under the red ensign of the British Merchant Navy.
Raymond Brewer, second officer, who was aboard when the Naushon made the Atlantic crossing last Au­gust, met the wandering Yank at the head of the gangway as he clambered aboard, anxious to know if she might be the Gold Star Mother or the Rob­ert E. Lee, or some other ferry dear to the hearts of New Jersey-Manhat­tan commuters.

Took Atlantic Like Queen Mary

“She might be an old ferry boat but she took the Atlantic like the Queen Mary,” said Brewer. “Come on below,” he said, “and I’ll show you what we’ve done to her.”
The outer staterooms, which once accommodated vacationists on their way to the fashionable Vineyard re­sorts, have been converted into nurses’ quarters. Part of the promenade deck has been closed in and is used as the officers’ ward room. The car deck contains the bunks for wounded men and has been sectioned off into wards.
Brought over by a crew of sixty men, the boat was camouflaged and boarded up. After her arrival here she was painted white with a green stripe running fore and after just be­low the boat deck and with several large crosses on her sides and stack.


Others Send Clipping

First Sgt. Howard A. Chadwick Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Howard A. Chadwick of Vineyard Haven, now stationed in England, has also sent the clipping from the Stars and Stripes.
Still another to write of the Nau­shon is Sgt. Tom LaBell, formerly of Edgartown, also serving in the Army in England. Tom writes:
“Ran across this bit of interesting news in the soldiers’ paper, Stars and Stripes. It was a complete surprise to me, the destination of our “old ferry boat.” Undoubtedly the Vine­yard natives will be surprised also, and glad to know their “old ferry” is playing a part in our effort to win the war.”