The story of William Meriheina, Lusitania survivor and inventor of the car radio.
Jim Kalafus contributed 48 entries.
Entries by Jim Kalafus
Stories life and death from the sinking of the Lusitania.
Each May marks the anniversary of one of the 20th century’s most notorious events; the sinking, by torpedo, of Cunard Line’s Lusitania off the coast of Ireland with the loss of 1198 lives. While she lived, Lusitania was known as one of a pair of outstandingly beautiful record breakers, and after her death she became […]
Lusitania survivor Barbara McDermott tells her story.
Only a handful of the Lusitania’s families, and we are expanding the term ‘families’ to include mothers traveling with children, survived intact. Most did not survive at all. by
Robert William Whaley, John Idwal Lewis and Walter Dawson
One enduring Lusitania myth is that of the chaos that reigned along her port side during her final eighteen minutes.
Stories of some notable Lusitania passengers.
Lusitania, Eluding Enemy Nears Port… The general perception of the events leading up to May 7, 1915 is of a relatively normal service life suddenly disrupted by the famous German newspaper warning, after which came the disaster. Some authors make reference to the famous incident in which the Lusitania ran up an American flag for […]
THE WARNING: “Now, if your upper classes run away like this at the first sign of danger, you can’t have any hope for the rest of your people, you know. What would you do in a time of war?” “What should she have done?” 3000 Accept Risk Alfred G. Vanderbilt Among Those Who Ignore Written […]
Passengers who sank with the Lusitania who did not drown in the first few minutes soon faced a subtle but efficient killer. The water temperature was later given as low to mid 50’s, and under a beautiful, blue spring sky on a sunny afternoon, the Lusitania’s people began to succumb to hypothermia. The human body […]
Eyes picked out by birds… An elderly lady, between 40 and 50, hair turning grey, eyes picked out by birds, face full round and freckled. Fairly stout, about 5 foot three inches, very well dressed and wearing a lot of jewelry, and had a good set of natural teeth. On the third finger of her […]
A deck view in Second Class Jim Kalafus Collection The Lusitania survivors, with the exception of the most seriously injured, resumed their journeys, and their lives, within a few days of the disaster. They were carried by ferry to Liverpool, and then by train to destinations across the United Kingdom and Europe. Press interest in […]
Sitting at Barbara’s kitchen table, on a late summer visit, we eat potato chips from a bowl she has put out. “Don’t worry about the mess, I’ll clean up!” she says: Mrs. McDermott remains proud of her energy level and would not think of allowing guests to carry their own plates to the kitchen sink. […]
We part from Barbara McDermott on a happy note. We always do. She shows us a press clipping of herself as a school child, dressed in Egyptian garb at some long ago school function; a happy moment from 1926 preserved; Barbara, forever young, smiling and dressed as Cleopatra. Emily gazes down from the wall; her […]
Appendix A: The Unidentified # 6. Female. 60 Years. Dark complexion. Property. – 1 plain gold wedding ring (22 carat), no initials. Grave C. 10. Male. 35 years. Apparently a seaman. Tattooed star on back of right wrist. Grave C. #15. Male. 24 years. Apparently a member of crew. Wore a serge suit, with brass buttons. […]
Jim Kalafus reviews Inferno at Sea : Stories of Death and Survival Aboard the Morro Castle
In a world increasingly glutted with coffee-table format books, filled with minimal quantities of large-sized text and awash in “rare photographs and memorabilia” that are neither rare nor well-reproduced, it was refreshing to simultaneously receive two volumes to which the term “book of the decade” can be applied. Elegant, impeccably laid out, aimed at literate […]
One night out from Havana. Aboard the Morro Castle, passengers gather in the Deck Ballroom for a costume party. In less than four days time, the liner will be destroyed and 128 will be dead.
A beautiful spring day had brought together a band of people who wanted to honor the memory of a Titanic victim, Kate Buckley. Sitting under a tent, waiting for the service to start, Shelley Dziedzic began talking to a friendly-looking couple next to her. They were local to the Brockton, Ma area. When Shelley mentioned […]
“To me she was my dream ship. I saw her first when in her regal beauty she sped along the surface of the Clyde upon her trials. My boyish heart went out to her in admiration.” That was Albert Arthur Bestic’s first impression upon seeing the new Lusitania. The next time he saw her, he […]
Rose Ellen Murray, the Lusitania‘s Titanic Survivor
A unique photographic and documentary record of the tragic airship.
Gallery of images of the airship Hindenburg