Header-Bilder SEA CLOUD Historie
Header-Bilder SEA CLOUD Historie
Header-Bilder SEA CLOUD Historie

A sacrifice for the nation.

Most guests on board the SEA CLOUD pay no attention to the small, white plaque with five brass stripes, mounted on the front of the wheelhouse under the bridge. Only a few know: each stripe stands for a half year of active military service for the USA.

Five brass stripes under the SEA CLOUD's bridge

The patriotic act of Marjorie and her third husband, Joe Davies, is widely referred to as a heroic sacrifice: The SEA CLOUD, in place of a son, would go to war. Actually, the couple had tried to sell their ship just before the USA entered the war. By this time, however, the market for this kind of luxury goods had collapsed. The United States was pulled into the war by the attack of the Japanese on Pearl Harbor at the end of 1941. Shortly thereafter, the Navy started acquiring private yachts to strengthen the fleet and began to outfit them to patrol, search for submarines, and monitor weather.

Certificate of the United States Navy
SEA CLOUD without masts

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was a close friend of diplomat Davies, at first rejected "military service" for the SEA CLOUD on the grounds that the yacht was too beautiful for such a deployment. But by 1942 the USA could no longer afford this kind of nicety. Symbolically chartered for one dollar, the Coast Guard took over the SEA CLOUD, removed the masts and bowsprit and had the boat painted grey.

Not much was left of the impressive luxury yacht. Outfitted with guns and anti-submarine weapons, she cruised the waters around the Azores and south Greenland under the name IX-99. As a floating weather station, the ship sent current data to Arlington, Virginia every four hours.