Normandie bleu clair


Normandie Turquoise


The order of the liner Normandy is officially placed on October 20th, 1930 to the PenhoŽt yards of Saint-Nazaire : she will be the T6 hull. She is one of the greatest pre-war technical realizations.
The final hull is 313.75 m long - that is  10 meters more than the Eiffel Tower - is finally proposed by a Russian architect emigrated in France, Vladimir Yourkevitch. It is illustrated by very original forms: the ship is much broader than its competitors, and a stem improved in form of Y for better penetrating in water and offering less possible resistance of hull. She is also rebalanced by a bluff bow and is equipped with a mole. The three funnels (including one dummy) in the shape of droplets and tilted towards are drawn by the artist Marin-Marie; they raise round superstructures. The rear dissociates other ships of the time: no opening for the loading, but a succession of curved terraces.
The first sheet of skittle of the new steamer is officially posed on January 26th, 1931 in Saint Nazaire yards. On October 29th, 1932 president Albert Lebrun, with his wife like godmother of the ship, attends the launching of the hull before the installation of the engines, of the funnels, set up of many equipment and interior installations. On May 11th, 1935, Normandy arrives in Le Havre for various works.
 President Albert Lebrun takes part in the unveiling of the ship on May 23rd at the time of a dinner during official reception with a thousand of guests and the President of the Republic spends the night on board liner.
The first commercial trip comes on May 29th, 1935 with the first crossing Le Havre-New York. With NORMANDIE, Compagnie GeneraleTransatlantique, grants the blue ribbon (transatlantic record of crossing): 30 knots during her first voyage and an average speed of 29.94 knots in 4 days, 3 hours, 14 minutes.
On June 7th, 1935, she leaves New York and reaches a speed of.30.31 knots.
In 1938 and 1939, in addition to her regular crossings, she realises two cruises to South America, starting from New York
In December 1941, the ship is seized by the U.S. Maritime Commission then entrusted to the U.S. Navy which transforms it into transport of troops, renamed LAFAYETTE. At the time of work in the large living room of the First classes, fire is set accidentally to life jackets stored in the vicinity. For fear of seeing fire being propagated to the harbour installations, the firemen and the fire boats of the city of New York pour cloudburst on the superstructures of the ship. Unbalanced, NORMANDY capsizes in the night of February 9th. 
 After an attempt at reinflation, NORMANDY is finally sold to a scrap merchant of Newark in October 1946. Its demolition will be completed in October 1947. In compensation, the Transatlantic General Company will be seen allotting in 1946 the German steamer EUROPA, which will be transformed and given in service in 1950 under the name of LIBERTE. 


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