March 4, 2004 by

Leroy J. Alexanderson

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Categories: Military

Commodore Leroy J. Alexanderson was the last captain of the SS United States, the biggest and fastest ocean liner ever built in the nation. Known as the “Big U,” the 990-foot long ship set a trans-Atlantic speed record of three days, 10 hours and 42 minutes on its maiden voyage in 1952.
Alexanderson graduated from the New York Merchant Marine Academy and received commissions with both the Naval Reserve and Maritime Service. He went to sea with the Merchant Marine on several freighters before transferring to the United States Lines.
At the start of World War II, Alexanderson volunteered for active duty in the Navy. He was assigned to the destroyer escort, USS Melville, where he served in both the North and South Atlantic. Then he captained the USS Livingston and the USS Gage, which helped transport the 6th Marine Division to Okinawa. When the Japanese surrendered in 1945, the Gage transported thousands of troops home.
In 1947, Alexanderson returned to Merchant Marine Service with the United States Lines. He served as an officer aboard several ships before being assigned as executive officer, and later commander, of the 623-foot SS America in 1955. Alexanderson became captain of the SS United States in 1964 and served on the vessel for five years. During that period, he was also named commodore of the entire United States Lines Fleet.
Alexanderson died on Feb. 28. Cause of death was not released. He was 93.

2 Responses to Leroy J. Alexanderson

  1. Missy Warren

    I am in possession of many log books, tributes & misc. paper work belonging to the late Commodore. If a family member is interested please E mail me. mamawa45@aol.com. I will arrange to send them
    Missy Warren
    Bronx, New York

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