Transmission #1: Paul MacCarthy
It’s a very famous call sign. Whenever you were talking to someone from the ship, anywhere around the world, it was the first thing you would say: this is Superliner United States KJEH. If you were talking to somebody in Dubai, you’d say, “This is Kilo-Juliette-Echo-Hotel.” If you were talking to somebody nearby, you’d say KJEH, because they’d know. It was the night before we arrived on one of the last trip coming across from the UK to New York; for dinner on the last night there were special menus and special music, all the guys would be wearing their best tuxedos, and the women in formal evening dress looking a like a million. A couple came in after dinner, they said to me, “We want to make a call to a very small town in New Jersey, Saddle River — you’ve probably never heard of it.” “Heard of it?” I said, “I live in Upper Saddle River.” It’s a small world.
— Paul MacCarthy, radio operator on the SS United States (1957-1969)