Transmission 25: Inga Bowyer


The Abbondandolo family during their 1953 voyage from NYC to Germany. Courtesy of Inga Bowyer (née Abbondandolo).

My father was a US Air Force Sergeant assigned to Ramey Air Force Base in Puerto Rico. Family housing on the base was not yet ready for us, so we were headed to Germany to stay with my grandparents while our home in Puerto Rico was built.

My mother told me that our cabin steward was especially attentive to her and her little brood of four kids all age 5 and under. She was also about two months pregnant at the time!

I don’t remember much about the voyage myself, but I seem to recall having French toast for breakfast one morning. My favorite memory from the journey was the gala party! I remember my delight at getting a fancy paper hat to wear.

Even though I was only five years old, and have only a few memories from my time on the SS United States, I feel privileged to have sailed aboard this great ship.

— Inga Bowyer (née Abbondandolo), who sailed on the SS United States in February of 1953 with her mother Hildegard, younger sisters Regina and Diana, and younger brother Michael.