Notizie da Alessandro: AFS Ship Travel Photographs

Note from the Archivist: This is the third in a series of posts by Alessandro Boussalem, the Fondazione CRT Intern in the AFS Archives.  Alessandro will be sharing his perspective on his internship, AFS, and the archival collections through these "Notizie da Alessandro" ("News from Alessandro") posts.

On September 24, 2013, the AFS-USA staff created an office-wide “marketplace” complete with colorful “booths” for each department. Staff had the opportunity to highlight the work of their respective department in creative ways, intended for the visiting AFS-USA Team Development Specialists and Directors from across the country. The Archives of the American Field Service and AFS Intercultural Programs (AFS Archives) also created a booth for the event, to inform staff about the activities of the Archives and the history of the organization. The AFS Archives booth was transformed into a ship, sailing through time and showcasing the archival resources through the eyes of a passenger on board one of the many ships used in the past to transport AFS Drivers during the World Wars, and AFS Participants and Returnees during the student exchange program years.

For this news update, I want to share some of the images of AFSers on ships that we used to decorate our booth. The first photograph shows A. Piatt Andrew, Henry Sleeper and ambulance drivers of Section Sanitaire [États-] Unis (SSU) 10 on a ship in New York, before sailing to France in 1916 during World War I. The second photograph was taken in 1943, right in the middle of World War II, and it shows George Railsback, George Meierstein, William Rich, and Bill Congdon lounging on ambulances aboard a transit ship to Italy.

From the student program years, we have three photographs. The first photograph shows a group of AFS Participants standing with a member of the ship’s crew aboard the SS Arosa Kulm in September 1957. The second photograph shows a group of AFS Participants singing on the deck of the SS Waterman in 1968.  Finally, the last photograph (depicted above) shows a group of AFSers on the deck of the Queen Elizabeth II in 1997. This ship took a group, consisting mostly of AFS Returnees, from Europe to the United States in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the AFS Programs.

-Alessandro Boussalem, Fondazione CRT Intern

Photograph caption: Group of AFSers aboard the SS Queen Elizabeth II, 1997. Photographer Unknown. This image cannot be reproduced outside the guidelines of United States Fair Use (17 U.S.C., Section 107) without advance permission from the AFS Archives.

Posted October 4, 2013, by Nicole Milano