As we go through the postcards, opportunities for side-stories come up. Here’s a list of the stories that we would need help with. The list is always growing, so please check back periodically:

Cunard RMS Laconia and Fraconia Project Lizzie Postcard #92 shows a single Cunard Line ship, but the copy on the card calls out the RMS Franconia and the Laconia.  The postmark on the card is illegible. However, a little research into the history of the ships gives some clues. Since the RMS Laconia‘s maiden voyage was on January 20, 1911 and it was sunk by a German U-boat on February 25, 1917 and the RMS Franconia was launched on July 23, 1910 and it was sunk by German U-Boat U-47 on October 4, 1916, we can assume that it was sent sometime between 1910 and 1917.A couple of other footnotes are that that after these two ships were sunk, new ships were launched in their names: Laconia (1921) and Franconia (1922). Unfortunately for the Laconia II, it was sunk by a German U-boat in 1942. The Franconia II lasted until it was scrapped in 1956. Some of the questions that we need help with include:

  • What is the date of this postcard?
  • It is signed by “Shaper?” Who is Sharper?
  • Can we use this information to find a name on a manifest?
  • Are there any more interesting tidbits that you can tell us about the Franconia and Laconia?
Villefranche Project Lizzie Postcard #93 contains a watercolor image of the harbor at Villefranche, France. We don’t know the date of the postmark, but are wondering if the contents of the card offers some clues. For example, it looks like three warships are in the picture–perhaps dreadnoughts, cruisers, or battleships. One thought is that the artist may have commemorated President Teddy Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet, the US warships that circumnavigated the world between December 1907 and February 1909. Records show that the First Division (sans the USS Connecticut (BB-18)) visited the harbor in January 1909. Are you a Naval historian? Perhaps you can help us solve this mystery.

If you have anything to add, please either fill out the form below or add a note to the postcards in question. We’d love to hear from you.

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