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Stacy Darrel Miller

The Last Great Cruise of The Queen Mary


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Story by: The Queen Mary Archivist

Date added: 23 Nov 2017

Whilst at Lisbon, a stowaway, Stacy Miller, secretly slipped aboard, but was discovered before the Mary stopped at Las Palmas to take on 6,000 tons of fuel. He was a 21 year old from Chicago who had run out of money in Lisbon. Being the Queen Mary, he thought that she would take him to New York. Once he was discovered he was locked up for week in the Isolation Hospital.
On arriving in Rio, Captain Jones conferred with the American Embassy and it was agreed that Miller could have the choice of remaining behind locked doors for the remainder of the trip or signing on as a deck hand. Stacy Miller chose to work and then was signed on as a member of the crew as a ‘workaway’. As a workaway he was expected to work his passage and traditionally was supposed to get a token salary of one shilling (14 cents) per month - probably that was not paid.

In 2012 Miller published The Last Stowaway: RMS Queen Mary.

Whilst a good title, it was not technically correct, as Velma Krauch explains :
Before the day was over (7th December, the day following the departure from Acapulco), word had spread revealing a young lady stowaway to be on board. Not only on board but was ill. Very ill. The rumourmongers were busy estimating the extent of her illness. In fact, we had a choice or rumours. Some spreaders-of-good-tidings said it was amoebic dysentery, others, who vowed that had it straight from the horse’s mouth, declared it was typhoid. Either way, with less than 24 hours to landing, we stood the chance of a 48-hour quarantine on board ship.
The following day the health inspectors and officials slipped aboard. Before starting their check of the passengers’
records, they visited the young woman and rumours were finally squashed. Her illness was not typhoid fever or amoebic dysentery, but according to health officers a severe case of ‘traveller’s blight/turista’ a common ailment of Americans who visit Mexico. The quarantine scare was over.

On arrival in Long Beach, stowaways Stacy Darrel Miller and Jane Frances Miletich were taken into FBI custody.

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