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Can anyone date and place this photo, please?

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Can anyone date and place this photo, please?

Old 13th Jan 2023, 10:28
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He seems to be at Montreal. In the link below, second photo down on the right hand side is an aerial view of Montreal old port - the middle section seems to be a good match for the background. Photo in the link is undated so its possible that the jettys were widened for double terminals, but i'm going on the large square door, 3 over door windows on the terminal, and then the storage buildings behind with semi circular upper edge windows.

A quick look suggests Southampton and Liverpool had very different layouts, and New York, despite having similar terminals does have a background full of tall buildings.

Articles | Encyclopédie du patrimoine culturel de l'Amérique française ? histoire, culture, religion, héritage

Last edited by unmanned_droid; 13th Jan 2023 at 10:46.
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Old 13th Jan 2023, 13:21
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Originally Posted by unmanned_droid
He seems to be at Montreal. In the link below, second photo down on the right hand side is an aerial view of Montreal old port - the middle section seems to be a good match for the background. Photo in the link is undated so its possible that the jettys were widened for double terminals, but i'm going on the large square door, 3 over door windows on the terminal, and then the storage buildings behind with semi circular upper edge windows.
The photo has a caption that says 1962 when you click the photo. I'm not really seeing the same match for the background buildings that you describe. Also, there are a lot of other pictures available of Montreal Port in this era through a google search. The far background should be more built up and I can't see a building match in any of the other historic photos showing Montreal Port in that approximate era (I can find a few different angles of that area).

I'm quite invested in this now! I would have thought between old photos online, google maps and street view it would be possible to pinpoint this assuming some permanance to the buildings.

Last edited by CharlieMike; 13th Jan 2023 at 13:57.
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Old 13th Jan 2023, 14:33
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Originally Posted by unmanned_droid
He seems to be at Montreal.
I'd agree with CM, the wharf shown in the photo is much narrower than those shown in your link.
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Old 13th Jan 2023, 15:23
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Originally Posted by jumpseater
Due to the lack of skyscrapers New York might be the least likely.
Possibly not. Manhattan but could have been Brooklyn or the New Jersey side. Both were relatively low rise. South of Midtown Manhattan down to the financial district is also low rise and had plenty of finger wharves.

1950s aerial photos of Liverpool Southampton and Monteral don't show many suitable candidates.
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Old 13th Jan 2023, 15:51
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Just a little input, can you read the sign?? The scan might not be all that clear, there is what looks like some shipping lines name on the end of the jetty.. if you can read the shipping line then we may be able to tie the pier down to a specific company and hence its location. Most companies had their own jettys.

Just saying...
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Old 13th Jan 2023, 17:14
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Originally Posted by unmanned_droid
He seems to be at Montreal. In the link below, second photo down on the right hand side is an aerial view of Montreal old port - the middle section seems to be a good match for the background. Photo in the link is undated so its possible that the jettys were widened for double terminals, but i'm going on the large square door, 3 over door windows on the terminal, and then the storage buildings behind with semi circular upper edge windows.
I'll confess I can't pick out the details you refer to, but like others i can't reconcile this with Montreal. What appears to be a hill in the background could be Mont Royal, the skyline in 1958 without tall buildings, but the piers at Montreal old port are much longer and wider than the one in the photo appears to be, the pier buildings quite different, and the buildings along the harbour are much more set back from the edge with a road and railway between. I don't know New York, but can't match it to LIverpool or Southampton either.

Originally Posted by Chris Scott
I'm now most grateful to someone who saw this thread and offered to look at the immigration records of sailings, given the subject's name. He has come up with the following:

Departed Southampton on 4 Jun 1957 onboard 'Liberte' of cie Gle Transatlantique, bound for New York.
Returned from Montreal, arriving Liverpool on 3 Aug 1958 onboard 'Empress of France' of Canadian Pacific Steamship Line.


So, he was only at each of the four ports once. Does anyone recognise those buildings in the background, bearing in mind that both sailings were in summer?
That may not mean the photo was taken at one of those four ports. I think it was common for transatlantic steamers to stop at other ports to take on passengers; Canadian Pacific documents available online show, for example, that Empress of Canada, on the Liverpool - Montreal run in the mid '60s, stopped every trip at Greenock and Quebec; posters suggest on other trips steamers stopped at Belfast and Queenstown (Cobh). The search may be wider ...
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Old 13th Jan 2023, 18:18
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I'll admit to having very little knowledge of National Service chaps however I've read elsewhere that they weren't issued No.1s, just battledress? Or was an early 50s thing?
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Old 13th Jan 2023, 18:22
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There were no mouseover captions when I looked earlier.

Four years difference in time can see a big change and perspective can do a lot for a photographer.

IMO the picture fits Montreal more closely than the other 4 locations.

Edit to add I do have an image explaining my reasoning, but the forum won't upload it for some unknown reason.


Last edited by unmanned_droid; 13th Jan 2023 at 18:51.
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Old 13th Jan 2023, 18:35
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We really need to be looking for a really dingy pier miles from the nearest rail head, the Military were never known for splashing the cash if it could be done on the cheap, I’m just surprised they never had him stoking on the way across

I am more inclined towards New York as it’s only the main hub that is built up with sky scrapers, but then you would think they would take a shot with the centre in the background for that reason.

I have MS Flight sim 2020 so may have a fly around and have a look
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Old 13th Jan 2023, 19:46
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Since my daughter lives on the plateau, within walking distance of the "Mont", and I am quite familiar with much of Montreal and have driven the waterfront too many times to remember, I cannot reconcile the hill behind the subject as Mont Royal. Indeed I have spent many years and months in this area, walking and driving. From the direction shown, the contours of Mont Royal, while similar, just do not look like this. I cannot reconcile this with Quebec City, Old Port either, having walked that area too.

IG
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Old 13th Jan 2023, 20:51
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Originally Posted by ExAscoteer2
It's not the 'St Edward's Crown' - It's the Edwardian Crown.

As opposed to the 'Tudor Crown'.
Total hoop!

Straight from “The Firm” themselves: https://www.royal.uk/coronation-crowns
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Old 13th Jan 2023, 23:46
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Having also walked the waterfront in Montreal, Quebec and Halifax I'd like to suggest Halifax as being the better contender - I visited a rather nice bar / restaurant on the waterfront and the aspect was very similar. However, Canadian Pacific also liked visiting St. Johns of which I have no knowledge.
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Old 14th Jan 2023, 17:51
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Two thoughts. Firstly, wouldn't he have been awarded his wing in Canada and so be wearing them if this was the return journey. Secondly, the Liberte did have wooden tops to at least some of their guardrails, as shown in an image on ebay entitled: "Photo F.008725 FERNANDEL PAQUEBOT SS LIBERTY FRENCH LINE CGT LINER 1957 NEW YORK".
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Old 14th Jan 2023, 20:20
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Originally Posted by mabmac
Two thoughts. Firstly, wouldn't he have been awarded his wing in Canada and so be wearing them if this was the return journey. Secondly, the Liberte did have wooden tops to at least some of their guardrails, as shown in an image on ebay entitled: "Photo F.008725 FERNANDEL PAQUEBOT SS LIBERTY FRENCH LINE CGT LINER 1957 NEW YORK".
Agree, I wouldn't discount the outward journey either.

I'd also seen some UK-US routes of that era that went indirectly via other ports. I think I also saw a Southampton-Rotterdam-New York route.
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Old 17th Jan 2023, 13:11
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Location found!

Chris - after much virtual tramping the Google Earth, I can reveal the location in the background as:

North German Lloyd Pier No.2, Hoboken, New Jersey.

So it is on arrival at New York, therefore almost certainly on the Cie Gle Transatlantique's SS Liberte in 1957; which does ring true, as the Liberte would have docked on or around Pier 53 in Manhattan, on the east side of the Hudson River (Hoboken is on the opposite (W) bank). The picture very much foreshortens the perspective of the pier jetty, but the buildings in the background in the pictures below seem, in my opinion, to match those in your photo. First pic is in 1914, to show the architectural similarity; second is in 1954, after the piers were repainted or re-clad; third shows the Liberte docking in Manhattan in 1950. The North German Lloyd piers are no longer in existence, but were located at the river end of 3rd Street, Hoboken. Phew, mystery (I think!) solved!!




To summarise, therefore:
Date: c. 11th Jun 1957. Early morning (judging by direction of shadow). (those with access to the passenger lists will be able to determine the exact date of arrival)
Place: Hudson River, New York aboard the Companie Generale Transatlantique's SS 'Liberte'.
Rank: Pilot Officer.
Reason: Docking in Manhattan prior to onward travel to RCAF Station Centralia, Ontario, Canada to begin National Service flying training as part of the NATO Flying Training Plan.

Last edited by Squipdit Fashions; 17th Jan 2023 at 15:12. Reason: Summary answer to the question!
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Old 17th Jan 2023, 14:27
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Well done Squipdit! I shall sleep much better now that this riddle has been solved
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Old 18th Jan 2023, 08:02
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And there's more....

Interestingly, given that our subject went on to have a successful career in civil aviation; the area of river in the original thread photo is almost exactly where Sully Sullenberger ditched A320 N106US / US Airways Flight 1549 in what became known as 'The Miracle on the Hudson'....
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Old 18th Jan 2023, 09:17
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Well done Squipdit!
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Old 18th Jan 2023, 09:26
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Well done Squipdit...bravo!
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Old 18th Jan 2023, 18:18
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Originally Posted by Squipdit Fashions
Interestingly, given that our subject went on to have a successful career in civil aviation; the area of river in the original thread photo is almost exactly where Sully Sullenberger ditched A320 N106US / US Airways Flight 1549 in what became known as 'The Miracle on the Hudson'....
See what you mean, Squipdit F. (Unlike me, Tony didn't fly the A320. More of a long-haul man.)

You seem to have nailed it ! I infer that the camera was facing north-west, so the skyscrapers of Manhattan would have been in the opposite direction. A quick look at Street View doesn't reveal high-rise buildings in that direction today.

So, we can build up a bit more chronology. The German-built, French-operated, 50,000-ton SS Liberté departed Southampton 4/6/57. She was no slouch as a trans-Atlantic liner: a lot faster than today's cruise ships and in her pre-accident youth (as Europa) a Blue Riband contender that had done a roughly equivalent westbound crossing in less than five days.

So, assuming she didn't then call at her base of Le Havre, the SS Liberté might have arrived New York six days later, on 10/6/57. At that time, as a university graduate, Tony's rank was Acting Pilot Officer, barely six weeks after being categorised as a Cadet Pilot on National Service. That's when the photo was taken, so I think the discussion on his sleeve braiding is probably over?

I've now seen images of the first two pages of the RCAF logbook he was using in Canada. Curiously, it omits a FROM/TO column and the exercises are number-coded. But an accompanying certificate confirms his primary flying training was conducted at RCAF Centralia (near Exeter, Ontario), as Squipdit F suggested. His first recorded sortie, in a Chipmunk, was on 2/7/57.

I don't have a decode to establish the exercises flown but, after a week and 6 hours' dual in Chipmunks, he recorded "FIRST SOLO". That's pretty quick, unless he had previous experience with, for example, a UAS at his university in England. But no earlier logbook has been found. The certificate recording completion of Primary Flight Training is dated 2/8/57.

Haven't seen any more pages yet, but am told that they include the Harvard and the CT-133 Silver Star, just as Squipdit F suggested.

Once again, thank you all but, in particular, Squipdit Fashions, Double Hush and Professor Plum.
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