Ready for the "abandon ship" drill; U.S. soldiers with life belts adjusted


Ready for the "abandon ship" drill; U.S. soldiers with life belts adjusted

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U.S. soldiers ready for the "abandon ship" drill


Every day and sometimes twice a day, even on a homeward bound ship such as we are looking at here, the men were assembled for "abandon ship" drill, or, as it was more grimly called in the war days when they were eastward bound, "submarine drill." The purpose of the drill was to teach the men to "man the lifeboats" with the least confusion and in the shortest possible time in case of disaster to the ship. On the way over the men were required to wear their life belts constantly, both day and night ; on the return voyage they usually donned them only for the drill but kept them constantly close at hand. Two types of life belt used ; one, such as we see here, like a wadded jacket with a big collar, the other made of white canvas filled with blocks of cork. The former type was preferred by the men because it was more comfortable to wear and it made a fine pillow for the bunk at night. In the days of the submarine one method of protection against their attacks, besides having a convoy of submarine chasers, etc., was to have an apparatus on the ship which produced a smoke screen and hid it completely from view. This apparatus consisted of two drums of phosphorus at each side of the after deck which, when lighted, gave off a trail of dense smoke. At the left of the picture you can see one of the lifeboats, and above it you have a glimpse of the ladder that leads to the lookout post high up on the mast. The large contrivance that looks like a megaphone is only a ventilator which carries the Frenchsh air down to the engine room and other parts of the boat far below the water line.



1 stereograph : b&w
1 gelatine silver print stereograph (8 x 15 cm) mounted on card (9 x 18 cm)


Copyright. The Keystone View Company
No known restrictions on publication


World War through the stereoscope

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Keystone View Company, “Ready for the "abandon ship" drill; U.S. soldiers with life belts adjusted,” Monash Collections Online, accessed May 31, 2024,

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