David's Dozen 
On the wall of our home is a maritime legacy: a painting of the two German sisters Bremen & Europa left to us by our late friend Joseph. J. O’Donohue, IV. As the grandson of the owner of the Brooklyn Ferry, O’Donohue grew up a lover of ships and their history. Born just a few months before the sinking of the Titanic, he joked that upon hearing of that tragic event “I stood up in my crib and cried.” Heir to two family fortunes, one German, one Irish, as a teenager, he was sent to private school in Germany. And, like most wealthy families of the era, he had a favorite ship. Joe’s ship: Bremen. During his later years, Joe would regale us with stories about Bremen’s elegant pre-sailing parties and onboard life. For Joe, Bremen was the only way to cross. In what was to be a PR coup, Bremen & Europa were to have had simultaneous maiden voyages. However, Europa’s launch was delayed due to a fire during her fitting out, leaving Bremen to make her maiden voyage from Bremerhaven on July 16, 1929. Four days, 17 hours and 42 minutes later, New Yorkers awoke to the future: the fastest most modern vessel the world had ever seen. The first major ship built with the now-common bulbous bow, Bremen also sported a “smooth” skin of welded construction sans rivets and two low, sleek funnels. Next to her, the aging passenger liners of the French and British looked positively staid. This friendly competition would soon give way to a much hotter conflict. Fleeing New York without passengers on the eve of WWII, Bremen escaped several Allied attempts to sink her. Under mysterious circumstances, in 1941 she was set afire at Bremerhaven by a crewman. She was broken up in 1946, another maritime victim of the World’s greatest war.

Kronprinzessin Cecilie  
Marqués de Comillas  
Stefan Batory  
United States