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Captain Tucker Honored in Extraordinary Donation to the Conservancy's Collection

The Conservancy is deeply honored to announce an extraordinary donation to its permanent collection. The family of Captain John Tucker, relieving master of the SS United States, has entrusted us with his captain's uniform.

Captain Tucker passed away last year, after a 37-year career with United States Lines. He proudly served on the Big U from her sea trials and triumphal maiden voyage until the ship's withdrawal from service in 1969.

Captain John S. Tucker aboard the SS United States, c. 1967-1968. Photo courtesy of Kim Sacco.

Captain Tucker was a strong supporter of the Conservancy, who inspired and entertained us with stories about the ship's service career. He interacted with a wide range of passengers, including the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and Salvador Dalí (who was joined on board by an entourage of flamenco dancers and his pet ocelot, Babou). He was a fount of knowledge of the ship's design, engineering, and performance.

We plan to display John Tucker's donated uniform in the refurbished captain's quarters aboard the ship, along with the quarters' original furniture — which is already an important element of the Conservancy's permanent collection. We look forward to honoring Captain Tucker in our future museum and thank his family for this generous and irreplaceable donation.

Captain John S. Tucker escorts former First Lady Mamie Eisenhower to a shipboard press conference in 1969. Photo from the New York Daily News, donated by Kim Sacco.


The SS United States has created unforgettable memories for countless former passengers and crew. We can save this magnificent vessel for future generations, but we need your help.

Do you have memories of your time aboard America’s Flagship? Send us an email at

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