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Bessie Coleman - To France Aboard USS Imparator

Bessie Coleman - To France Aboard USS Imparator Visual Arts Biographies Social Studies Tragedies and Triumphs

With her own saved-up money, pooled with financial gifts from friends like Robert Abbott, Bessie Coleman sailed for France.  Her objective was to study aviation, get her pilot's license, then return to the States.

This is the ship on which she sailed - then one of the largest passenger ships in the world. 

Built in Germany for the Hamburg-American line, during 1913, the vessel was not used during World War I.  After the war, the United States gained control of the ship - turning her into USS Imperator (sometimes, in connection with Bessie Coleman, spelled "Imparator") - and used it as a troop transport for returning American soldiers.

During her transatlantic crossing, Bessie marveled at the difference between the American way of life aboard ship compared to life in the country at-large.  The ship, for example, had no segregated areas separating blacks from whites. 

Click on the image for a better view.


Media Credits

Image of the USS Imperator, online courtesy Naval Historical Center - image NH 105815.

 

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"Bessie Coleman - To France Aboard USS Imparator" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Oct 18, 2017.
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