The story of the Queen Mary spans eight decades. Built in 1930s pre-war Britain, she suffered a troubled birth that was delayed by over two years due to the deep economic depression of the period. A brief, happier spell saw a period of commercial service before the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939. From May 1940, and for the next five years, the Queen Mary served as a troop ship earning the nickname the "Grey Chost" in reference to her grey-painted exterior. Released from war service for refitting for peacetime service in September 1946, the Queen Mary resumed commercial duties in July 1947. She remained in service for the next two decades, before she was sold to the City of Long Beach. She has been berthed in the Californian city for the last four decades, longer than she was in commercial service. Throughout her life the Queen Mary has witnessed great political, social and cultural changes and herself has been through great change. Click the following link to explore the timeline of the RMS Queen Mary.