Less than a year before America became involved in World War II–on March 20, 1941–a refitted Egyptian freighter left Pier F in Jersey City for Africa. Among the 322 people aboard were 126 Americans, including eight Brethren missionaries bound for central Africa.
Blaine Snyder, brother of one of the missionaries, was among those who gathered at the pier as the ship left. He reported, “It was a clear, but bitterly cold morning. Several hundred people had crowded into the pier. Before long there arose above the murmuring of the people the strains of some of the good old hymns of the church