SS John W. Brown

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SS John W Brown.jpg
John W. Brown on the Great Lakes in 2000
Career (United States) 100x35px
Name: SS John W. Brown
Namesake: John W. Brown
Ordered: 1 May 1941
Builder: Bethlehem-Fairfield Ship Yard's Inc. Baltimore, Maryland
Laid down: 28 July 1942
Launched: 7 September 1942
Acquired: 19 September 1942
Fate: Operational museum ship
States Marine Corporation
General characteristics
Class and type: EC2-S-C1 (Liberty ship)
Tonnage: 10,920 tons
  • 14,245 tons (Loaded)
  • 3,380 (Light)
Length: 441 ft 6 in (134.6 m)
Beam: 57 ft (17.4 m)
Draft: 26 ft 10 in (8 m)
Speed: 11 knots (20 km/h)
Range: 23,000 miles (37,000 km)
Capacity: 562,608 cubic ft (grain) (15,931 m³)
  • 8 USMM officers
  • 38 USMM seamen
  • 1 USNAG officer
  • 40 USNAG seamen
  • Eight 20 mm Oerlikon machine cannon in single mounts
  • One 3 in bow gun
  • Two 3 in and one 5 in stern guns
  • Note - The Brown was fitted with extra guns when outfitted as a troop carrier.
  • Notes: As of September, 2007, the bow 3 inch gun and several 20mm cannon were rigged with compressed gas firing simulators (oxygen and a fuel gas of some sort)for historical re-enactments of air defense.

    SS JOHN W. BROWN (Liberty Ship)
    U.S. National Register of Historic Places
    Location: Pier 1, Clinton St., Baltimore, Maryland
    Coordinates: 39°16′4″N 76°34′10″W / 39.26778°N 76.56944°W / 39.26778; -76.56944Coordinates: 39°16′4″N 76°34′10″W / 39.26778°N 76.56944°W / 39.26778; -76.56944
    Built/Founded: 1942
    Architect: Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard Balt,MD
    Architectural style(s): No Style Listed
    Governing body: Private
    Added to NRHP: 17 November 1997
    NRHP Reference#: 97001295


    SS John W. Brown, also known as B-4611, is a Liberty ship, one of two still operational today (the other being the SS Jeremiah O'Brien in San Francisco). The ship is today a museum ship located at Clinton Street Pier 1 in Baltimore Harbor. The ship was named after labor union leader John W. Brown.


    World War II

    The John W. Brown made 13 wartime voyages to the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean, including duty during the Anzio landings. She was also part of the liberation force of Southern France during Operation Dragoon in August, 1944. The US Navy Armed Guard gunners of the John W. Brown may have shot down one enemy plane during the liberation of Southern France in August, 1944, though this was never confirmed as a kill.

    After the war, the John W. Brown carried government cargoes to help rebuild war-torn Europe and returned American troops to the United States.

    Training ship

    After 1946, she was loaned by the government to the City of New York, where she became a floating nautical high school, the only one in the United States. The ship served in that capacity from 1946 to 1982, graduating thousands of students prepared to begin careers in the Merchant Marine, the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard.

    When her schoolship days had ended, the first Project Liberty Ship was formed in New York City to preserve the ship. They were not successful in finding her a berth in New York and she was towed to the James River Reserve Fleet in July 1983 with her future in serious doubt.

    Restoration and Heritage

    In 1988 Project Liberty Ship Baltimore was able to rescue her and restore her, and found her a home in Baltimore, Maryland near where she was built. In September 1988, the John W. Brown was rededicated as a memorial museum at ceremonies at Dundalk Marine Terminal.

    After three years of restoration effort, on 24 August 1991, she steamed under her own power for the first time in 45 years, completed sea trials in the Chesapeake Bay. One month later, on 21 September 1991, the John W. Brown carried about 600 members and guests on her Matron Voyage, her inaugural cruise.

    The SS John W. Brown was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.[1]

    In 1994, the John W. Brown received Coast Guard Certification for coastwise ocean voyages, and in April made her first offshore voyage since 1946—to New York Harbor. In August 1994 she made her first foreign voyage since 1946—to Halifax, Nova Scotia, then to Boston, Massachusetts and Greenport, New York. In 2000 she visited the Great Lakes for dry docking and hull work in Toledo.

    In addition to her floating museum role, John W. Brown still puts out to sea for "Living History Day Cruises".


    1. 1.0 1.1 "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15. 

    External links

    See also

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