As many of you know, I wear not only the Webmaster hat but I am also a volunteer crewman aboard Liberty ship SS JOHN W. BROWN in Baltimore. JOHN W. BROWN is one of only two surviving and operational Liberty ships left from a World War II fleet that once numbered over 2,700, the largest single class of ships ever built.
Next week JOHN W. BROWN will leave Baltimore and head for New York City for a 10-day visit. The ship will arrive at Pier 36 on the East River on the morning of Friday, September 9. She will be open for public visits daily from 10 AM to 5 PM beginning Saturday, September 10, through Saturday, September 17. Project Liberty ship, the private foundation that owns the vessels, suggests a voluntary donation of $10 per person to visit the ship at dockside.
The two Saturdays, September 10 and September 17, will also be "steam days" in which the ship's boilers will be fired and the engine allowed to turn over slowly. This will permit visitors to view the plant in operation and to experience the heat, sounds and smells of a steam engine at work.
On Sunday, September 18, JOHN W. BROWN will conduct a six-hour Living History Cruise into New York harbor's Upper Bay. There will be period entertainers, a fly-by of vintage World War II aircraft, a continental breakfast and a buffet lunch. Much of the ship will be open for viewing. Information about the visit and the cruise is available on the JOHN W. BROWN website; see http://www.ssjohnwbrown.org/new-york-2016/.
Tickets for the cruise remain available for purchase at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ss-john-w-brown-september-living-history-cruise-operation-new-york-new-york-tickets-22297004942.
The visit to New York is something of a homecoming for the ship. Not only was New York a major assembly point for World War II convoys that collectively included countless Liberty ships, but between 1946 and 1983, JOHN W. BROWN served as a floating nautical high school for the New York City Board of Education. Hundreds of high school boys (girls needed not apply at the time) learned the maritime trades aboard the ship, many of whom went to sea, and a handful of whom even found their way back to become volunteer crew members aboard the ship.
I will not be aboard for the New York visit, unfortunately, as certain personal priorities take precedence. But I urge anyone in the greater New York area who may read this message to consider visiting JOHN W. BROWN this month or, better yet, to participate in the Living History Cruise.
Ron Carlson, Webmaster
Armed Guard / Merchant Marine website
Ordinary seaman, SS JOHN W. BROWN