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  SS John W. Brown
Liberty Ship

9,910 Tons
441' 7" x 57' x 26' 9"
8 x 20mm AA guns
1 x 3" gun
1 x 5" gun

Ship History
Built by Bethlehem-Fairfield Ship Yards Inc. Baltimore, Maryland. Laid down July 28, 1942. Launched September 7, 1942. Placed into service September 19, 1942.

Wartime History
During the war, John W. Brown made 13 voyages to the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean, including duty during the Anion landings. She was also part of the liberation force of Southern France during Operation Dragoon during August 1944.

This liberty ship carried cargo to war-torn Europe and returned American troops to the United States. After 1946, she was loaned by the government to the City of New York, where she became a floating nautical high school, serving in this capacity from 1946 to 1982. Project Liberty Ship was formed to preserve the ship, but was not successful keeping her in New York and the vessel was towed to the James River Reserve Fleet during July 1983.

During 1988, Project Liberty Ship Baltimore secured a home for the ship in Baltimore Harbor, Maryland. During September 1988, John W. Brown was dedicated as a memorial museum at Dundalk Marine Terminal.

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

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

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. Today, John W. Brown still puts out to sea for "Living History Day Cruises".

Project Liberty Ship - SS John W. Brown
Designated a National Historic Landmark, 97001295

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Last Updated
August 4, 2020


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