History

Interested in learning more about all the aspects of Project Liberty Ship and S.S. JOHN W. BROWN? Just click on the titles to learn more!

The BROWN

One of two surviving fully operational Liberty ships preserved in the United States, S.S. JOHN W. BROWN is the product of an emergency shipbuilding program in World War II that resulted in the construction of more than 2,700 Liberty ships.


Project Liberty Ship

Project Liberty Ship is a dynamic, all-volunteer organization with the sole purpose of preserving the Liberty ship S.S. JOHN W. BROWN as an operating museum ship, with the primary focus of educating people of all ages about the nation's maritime history during World War II and the vital role played by our merchant marine and military veterans.


The Ships

Liberty Ships were a class of cargo ship built during World War II. They were old-fashioned, utilitarian vessels that could be built in a hurry. They got the name Liberty ships because the first one built was named S.S. PATRICK HENRY. Various claims for the Liberty design have been made by U.S. citizens - even a gold medal awarded - but they are erroneous and no award was deserved.


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The Yards

There were eighteen shipyards located along the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf Coasts that build Liberty ships. Click the title or the picture to read more about the yards.


Ship Alumni

Following her service in World War II, S.S. JOHN W. BROWN was loaned by the government to the Board of Education of the city of New York. From 1946 to 1983 she served as a floating maritime high school, training thousands of young men to be merchant mariners. Some of those former students have found their way back to the ship and now serve as volunteer crew members.

The JOHN W. BROWN Alumni Association is an organization for the former maritime high school students of SS JOHN W. BROWN. Members include not only former JWB students and instructors but also students of previous New York City-based school ships, as well as honorary and associate members.


Armed Guard

They were NOT guards. They were U.S. Navy personnel consisting of gunners, radiomen and signalmen serving at sea on merchant ships during World War II. The merchant marine operated the ships while the Navy Armed Guard provided gunnery protection and communications services.

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