#lovethebrown

"These Vagabond Shoes, They Are Longing To Stray...'

"Start spreading the news, I'm leaving today..."  Maybe not leaving today, but we are leaving home in less than a month and heading to New York, New York.  We will be leaving Baltimore on September 7th, the date that the BROWN was launched in 1942, and we will be arriving on the 9th. Returning to New York, her home for many years. The ship will be open for visitors from Saturday 9/10/16 until Saturday 9/17/16 from the hours of 10am-4pm.  On both Saturdays, the 10th and the 17th, the engineering plant will be operating alongside the pier (Pier 36) and visitors can see the 135-ton triple expansion steam engine in operation at slow speed.  This is a rare sight- to see an engine designed in the 1880's and built/installed in the 1940's, still operating and still capable of performing as a ship's main propulsion!

 All of the BROWN's 13 wartime voyages either began or ended in New York.  In this picture, the BROWN was returning to her new home for the next 36 years.

In 1946 the government loaned the BROWN to the city of New York, where she became a floating maritime high school, the only one in the United States.   The ship served in that capacity from 1946 to 1982, where thousands of students graduated and then began careers in the merchant marines.  While a school ship, the BROWN was meticulously maintained by the students and their instructors.  As you can see the hull was painted black during these years. 

Photo by Pete Kolln, 1965

Picture taken at Pier 73 by Mr. L. Tibaldi in the 1950's. 

On Sunday, September 18th, the BROWN will have a Living History Cruise out of New York, from Pier 36. This will be the BROWN's 106th Living History Cruise! Passengers who have purchased tickets for the cruise can board the ship at 8am. The ship will leave at 10am and return to the pier at 4pm.   For the next 72 hours we are offering a promotion.  By clicking this link, you will get $20 off your ticket price.   This promotion must be done online, using this link, and not by phone.  This link should be all you need, but putting in the promotion code of NYNY2016 will also get you the discount for the next 72 hours. This is a once in a lifetime experience that you can take part in, as it's not everyday that the  74 year old Liberty Ship can come to New York City and have a Living History Cruise.

This is a great experience and it will be lots of work for the 65 crew members that are taking the ship from Baltimore to New York, and the many more who will be traveling from many states to stay for part or all of the time in NY.  Crew will be sleeping, eating, bathing and working on the ship during this time. Crew members are 100% volunteer and are willing to do the work needed for this trip because they believe in our mission statement.  "Our goal is the preservation and operation of the S.S. JOHN W. BROWN, the last surviving Liberty Ship on the east coast, and one of only two operational Liberty Ships remaining from the great fleet of over 2,700 identical Liberty's which were one of the keys to the Allied victory in World War II.  The BROWN is being preserved as a museum ship and a living memorial to the men and women of the American industry that built the great Liberty fleet and the Merchant Seamen and Naval Armed Guard who sailed and defended these ships all over the world."

Painting of the ship is almost complete (hint hint...you may see an upcoming blog showing off the last few months of work) and we have a JWB Alumni and PLS Work Party weekend coming up to get everything ready for our New York visit. We hope to see lots of visitors while we're in New York, as well as passengers on the Living History Cruise. Help us spread the word about this visit to New York!   


Project Liberty Ship, Inc is a 501(c)3 non-profit, all volunteer organization engaged in the preservation and operation of the historic ship JOHN W. BROWN as a living memorial museum. Gifts to Project Liberty Ship are tax deductible

May 9th's Living History Cruise - A Great Time & Some Special Guests

The JOHN W BROWN hosted the first Living History Cruise of the season this past May 9th.  Typically a crew favorite, this was the Veteran's Cruise to honor those that served. We also had some special guests on board including a Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard worker who made his first weld on the JOHN W BROWN and lots of Liberty Ship Veterans in town from all over the country for the AMMV (American Merchant Marine Veterans) convention.

Chester, who will celebrate his 100th birthday in two months, came on board with his hard hat. He was more than happy to show crew members just where on the BROWN the first weld he made is located. He was a pleasure to talk to and he enjoyed being the center of attention. General Bradley stopped to talk with him and The Manhattan Dolls even sang a special song just to him.

Morris Harvey National president of American Merchant Marine Veterans was our guest speaker. The group was in Baltimore for a convention and a bus load of attendees were happy to be able to come on the cruise.

Lloyd graduated from  Kings Point  class of 1946 and was the 2nd mate on board liberty ships. He came up to the Flying Bridge to meet our 2nd mate and the captain.

Lloyd graduated from Kings Point class of 1946 and was the 2nd mate on board liberty ships. He came up to the Flying Bridge to meet our 2nd mate and the captain.

Dr. Fred Lewis was one of two winners this cruise of the auction to take a turn at the wheel.

The Manhattan Dolls entertained guests throughout the cruise. The Ultimate Abbott and Costello Tribute Show, with Scoops of course, explained the fine details of horse racing and baseball player's names much to the delight of guests. The Calliope Barbershop Quartet roamed the decks and serenaded lucky ladies bringing smiles to all their faces. They also kept guests entertained as they waited in line to disembark. As a matter of fact they serenaded crew members before they even got on board. What a great way to start the day!

Reenactors enjoy sailing with us and interacting with our guests.

You will see people dancing. Once the music starts they can't keep their feet still.

Guests take time during the day to wander the ship on a self guided tour. The ship and crews quarters are maintained the way they would have been in 1941 and we have multiple museums and museum spaces to investigate. After a foggy start to the day, we had perfect weather to spend time on deck too. There are great sights that are part of the cityscape and some that are unique to each cruise.  Fort McHenry stands proudly at the mouth of the Inner Harbor and Fort Carroll by the Key Bridge.  The planes from the air show are a cruise highlight.  We had an osprey, complete with fish, fly over in between the planes and we passed a car carrier, which is a sight considering how big they are!  Passengers got to see the USS Savannah docked at Pier 13.  Finally one of the Moran tugs that brought us back to the cruise terminal greeted us in style with their water cannons.

Whether it's your first time sailing with us or you visit us many times we always see you smile. And knowing that our guests enjoy themselves makes us smile. Thank you all for joining us!  Next cruise is coming in June and we still have tickets available. 

Whether it's your first time sailing with us or you visit us many times we always see you smile. And knowing that our guests enjoy themselves makes us smile. Thank you all for joining us!  Next cruise is coming in June and we still have tickets available. 

Project Liberty Ship, Inc is a 501(c)3 non-profit, all volunteer organization engaged in the preservation and operation of the historic ship JOHN W. BROWN as a living memorial museum. Gifts to Project Liberty Ship are tax deductible.

Love is in the air...

Love is in the air... so who loves the BROWN? Who loves history? Who loves ships? Museums? How about being 'attacked' from the air by the Japanese? In the spirit of Valentines Day, we've compiled some fun images and stories below. Also, if you're interested in getting your special someone a unique gift...an adventure... a one of a kind experience, click the links at the end of the blog for a special Valentines Week cruise ticket promotion; offer active from 11 Feb to 16 Feb.

Love stories may not be the first thing you think of when you hear "WWII Liberty Ship," but stories of love are easy to find. The ship has even provided a unique venue for many weddings over the years!

In our Navy Armed Guard quarters, you will find a copy of a letter that no sailor wants to get. In the summer of 1943, Walter received a "Dear John" letter from Marge. She told him of a nice young man with a blue convertible who takes her dancing. We have this letter because Walter was on one of our Living History cruises in the late 1990's with his daughter. She is the one who rewrote the letter for him. His copy was falling to pieces from carrying it in his wallet for years. We found out that he did find himself a wonderful girl and they had two children and many happy years together. We know that Walter did see Marge again many years later. He visited her in the hospital before she passed away. We don't know what they talked about that day but would like to think it was a conversation filled with sharing good life stories.

 

If this reaches the family of Walter or Marge, we'd LOVE to hear more of their story. Remember, we are always willing to preserve artifacts or pictures (books, flags and even Dear John letters) from this time period.

If this reaches the family of Walter or Marge, we'd LOVE to hear more of their story. Remember, we are always willing to preserve artifacts or pictures (books, flags and even Dear John letters) from this time period.

Crew Members Joey and Craig are one of the many couples who were married on the ship. Passengers had just disembarked after our 60th Anniversary/Birthday Living History Cruise and Craig and Joey were married on #2 Hatch by the ship's chaplain (Rev. Ray Reno), just North of the Key Bridge. Joey and Craig (a nurse and paramedic, respectively) are part of the ship's medical team (Craig since 1997 and Joey since 2001). Baltimore City's Fire boat, the Thomas D. Alesandro Jr, saluted the couple at the end of the ceremony. 

There are also many families and couples who volunteer together on the BROWN!

Brian and Patty get into the spirit of things while the Manhattan Dolls are performing.

Brian and Patty get into the spirit of things while the Manhattan Dolls are performing.

From Left to Right: RADM Richard A Bauman, Liam Bauman, and Captain Rick Bauman Jr. during the Great Lakes 2000 trip. 

From Left to Right: RADM Richard A Bauman, Liam Bauman, and Captain Rick Bauman Jr. during the Great Lakes 2000 trip. 

Ship's Bosun, Walter and his wife Judy, "Mrs. Bosun," volunteer most Wednesdays and Saturdays. Here they take a moment to tease one of the ship's photographers.

Ship's Bosun, Walter and his wife Judy, "Mrs. Bosun," volunteer most Wednesdays and Saturdays. Here they take a moment to tease one of the ship's photographers.

Ben and Kathryn, seen with family (above), were married by Captain Rick in 2014. 

Volunteer mother and son, Andrew and Sue take time out from work on one of the cruises to show some affection. 

Volunteer mother and son, Andrew and Sue take time out from work on one of the cruises to show some affection. 

Crew member David with his grandson Holden on one of the 2013 cruises. Holden is wearing his grandfathers uniform from the war.    

Crew member David with his grandson Holden on one of the 2013 cruises. Holden is wearing his grandfathers uniform from the war. 

 

Even the Captain is a hot commodity on the ship...

But, besides the crew, many people enjoy spending the day with loved ones, while on a day-cruise of the Chesapeake Bay, on a WWII Liberty Ship. Some show up, not knowing what to expect, while others come back each year or so. Some (see the picture towards the bottom of the blog) even theme dress while others will just break out in dance, along with our entertainers. 

Here we have Tom, a Liberty Ship veteran and graduate of the JWB (class of '51), with his wife Marie, enjoying a day at sea on the October 14th Living History Cruise. 

Here we have Tom, a Liberty Ship veteran and graduate of the JWB (class of '51), with his wife Marie, enjoying a day at sea on the October 14th Living History Cruise. 

Below: More pictures of happy couples on the BROWN. 
 

So don't treat your sweetheart the way Marge treated Walter; give them an experience they'll remember forever, but in a good way. Your love may not carry around their 'Dear John' letter, but they will have unique memories aboard a WWII Liberty ship.   


To buy tickets for the May 9th cruise click HERE. Enter the promo code: lovethebrown for discounted tickets!

To buy tickets for the June 13th cruise click HERE. Enter the promo code: lovethebrown for discounted tickets!

This offer is valid for online tickets from February 11 through February 16, 2015

 Project Liberty Ship, Inc is a 501(c)3 non-profit, all volunteer organization engaged in the preservation and operation of the historic ship JOHN W. BROWN as a living memorial museum. Gifts to Project Liberty Ship are tax deductible.

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