school tours

Training Never Stops on the SS John W Brown

Prior to becoming a historic ship in Baltimore, the Liberty ship JOHN W. BROWN was moored in New York and served the city’s Board of Education as a vocational high school.  Students came to the ship and learned the skills needed for a maritime career.  The ship filled that role for 35 years, from 1946 to 1982.  Now as an operating historic ship in Baltimore, JOHN W. BROWN continues to be an educational resource for a variety of local organizations.

 

Several different groups conduct training on the BROWN.  Local first responders (police, SWAT, EMTs, K-9 teams) train aboard the ship to gain experience working in a realistic shipboard environment which they may encounter in the Baltimore and Annapolis areas.  Local maritime schools, operated by two of the major maritime unions, bring students to the ship when the class room training can be enhanced by doing a portion of the course aboard an operational ship.  JOHN W. BROWN offers STEM internships to local high school students enrolled in that curriculum.  Those students get a close look at some of the science, technology, and engineering found in the engine room of an operating steam ship.  Classes from local schools, including the Naval Academy, tour the ship to learn about World War-II merchant marine operations and shipbuilding.

 

However, one of the most important training programs on the BROWN addresses the needs of our own volunteers.  The Liberty ship steam plant is an old design, no longer found operating elsewhere.  The only place to train our volunteers to operate the engineering plant is right here on the ship.  A formal training course was prepared and approved by the Coast Guard so that we can instruct volunteers to be JOHN W. BROWN firemen/watertenders.  These are the watchstanders that operate the ship’s boilers to produce the steam used by the main engine and the auxiliary machinery.

 

Three volunteers are presently taking the fireman/watertender course.  The course includes classroom training, demonstrations of practical knowledge of associated machinery and procedures, homework assignments, and a final exam.  Completion of the course, along with having the requisite amount of sea service, enables the volunteer to gain a Coast Guard endorsement in their merchant marine credential as fireman/watertender without having to take a Coast Guard examination.  The course was first approved by the Coast Guard in October 2012 and to date 10 volunteers have completed the course.

 

In addition to being an operational historic ship, JOHN W. BROWN continues her role as a training facility.  In this case, by training the firemen/watertenders who will operate the ship’s boilers in the future.

 

[FWT Course instructor: M. J. Schneider]

[Present students: Jay Jacobs, John Stratman, and Kris Lindberg]


 

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.

Who Visits the JOHN W BROWN

Living History cruises are the way most people get a chance to visit the BROWN, but there are so many others.  We have 3-4 Living History cruises each year but we also have people that charter or utilize the ship for various functions.  Just in the past three years, we were the venue for Trawler Fest University in Baltimore in 2013, the setting for Seabadge Advanced Leadership training, and this past September we were the venue for the Blue Angels Foundation during the air show held in Baltimore for  Sailabration.  

On a smaller scale we:

  • hold weddings on the ship
  • receptions
  • company parties 
  • meetings
  • school visits, and we are in the 2nd year of our own STEM program
  • Scouts (Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Sea Scouts)...overnight visits and day trips to work on up to 13 badges
  • tours (Smithsonian, historical organizations, maritime groups...)

Outside of our WWII voyages, the ship has been as far north as the mouth of the St. Lawrence River and Windsor, Ontario, and as far south as Jacksonville, Florida for port visits.  We work closely with area law enforcement agencies and fire departments as a place to do practical training scenarios.  We have many professional education partners in the maritime industry (MEBA and MITAGS).  Sometimes ships will make visits to Baltimore and the crew will come visit a different type of ship then their own (like the SS Shirane (see picture below) or the Kalmar Nyckel and the El Galeón Andalucía.  We also will periodically move from Clinton Street to either Fells Point or the Inner Harbor for specific visits and have had thousands of visitors board the ship on these short visits. Stay tuned for our summer travel plans here in Baltimore. 

Students from the  Naval Academy in Annapolis  visited the BROWN as part of their engineering class. Here, Mike worked with half of the group in the Engine Room.

Students from the Naval Academy in Annapolis visited the BROWN as part of their engineering class. Here, Mike worked with half of the group in the Engine Room.

 Joe took the others on a tour below deck as well as down to the pier to get some ship history.

 Joe took the others on a tour below deck as well as down to the pier to get some ship history.

 It was a very hot day and we popped a few of them in the walk-in freezer to cool them down. On this day, not only did we have those from the Naval Academy, but we had visiting crew members from   El Galeón Andalucía

 It was a very hot day and we popped a few of them in the walk-in freezer to cool them down. On this day, not only did we have those from the Naval Academy, but we had visiting crew members from El Galeón Andalucía

Smithsonian tour group....  Smithsonian Associates   They toured the BROWN and some other great ships in Baltimore.  First stop...1940's....this old Liberty Ship.

Smithsonian tour group.... Smithsonian Associates  They toured the BROWN and some other great ships in Baltimore.  First stop...1940's....this old Liberty Ship.

The  Honorable Helen Delich Bentley , former Representative from Maryland who has always been a supporter of the Maritime industry and history of Baltimore. 

The Honorable Helen Delich Bentley, former Representative from Maryland who has always been a supporter of the Maritime industry and history of Baltimore. 

Local Maryland Photography Meetup groups.

Local Maryland Photography Meetup groups.

SeaBadge .... Sea Scout leaders retreat, held aboard the ship over 4 days. 

SeaBadge.... Sea Scout leaders retreat, held aboard the ship over 4 days. 

Blue Angels Foundation ....  They chartered the ship to view the Blue Angel Airshow during Sailabration 2014. 

Blue Angels Foundation....  They chartered the ship to view the Blue Angel Airshow during Sailabration 2014. 

The Captain from the  JS SHIRANE  who along with his officers came for the short ride from Clinton Street to the Inner Harbor for the 2012 portion of Sailabration.  Below they are visiting the flying bridge.   JDS SHIRANE (DDG-143)   is a   destroyer   in the  Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.

The Captain from the JS SHIRANE who along with his officers came for the short ride from Clinton Street to the Inner Harbor for the 2012 portion of Sailabration.  Below they are visiting the flying bridge.  JDS SHIRANE (DDG-143) is a destroyer in the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.

This was a very interesting visit.  They were impressed with the fact that volunteers have kept this ship alive. The next day some JWB crew visited and were given a great tour by their Chief Mate.

This was a very interesting visit.  They were impressed with the fact that volunteers have kept this ship alive. The next day some JWB crew visited and were given a great tour by their Chief Mate.

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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