Thursday, November 21, 2013

Help Continue the Preservation of a Piece of History

Support Still Needed as of 1/20/20
Photos and recruiting posters by the War Shipping Administration 1941-1946


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Liberty Ships were built in a week  and weren't much to look at.  They were simple, cheap, and expendable. The design was "break bulk", ( capable of handling cargoes of individual bundles, bales, pallets, sacks, or boxes)  cargo carriers put together, launched , loaded and off to the war zone carrying  the necessary :bullets and beans" that kept the allied armies in the face of the Axis and the Imperial Japanese. The pace of construction was amazing,  about two weeks from laying the keel to passing the sea buoy outbound. .Perhaps because of their simplicity they were around long after the war carrying cargo for commercial ship operators under many flags.  

 Today there are only two left in their original configuration and in sailing condition. One on the Atlantic Coast  and one on the Pacific Coast  of the United States . Of these ships only the   SS John W. Brown  and the   SS Jeremiah O'Brien,  in the United States are preserved in their original  war time configuration  and remain operational. One additional liberty ship is a static museum in Greece, and at least one is still operating in commercial operations though much modified from its WWII configuration.   Many of these ships were lost to U Boats and many American Merchant Mariners went down with them. 

The survivors were instrumental in the preservation efforts of the two remaining war configured operational ships. But most of the survivors are gone now, the youngest are about 90+.
If the lessons of these two living history operational museum ships are to be preserved new generations will have to step forward to continue the care , operation, and maintenance of these ships. Thankfully they have. Both ships have Coast Guard licensed and certified volunteer officers and crew. There are volunteer maintainers working daily on these ships. Unfortunately as the ships continue to age the costs of maintaining them, especially in operable condition grows. How ever a ship, like most structures can survive centuries with proper care. Witness the oldest commissioned ship in the U.S. Navy, the USS CONSTITUTION.  

 We want to direct your attention to one of these ships with an acute and immediate need.  The SS John W. Brown  is in need of dry docking at the end of the year, The cost is estimated at $1.5 million.  If you happen to have a spare $1.5 million please click on this link then click on the "DONATIONS " tab for full instruction on how to get that money into the hands of the ships guardians. If you're a little short of a spare $1.5 million but would like to donate a lesser amount please follow the same directions. Any amount is appreciated. You may rest assured that any amount you contribute goes to the upkeep, operation, and continuing restoration of the ship. Here is an example of Project Liberty Ship's efficiency:

PROJECT LIBERTY SHIP SINCE INCEPTION:                                                   

O Wages Paid
29 U.S. and Canadian Ports Visited
98 Living History Cruises
23, 654 miles steamed
1,719,179 hours of labor contributed

If you would like to help out on a permanent basis at far less than the $1.5 million level please consider membership in the organization:
Sign yourself, a friend, a relative or an old shipmate as a member of Project Liberty Ship. By signing on you can help support the Project's goal of keeping this great ship steaming for many years to come!
    $30Annual Member
    $40Annual Foreign Member
    $50Annual Family Membership
  $100Annual Honorary Ship's Officer
  $250Annual Honorary Captain
  $250Annual Honorary Chief Engineer
  $250Annual Honorary Armed Guard Commanding Officer
  $500Life Membership / Honorary Convoy Commodore
$1000Life Membership / Honorary Admiral
$1000Corporate Sponsor
Membership application form
If you happen to live in the Greater Baltimore area please consider both membership and volunteering, those nearly two million hours of labor described above came largely from members. Some of us have visited the  SS John W.Brown  in Baltimore and have checked out this organization. We can recommend it without hesitation. Please donate and/or join before the end of December and consider a membership for that WWII history buff in your family. An annual membership card makes a great stocking stuffer for Christmas. Thank you !

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