October 16th Recent Photos Page

I played hooky today and instead of polishing brass on the Battleship I took a living history cruise out of Baltimore on the Liberty Ship S.S. John W. Brown. The Brown is one of only two operational Liberty Ships, the other, the Jeremiah O'Brien, is on the West coast.  This was a great day, being able to tour the ship while cruising around in the Chesapeake Bay, and seeing the ships triple expansion steam engine in operation, was awesome!  The Brown makes this cruise twice a year, as well as a special cruise on Veterans Day, and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in WW II history.  My hats off to the crew of the Brown too, they did a spectacular job.  They were everywhere, ready to answer questions and take care of the visitors.  I would estimate it took 150 or more dedicated volunteers to pull off an event like this, and they all deserve a hearty Bravo Zulu for all their efforts.  For more information on the S.S. Brown and the events she hosts, visit their website at www.liberty-ship.com.  Below are a bunch of photos and a short video (with sound) showing the ships engine in operation, enjoy.


October 16th Photo #1
This was the scene when I arrived at the pier.  The cruise
was sold out, I think they had close to 700 people onboard.

October 16th Photo #2

Navigation Bridge.
October 16th Photo #3
Engine Order Telegraph.
October 16th Photo #4
Vintage equipment in the ships Radio Room.
October 16th Photo #5
Gyro and other equipment in what I believe was the Chart Room.
October 16th Photo #6
First level of the Engine Room, this large structure houses the
engine's three pistons, seeing this engine running was awesome!
October 16th Photo #7
On the second level of the Engine Room you get to see the exposed
 push rods and crank shaft that generate the ships power.  She has
 only one shaft and if memory serves the engine generates 2,600 hp.

If you would like to see a short video of the engine in motion, Click here.

October 16th Photo #8
Also on the second level is the ships generator control power panel.
October 16th Photo #9
This is a shot from the second level down to the engine control station
on the third level.  Generally visitors weren't allowed to go down to the
lower level of the engine room.  I however visited the engine room three
 times, and on my last trip, just as we were returning to the pier, one of
the crew gave me a great behind the scenes tour of the second and
third levels, and an explanation of how the ships triple expansion steam
engine works, I loved it!  It was pretty cool too because I got to see
the engine reverse directions as the ship backed into the pier.
October 16th Photo #10
After leaving the Engine Room, the Machine Shop was the next stop.
October 16th Photo #11
More machinery in the Shop, looks like it is still being used by the crew.
October 16th Photo #12
OK, I need a signalman to help me out, what do these flags mean?
October 16th Photo #13
One of my fellow Jersey volunteers trying out one or the Brown's Orlekins.
October 16th Photo #14
We passed Fort McHenry on our way out into the Chesapeake Bay. 
October 16th Photo #15
Above were 2 photos of the ships protected Navigation Bridge, but on these
 cruises they steer the ship from this open bridge on top of the superstructure.
October 16th Photo #16
A shot from the main deck of the skipper up on the open bridge level.
The protected Navigation Bridge is behind the windows one level below.
October 16th Photo #17
Here is shot of the 5-inch gun on the ships stern.  It was interesting to
see one outside of an enclosed mount, which is how I'm used to seeing
 them on the Battleship.  The three cranks on the left side of the mount
were used to set fuses for shells.  Above this mount, on another level,
are two 3-inch guns and there are also something like 8 Orlekins located
in armored tubs on top the superstructure and in other elevated locations
She sported a lot more offensive weaponry than I expected to see.  These
weapons were manned by sailors, while Merchant Marines manned the ship.
October 16th Photo #18
Here we see General MacArthur, the same gentleman we saw playing him on
the Battleship on August 14th, posing with an admirer next to one of the 3-inch
guns.  Impersonating the General must be a lucrative gig, and he does it well!
October 16th Photo #19
Keeping with the time warp they hoisted the 48-star flag for our cruise.
October 16th Photo #20
Sailors manned several of the ships Orlekin mounts to fend
off a simulated attack staged while we were out in the bay.
October 16th Photo #21
This is the first plane that flew by, an Army Spotter plane.  Because
of the high winds there were only three planes that made the trip.
October 16th Photo #22
The next plane to appear was this replica Japanese Zero, which
the ships gunners greeted with fire from several Orlekin mounts.
October 16th Photo #23
The final plane was this B-25 Mitchell, which made several low and slow
passes, the last one with the bomb bay doors open, pretty sweet!
October 16th Photo #24
Here's a group shot of some of the gang from the Battleship
that made the cruise, posing in front of the Brown's 5-inch
mount.  A good time was had by all, for sure!
October 16th Photo #25
I've heard of fighters and bombers having pin-ups painted on their noses
before, but this is the first time I ever heard of a ship having their own pin-up. 
Her name is Brownie, and it's easy to see how she would be an inspiration to the
crew.  I was so inspired I bought a t-shirt in the ships store featuring her likeness!

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Last updated on March 02, 2010.