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Liberty Ship SS Jeremiah O'Brien | by Telstar Logistics
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Liberty Ship SS Jeremiah O'Brien

The SS Jeremiah O'Brien, a restored World War II-era Liberty ship, passing by Treasure Island.


A little ship's history, cribbed from the SS Jeremiah O'Brien website:


In June 1943 the Liberty Ship S.S. Jeremiah O'Brien slid down the ways at the New England Shipbuilding Corporation in South Portland, Maine. Shortly thereafter she entered service, operated by Grace Line for the War Shipping Administration. Named for the first American to capture a British naval vessel during the Revolutionary War, the O'Brien made seven World War II voyages, ranging from England and Northern Ireland to South America, to India, to Australia. She also made eleven crossings of the English Channel carrying personnel and supplies to the Normandy beaches in support of the D-Day invasion. After the war, she was "mothballed" and laid up in the Reserve Fleet at Suisun Bay, north of San Francisco.


Thirty-three years later, skillful maneuvering by a U.S. Maritime Administration official (himself a former Liberty ship sailor) saved the O'Brien from the scrap yard. In 1979, after hundreds of hours labor by volunteer crew members to remove thick layers of preservatives, the O'Brien headed for San Francisco to be restored.


Following dry-docking, generous donations of money and supplies by numerous individuals and companies, and thousands of hours of restoration work by her volunteer crew, the old ship entered service on San Francisco Bay in like-new condition. She is a steaming memorial to the seamen of the U.S. Merchant Marine who served on Liberty ships in World War II, to their Navy gun crews, and to the civilian men and women who built the largest single class of ships in history: More than 2700 of these old-fashioned, homely, slow cargo vessels, that played such a vital, if unglamorous, role in winning World War II, were commissioned.

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Taken on July 27, 2004