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Pictures: Back in time aboard the Liberty ship John W. Brown

The John W. Brown -- launched from Baltimore's Bethlehem Steel shipyards on Labor Day 1942 and named for an East Coast labor leader -- is one of only two operational Liberty ships remaining from World War II, and the only one on the East Coast. The Brown serves as a museum ship and a living memorial to wartime shipyard workers, merchant mariners and the naval armed guard. Some 2,700 Liberty ships were built in the U.S. during the war, transporting cargo and sometimes troops. Built quickly (work on the John W. Brown took only 41 days) and with few frills, they were designed to be functional, not to strut and not necessarily to last. But they proved indispensable, and many remained afloat for years, even decades after the war ended. Restored to ship-shape condition by an all-volunteer group beginning in 1988, the Brown is sent out on a handful of living history cruises annually from its birth, at Pier One off Clinton Street.--Chris Kaltenbach
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