January 07, 2011

SS Jeremiah O'Brien [part 1 of 2]


click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Wednesday morning found me climbing onboard a fully operational WW2 Liberty cargo ship, the SS Jeremiah O'Brien, docked, and ready for close inspection at San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf.



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

The O'Brien is one of two surviving operational Liberty ships of the 2,710 ships of this class that were built.   Liberty ships, along with similar Canadian and British ships were the mainstay of the Allied logistic effort during WW2.   Without the military and civilian cargos delivered by these ships, victory would not have been achieved.   A national treasure, the O'Brien serves as a living memorial to the men and women who built, supplied, and sailed Liberty ships.
[source:  SS Jeremiah O'Brien brochure]



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

With German U-boats sinking ships within sight of the U.S. east coast, Great Britain under siege, and the Japanese conquering Asia and the Western Pacific, it was absolutely essential to build a large U.S. Merchant Marine to carry both combat supplies to Allied fighting forces and food and fuel to Great Britain and the other allies.   The U.S. became the "arsenal of democracy".   Typewriter firms built rifles, auto-makers turned out tanks, and millions of Americans migrated to build Liberty ships in yards near major cities around the country.
[source:  SS Jeremiah O'Brien brochure]

The O'Brien needed to defend herself -- these were dangerous waters -- many ships were sunk.   Many more died.



click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

But THANKS, SS Jeremiah O'Brien for the work you did.   You helped win the war by delivering the beans and bullets!     more tomorrow...



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2 comments:

Scott said...

An an older American and combat veteran, I enjoyed this post a lot. Well illustrated.

Tomate Farcie said...

I enjoyed this post very much as well.

I had an old Life Magazine dating back to the early 40's in which they explained how they made a ship in about a week. A WHOLE SHIP in about a week!!! Imagine! Sure they had workers all over the place, but a WHOLE SHIP?!!!

 
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