Jeremiah O'brien

julian anstis
4th June 2005, 15:12
Built at Portland Maine in 1943 7176tns. now preserved at San Francisco
photo courtesy P.W.Hobday.

5th June 2005, 10:21
Another very interesting shot Julian very good!!!!

Bob S
5th June 2005, 13:16
A couple of more views of the JEREMIAH O'BRIEN.

On the River Thames during June 1994 with a welcome from tug SUN ANGLIA and at her home berth in San Francisco during August 2002.

julian anstis
6th June 2005, 10:38
Thanks Bob....nice to see her on the Thames in a different setting.

It must be the ultimate have a fully restored and operational ship of that age that can still travel the world. A great credit to all involved with getting her that way.

6th June 2005, 16:07
J O B, built 1943 7176 tons, 422.8 x 57.0 x 34.8 built by new england shipbuilding corp.
Registered portland Me. 3 cyl up & downer.code flags KXCH. DF ESD
2 DECKS. FITTED FOR OIL FUEL. cruiser stern

Jan Hendrik
26th September 2005, 12:49
The story is wellknown.
Like so many other liberty ships, she was laid up from Feb 1946 until 1979 whereafter she was chosen to be preserved.

Hereby a watercolour by John Gardner

copyright: Hempel A/S, Copenhagen 12/99

26th September 2005, 13:12
An interesting sidelight,the O'Briens engine room was used in the filming of Titanic..Doug

26th September 2005, 15:59
Whilst the USA have preserved the Jeremiah O'Brien and John W Brown, it is sad that in the UK where the Liberty story began we have nothing to remind present and future generations of the immeasurable contribution that these ships of British design origin made in WW2.
The hull and machinery of the Libertys, Oceans, Forts, Parks and RN Head/Point/Mull maintenance ships derived from the Dorington Court designed and built in 1939 by J.L.Thompson & Sons Ltd, Sunderland, engined by North Eastern Marine (NEM)- steam triple expansion of 2,500ihp. It was representatives of Thompson and NEM who took the plans to the USA as the British Merchant Shipbuilding Mission in 1940 that kicked the programme off.
The last hull of the above extended family that I am aware of in UK waters is HMS Rame Head hulked in Fareham Creek, Portsmouth. She was completed in 1945 in Canada and has the same NEM designed 2500ihp triple expansion engine. Rame Head almost qualifies now as an historic ship!
I believe it would be appropriate for at least the engine from Rame Head to be preserved and displayed as part of the Liberty story.
Anybody concur?
( Nostalgic steam engineer brought up on the same NEM designed engine built by Allis Chalmers (of tractor fame!) in a Canadian built Fort class)

26th September 2005, 16:13

It would be nice to see such a ship preserved for the British Maritime heritage. Unfortunately you have to form an organisation and start shouting as loud as you can before anyone takes notice of what we are losing rapidly.

We have been lucky with the DA as we have made the right noises in the right quarters to achieve what we have today.

If funding towards Heritage projects was less complicated, we here in the Uk could have the best Maritime Museum in the world, with exhibits to match.

Let the campaign begin!!!!!



Bruce Carson
26th September 2005, 16:41
The 'Jeremiah O'Brien' is a featured star at San Francisco's annual Brews on the Bay-
next year, September 16.
Who could resist a schooper of 'Bunker C Porter' ?

Bruce C.

29th September 2005, 12:13
As an officer cadet (midshipman) I and about 40 others were billetted aboard HMCS Cape Breton (ex_HMS Flamborough Head) and later in my career we used her as a shore office when we were in refit. In the earlier and much more carefree time we pretty much had the run of the ship and visited most of the accessible spaces from the monkey island to the shaft tunnel. We all had rather a soft spot for the old girl which we referred to as "Fred".

She is now an artificial reef off Nanaimo British Columbia, resting not far from my first ship as Supply Officer, HMCS Saskatchewan. Efforts at preservation failed through lack of funding and the monumental amount of work it would have taken to restore her. Her stern and engine were removed prior and are (or will be) prominent in a museum being set up in the former North Vancouver Shipbuilders yard. I saw Rame Head when I was last in Portsmouth (2004) and she looked better than Fred did toward the end.

29th September 2005, 17:38
Hi Pusser,
It's great to hear that Canada is preserving part of her great WW2 shipbuilding heritage, keep us posted on what happens with the "3 legs & a pump".
Rame Head had a lot of money spent on her modernisation in the 1960s, luckily they kept the engine. Cape Breton didn't change much in appearance from her 1945 days but Rame Head had quite a transformation.

29th September 2005, 21:42
Spent 10 months on a liberty ship her original name was Samlister basic but fairly reliable all the crew lived midships .There was no Masters day-room so the main wheel-house was used as his day-room,a wheelhouse was built on the monkey island, no heating summer was ok but freezing in the winter.We wre running light from NY to Baltimore via the Delaware canal when the US pilot came aboard he refused to pilot the ship from the monkey island as it was freezing so big panic stations moving some of the Masters things out in the alley way,even had to get the Third Eng to get the compass lights to work.That was the only time in ten months I ever saw the crew use the main wheelhouse.In the late forties early fifties quite a few Brits had a liberty ship in their fleet Federal line Harrisons /Liverpool,Headlams/Whitby, Ellerman City Line I think Royal mail and others.The Russians ran them a bit longer than the Brits remember still seeing one or two of them in the early sixties.The Greeks had a couple with a extra hatch built in them giving them four hatches forward,even saw one with her back broken right at the bridge line,cannot remember her name but she was US flagged,We had the body and soul band riveted around us

John Rogers
30th September 2005, 00:58
The Bank line had quite a few of the Sam boats. When they broke their back it was nearly in the same place, just fwd of the midship housing.

1st October 2005, 08:09
The web page describing the plan to exhibit Cape Breton's engine and stern section can be found at

3rd October 2005, 11:51
Hi Pusser,
Thank you for the link to Cape Breton. Read with great interest. Gone a long wayon Phase 1 with a modest fund. Time we did something over here with this other product of Burrard Dry Dock.
Best Regards

Keith Adams
23rd December 2006, 03:54
I posted a colour photo of the O`Brien in the Gallery showing her in 33 yrs
rusted condition when under way for first time after the long layup. If anyone
knows how to transfer a copy of that photo to this thread, I would really appreciate it. I will post the 2007 sailing schedule early in January... not
going deepsea next year as have to do a drydock inspection. Took her to San
Diego for Fleet Week last Sep/Oct. Snowy.

23rd December 2006, 06:13
Sailed as 4th engineer on Kronviken a Norwegian Liberty tramp ship.Photo in my gallery.A proper bridge & chart room was built above the original wheelhouse which became the captains quarters.Very nice too.The ship when berthed with other Libertys certainly looked a picture & was acredit to her owners.Kiwi

Keith Adams
27th December 2006, 03:26
"Jeremiah O`Brien" 2007 Cruise Schedule:-
Feb 4 "Queen Mary 2" Welcoming Cruise... leave Pier 45 (SF) 1300hrs
return Pier 45 at 1600hrs
Apr 14 Sacramento Inland Waterway......... leave Pier 45 (SF) 0900hrs
arrive Sacramento 1800hrs
Apr 15 Sacramento to San Francisco Cruise..leave Sacramento 0900hrs
arrive San francisco 1700hrs
(Passengers return to embarcation point by bus)
May 19 Bridge to Bridge Maritime Day Cruise..Leave Pier 45 at 1000hrs
Return at 1700hrs
Jun 16 Fathers`Day Cruise ( Jazz on the Bay)..probably 1000 to 1700hrs
Aug 18 Fortress San Francisco Cruise.............Leave Pier 96 SF 1000hrs
Return by 1700hrs
Oct 6/7 Fleet Week Cruises.........................Floating platform "Blue Angels"
( Sat 6th is best day as go outside GG Bridge to lead Fleet in to SF Bay)
Trust I am allowed to post this... non-profit all volunteer ship... if not
I apologise and will not do it again. Snowy.

27th December 2006, 14:35
A couple of years ago she did a tour of the Great Lakes ports and the line ups (ques) were too long for me to wait. (When in Toronto).
Just nostalgia as sailed on them in 1950's I do't suppose they changed

Keith Adams
28th December 2006, 00:49
Hi lakercapt! I think that must have been the "JOHN BROWN" as the"JOB"
hasn`t made it too the Great Lakes yet, although she did hit major US East Coast ports on return from UK and Normandy in 1994. The old ships do generate a lot of interest wherever they go... the strange thing about our daily visitors in San Franciso is that the majority are from Canada and overseas with most being ex-Merchant Seamen or families thereof. A recent
change are the flocks of American school children making school visits... we
take great delight in their interest... must be teaching 20th Century History
for a welcome change! Late November we had a 17 year old student aboard
taking notes for a history assignment... he was dressed rather gang-style
which gave the Docent concern as he was lingering in No2 T/deck exhibit
(we allow mostly self-guided tours)and asked me to move him on... turned
out he had to do a paper on "What part,if any, merchant vessels took part
in the fighting at sea during WWII" reaction startled him as he received an earful and I bombarded his e-mail site with facts and figures into the night
... will be coming back with his whole class in February!Snowy.

Tony Breach
28th December 2006, 11:36
I'm with R736476 on this one (& as R726792 of similar vintage). While it would seem impractical & probably improssible to save RAME HEAD it would be unthinkable to let the engine &/or any other pieces of original equipment be destroyed. It would be difficult to set up an organisation to do this, but how about an investigative group to start with? Does any one have the knowledge of how to do this? Have there been any feelers out from current owners, museums, commercial organisations or similar? Could a small group get anywhere with this? Would the MNA or RNA be interested? Anyone with any ideas? Time is short & our senior brave colleagues who manned this vessel, & her consorts of various classes, are a dwindling group.

Lets keep this discussion alive!