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    The Liberty Ship S.S. John W. Brown arrives in Portland Harbor, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2007, in Portland, Maine

    US World War II Ship Pays Homage to Russia

    © AP Photo / Robert F. Bukaty
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    The US war material cargo of WWII times raised the Russian flag in Baltimore harbor on its way to Russia, honoring the history and nations fighting against Nazism.

    BALTIMORE (Sputnik) — The US cargo ship John W. Brown that delivered war material to the Soviet Union during World War II, raised the Russian flag while moving through Baltimore harbor to a new location.

    Members of the US —Russia Joint Commission on Prisoners of War and Missing in Action attended the event.

    The United States built 2,710 cargo vessels, dubbed Liberty ships, between 1941 and 1945. The fleet carried US-made weapons, food, vehicles, aircraft and other supplies under President Franklin Roosevelt’s Lend-Lease supply policy to the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union.

    The John W. Brown, which celebrates its 72nd birthday on Saturday, is one of only two surviving Liberty ships in the United States. The other ship, Jeremiah O'Brien, is located in San Francisco, California.

    "This ship was part of the largest ship-building program in the world," World War II veteran Joseph Colgan told Sputnik. "On the first trip, it made a long voyage all the way to Russia."

    On her maiden voyage from October 1942 to March 1943, the John W. Brown carried two fighter planes, 20 tanks, trucks and cars for the Soviet Army that were delivered via the Caspian Sea.

    Other US Liberty ships brought supplies to the Soviet Union's northern port of Murmansk through the Arctic Ocean.

    After World War II, the John W. Brown was loaned to the City of New York to become the first nautical high school in the United States, and served New York area children from 1946 to 1980.

    At present, the vessel is the only US museum ship that does not belong to the government, but is maintained and owned by volunteers.

    Colgan, who was described by the John W. Brown's volunteer crew as the savior and the soul of the ship, said it was important to preserve the memory of World War II events and honor the sacrifice of the nations that fought against Nazism.

    "The last thing that Russia wants, the last thing that the United States wants and the last thing that China wants is war," Colgan stated.

    During the US Labor Day weekend from September 5-7, the John W. Brown will be open to visitors at Baltimore’s Pier 13, located beside the first nuclear-powered merchant ship Savannah to honor the end of World War II in the Pacific on September 3, 1945.

    SS John W. Brown
    © Photo : Wikipedia/Project Liberty Ship
    SS John W. Brown


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