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Good Shipmates: The Restoration of the Liberty Ship John W. Brown, Volume One: 1942-1994 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
This well written book is about saving and completely restoring one of the last two Liberty Ships in existance. It tells the trials and success in bringing back to life a ship that was headed for scraping. Any one interested in ships and the sea will find the book fascinating.
When Ernie Imhoff first went aboard the Liberty Ship John W. Brown he was thoroughly amazed by what he saw. Here was a 14,000 ton steamship brought back from scrap yard condition and placed in full operating status by an all volunteer group of men and women. Most had some prior merchant marine experience, primarily from WWII days, but all had a burning common desire to preserve this significant relic of American History. With the exception of one other Liberty Ship, Brown was the last one left. With his keen sense of human interest, bred over his 40 year newspaper career, he realized that the Brown¿s were a unique group worthy of his study. One of the crew members sealed the issue by telling Imhoff that a group of social scientists would do well to study the John W. Brown¿s crew and the way they worked. Never, he said, had a more diverse and differing group of people come together for such a purpose and met with the success that they had. The crew¿s bond to each other in their endeavor, he said, was as strong as any he¿d ever seen. Ernie Imhoff is no social scientist, but he has used his newshound talents to record that story in his new book, Good Shipmates, The Story of the Restoration of the Liberty Ship John W. Brown, published by Glencannon Press, of Palo Alto, California. He joined the crew himself, worked as an Ordinary Seaman and became one of the gang, helping to pull hawsers over the stern. Over several years he interviewed most of the crew and recorded their oral histories. At first glance, Shipmates may seem to repeat Tom Brokaw¿s Greatest Generation theme, but actually, Shipmates goes further than Brokaw. These oral histories all come together at one end, the John W. Brown and the story of her restoration with the hope of the ship¿s future preservation as a witness to that great hour of WWII history. As more and more of the WWII veterans answer the last muster with their comrades we need to have more tangible contact with the history of last century¿s conflicts. Whether we will admit it or not, the world today is organized and operates by the rules set down as a result of WWII. Today¿s conflicts are still unresolved issues from that time and even before. If we cannot heed history, we shall surely be doomed to repeat it. We hope that Ernie Imhoff¿s Good Shipmates and the vessel that they crew serves as a means of making that history more indelible.