Big Work on the SS John Brown

Image via  flickr

Image via flickr

Replacing the hull plates on a World War II era Liberty Ship is no small job. In fact, it’s a very, very big and complicated job. It requires workers with a specific skill set, unique tools and big time equipment, like well, a dry dock. 

Enter the SS John Brown and the workers who are replacing its hull plates in Norfolk, Virginia. Some 2,700 Liberty Ships were made in the U.S. in the beginning of the 1940s to transport goods during the war and only two are left. The work to replace these giant hull pieces on the underside of the SS John Brown, is so specialized, that workers had to be flown in from Toledo, Ohio to do the job. And thankfully, they recorded it. 

I’m fascinated with the giant red-hot rivets, 3,000 of them in all, that had to be replaced. How does that rivet gun not melt? The full story is at, the website for the organizations that's made a mission out of keeping her going.

Hat tip to the team at gCaptain for this post, and also the Baltimore Sun which has a piece about he big job here

Also, check out, to find out more and see way more pictures of the ship.