By Sean Streicher

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — One of Baltimore’s many historic ships may soon be forced to move.

The S.S. John W. Brown, a World War II Liberty ship, was built in the city in 1942 and currently operates as a museum. Those who operate the museum said they hope the ship stays in the city.

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The 441-foot vessel was once operated by the U.S. Merchant Marine to carry troops and cargo during the war.

“I like to say the Merchant Mariners were the unsung heroes during the war,” said Capt. Alaina Basciano. “Without their help, the war wouldn’t have been as successful.”

Today, the ship is one of only two fully-operational Liberty ships still in existence. Docked along Clinton Street in Canton, its primary mission now is to educate the public on the importance of the wartime American Merchant Marine, Naval Armed Guard and shipbuilders.

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Basciano said the ship has even been used by local first responders for training exercises. But it’s now in need of a new home by the end of the year.

“Our lease is currently up December 31 of this year,” Basciano said.

The museum’s operators have been searching for a new berth for some time but it hasn’t been easy to find a new home for a ship of that size that lets it still be accessible to the public.

“We would prefer a permanent home, but we’re willing to work with somebody on a temporary basis for now until something more permanent could come up,” Basciano said. “It was born here, let’s keep it here.”

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Sean Streicher