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Close-up view of SS Jeremiah O'Brien Liberty ship, with Alcatraz island in the background. SS Jeremiah O'Brien Liberty ship was built during World War II and named for American Revolutionary War ship captain Jeremiah O'Brien (1744–1818). Now based in San Francisco, the O'Brien is a rare survivor of the 6,939-ship armada that stormed Normandy on D-Day, 1944, and one of only two currently operatio.