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Frederic Logghe
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Philadelphia Naval Shipyard


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The Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, formerly Navy Yard, was the first naval shipyard of the United States. It officially closed 30 September 1995, although various projects were still underway in 2003 under new ownership.

The yard originated on Front Street in Philadelphia and became an official United States Navy site in 1801. With the advent of ironclad warships the site became obsolete and new facilites were built on League Island at the confluence of the Delaware River and Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Naval Aircraft Factory was established at the League Island site in 1917. The Philadelphia Naval Shipyard was also the site of the world's first hammerhead crane.

Its greatest period came in World War II, when the yard employed 40,000 people on the construction of 53 ships and the repair of 574. During this period, the yard built the famed USS New Jersey and its forty-five thousand ton sister ship, the USS Wisconsin.

After the war, the workforce dropped to 12,000, and in the 1960s new ships began to be contracted out to private companies. The last new ship constructed was the command ship USS Blue Ridge, in 1970.

The yard's closure was originally recommended in 1991 by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission, as a result of foreign competition and reduced needs due to the end of the Cold War. Although local politicians tried to keep the Yard open it finally closed in 1995 with a loss of 7,000 jobs. Senator Arlen Specter charged that the Department of Defense did not disclose the official report on the closing. This resulted in a controversy that led to further legal disputes to no avail. Since its transfer from the government, the property has been sold to Aker Philadelphia Shipyards, formerly Kvaerner, a tanker and commercial shipbuilding firm.

The memorial to the Four Chaplains currently resides on the grounds of the shipyard. (Source: Wikipedia)

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New York Navy Yard



The New York Naval Shipyard (NYNSY), also known as the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the New York Navy Yard and United States Navy Yard, New York, is located 1.7 miles northeast of the Battery on the Brooklyn side of the East River in Wallabout Basin, a semicircular bend of the East River.

The Navy Yard was established by the federal government in 1801. By the American Civil War, the Yard had expanded to employ about 6000 men. On the eve of World War II, the yard contained more than five miles (8 km) of paved streets, four drydocks ranging in length from 326 to 700 feet (99 to 213 meters), two steel shipways, and six pontoons and cylindrical floats for salvage work, barracks for marines, a power plant, a large radio station, and a railroad spur, as well as the expected foundries, machine shops, and warehouses. In 1938 the Yard employed about ten thousand men, of whom one-third were Works Progress Administration (WPA) workers. At its peak, during World War II, the Yard employed 70,000 people, 24 hours a day.

The Yard was the site for the construction of Robert Fulton's steam frigate, Fulton, launched in 1815. In 1890, USS Maine (ACR-1) was launched from the Yard's ways. In 1937 the battleship North Carolina (BB-55) was laid down. The battleship Iowa (BB-61) was completed in 1942. On January 12, 1953, test operations began on USS Antietam (CVA-36) which emerged in December 1952 from the Yard as America's first angled-deck aircraft carrier.

Unfortunately for its workers, the Brooklyn Navy Yard made extensive use of asbestos in the manufacturing and repairing of its ships during the twentieh century. While the federal government successfully resisted responsibility in court for the extensive and often mortal health problems that resulted in the following years, thousands of retired workers have successfully sued the private businesses that supplied asbestos products to the U. S. Navy.

The Navy decommissioned the Yard in 1966 and sold it to the City of New York. It then became an area of private manufacturing and commercial activity. Now the Yard has over 200 tenants with more than 3500 employees, and is managed and operated by the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation for the City of New York.

The Yard has three piers, owned by the City of New York and operated by Seatrain Shipbuilding and Coastal Drydock and Repair Corporation, and a total of 10 berths ranging from 350 to 890 feet long, with ten-foot deck height and 25 to 40 feet (7 to 12 meters) of depth alongside. A Federal project maintains a channel depth of 35 feet (10 m) from Throgs Neck to the Yard, about two miles from the western entrance, and thence 40 feet (12 m) of depth to the deep water in the Upper Bay. Current in the East River is strong and congestion is heavy. Access to the piers requires passage under the Manhattan Bridge (a suspension span with a clearance of 134 feet or 41 m) and the Brooklyn Bridge (a suspension span with a clearance of 127 feet or 39 m). (Source: Wikipedia)

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Long Beach Naval Shipyard


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The Long Beach Naval Shipyard, which closed in 1997, was located at Terminal Island between the cities of Long Beach and San Pedro and approximately 23 miles south of the Los Angeles International Airport.

The Long Beach NSY industrial area encompassed 119 acres (482,000 m²) of the total 214 acres (866,000 m²) owned. There were 120 permanent, 39 semi-permanent, and 6 temporary buildings, for a total of 165 buildings. There were 17 different shop work areas and 2,400,000 ft² (223,000 m²) of covered building space. The shipyard had three graving docks, and five industrial piers. There were 12,307 feet (3.8 km) of ship berthing space. Crane capacity ranged from 25 tons to 67 tons (portal) and from 25 tons to 112 tons (floating).

During World War II, the naval dry docks provided routine and battle damage repairs to a parade of tankers, cargo ships, troop transports, destroyers, and cruisers. Peak employment of 16,091 civilian employees was reached in August 1945.

On February 9, 1943, the Secretary of the Navy established the facilities as the US Naval Dry Docks, Roosevelt Base, California. The name of this facility was changed to Terminal Island Naval Shipyard on November 30, 1945. The name became Long Beach Naval Shipyard (NSY) in March 1948.

The Long Beach NSY was equipped with facilities and skills to perform all non-nuclear structural, sheet metal, boiler, rigging, electronics, electrical, insulating, lagging, ordnance, sandblasting, welding, machining, woodworking, painting, pipe fitting, and other work pertaining to the overhaul and repair of surface ships. The shipyard possessed complete design, engineering, combat systems, quality assurance, planning and public works capabilities to support its industrial work. Dry dock No. 1 was designated the West Coast nuclear powered aircraft carrier (CVN) emergency dry dock.

The Long Beach NSY was placed in an inactive status on June 1, 1950. The Korean War began less than one month later. Reactivation of the shipyard was directed on January 4, 1951.

The shipyard enjoyed an excellent reputation among its fleet customers. Past and current performance in terms of producing timely, economical and quality work coupled with a zeal in responsiveness contribute to this reputation.

Through the years the shipyard accomplished several special projects in addition to its primary mission. These included support or scientific projects in conjunction with programs like POLARIS, POSEIDON, and SEALAB.

More recently, proposals have been made to convert the facility into a liquified natural gas (LNG) facility. (Source: Wikipedia)

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San Francisco Naval Shipyard


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The San Francisco Naval Shipyard was a United States Navy shipyard in San Francisco, California, located on 638 acres (2.6 km²) of waterfront at Hunters Point in the southeast corner of the city. Originally, Hunters Point was a commercial shipyard established in 1870, consisting of two graving docks purchased and upbuilt in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century by the Union Iron Works company, later owned by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Company, located at Potrero Point.

The original docks were built on solid rock. In 1916, the drydocks were thought to be the largest in the world, for the time. At a length of over 1000 feet, they were said to be big enough to accommodate the largest warships and passenger steamers afloat. Soundings showed an off shore depth of sixty-five feet. The Navy used the docks as a mid-site between San Diego and Bremerton, Washington. Much of the shoreline was extended by landfill extensions into the San Francisco Bay during the early 20th century. The Navy recognized the importance of shipbuilding and repair in the San Francisco bay and began negotiating for use and apropriation of the Hunter's Point Drydocks during World War One. A Congressional hearing on Pacific Coast Naval Bases was held in San Francisco in 1920 at San Francisco City Hall wherein city representatives, Mayor Rolph, City Engineer O'Shaughnessy and others testified on behalf of permanently siting the Navy in the Hunter's Point.

The land was again appropriated by the United States Navy at the onset of World War II and became one of the major shipyards of the west coast. The Navy reacquired it in November 1941, later renaming it Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, then Treasure Island Naval Station Hunters Point Annex, and operated the yard until 1974, when it leased most of it to a commercial ship repair company. Many workers, including African Americans, moved into the area to work at this shipyard and other wartime related industries in the area. After the war, the area remained a naval base and commercial shipyard, as many blue collar industries moved here. The Navy closed the shipyard and Naval base in 1994 and gave it back to the city. Right now, there is a renaissance of the Hunters Point Shipyard.

As in most industrial zones of the era, Hunter's Point has had a succession of coal and oil fired power generation facilities, and these have left a legacy of pollution, both from smokestack effluvients and leftover byproducts that were dumped in the vicinity. The base was entirely closed in 1994, although it continues to receive attention due to the large amounts of toxic waste remaining to be cleaned up. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Mare Island Naval Shipyard


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The Mare Island Naval Shipyard (MINS) was the first United States Navy shipyard established on the Pacific Coast. It is located at 38.10 N, 122.27 W, in Solano County, California, and approximately 25 miles northeast of San Francisco. The Napa River (Mare Island Strait) separates the peninsula shipyard (Mare Island, California) from the city of Vallejo, California. The Navy purchased the original 956 acres (3.9 km²) of MINS in 1853 and commenced shipbuilding operations on September 16, 1854.

As shipbuilding technologies advanced from wooden sail vessels to steel construction and nuclear propulsion, MINS underwent vast transformations during its years of operation. In the early 1920s, the Navy initiated construction and maintenance of submarines at MINS. During World War II, MINS reached peak capacity for shipbuilding, repair, overhaul, and maintenance. Following the War, MINS was considered to be one of the primary stations for construction and maintenance of the Navy’s Pacific fleet of submarines. It is presently over 5,200 acres (21 km²), and was responsible for construction of over 500 naval vessels and overhauling thousands of other naval vessels. In addition to shipyard operations, ordnance manufacturing and storage was another key mission at MINS for nearly the same time period—including those used prior to the American Civil War.

MINS was identified for closure during the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process of 1993. Naval operations ceased and the facility was decommissioned on April 1, 1996. The California Conservation Corps, Touro University, and numerous commercial and industrial businesses are currently leasing property aboard the former naval shipyard. In May 2000, the Navy completed the transfer of a former housing area called Roosevelt Terrace using an economic development conveyance. An economic development conveyance is a method to accelerate the transfer of BRAC facilities back to civilian communities for their economic benefit. The Navy is also transferring property at the shipyard to other government agencies such as U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service refuge, a Forest Service office building, a U.S. Army Reserve Center, a U.S. Coast Guard communications facility, and a U.S. Department of Education school. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Company



Industrialist Collis P. Huntington (1821-1900) led the efforts to complete the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad (C&O) from Richmond, Virginia to the Ohio River in the early 1870s. Although originally built for general commerce, the C&O soon was also used to transport bituminous coal from the previously isolated coalfields adjacent to the New River and the Kanawha River in West Virginia. In the 1880s, built an extension of the C&O from Richmond down the Virginia Peninsula to reach a new coal pier on Hampton Roads in Warwick County near the small unincorporated community of Newport News. However, building the railroad and coal pier was only the first part of Huntington's dreams for Newport News.

In 1886, he built a shipyard to repair ships servicing this transportation hub. In 1891, Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company delivered its first ship, a tugboat named Dorothy. By 1897, NNS had built three warships for the U.S. Navy: Nashville, Wilmington, and Helena.

In 1906, the revolutionary HMS Dreadnought launched a great naval race worldwide. Between 1907 and 1923, Newport News built six of the U.S. Navy's total of 22 dreadnoughts -- Delaware, Texas, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Maryland, and West Virginia -- and all but the first would still be in active service in World War II.

In 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt sent the Great White Fleet on its round-the-world voyage. Seven of its 16 battleships were built by NNS. In 1914, NNS built the SS Medina for the Mallory Steamship Company; as the MV Doulos she is now the world's oldest active ocean-faring passenger ship.

Between 1918 and 1920, NNS delivered 25 destroyers, and after World War I, NNS began building aircraft carriers. Ranger was delivered in 1934, and NNS went on to build Yorktown and Enterprise.

By 1940, the Navy had ordered seven more aircraft carriers and four cruisers. Still, the company swiftly filled requests for "Liberty ships" that were needed during the war. It founded North Carolina Shipbuilding Company, an emergency yard on the banks of the Cape Fear River and launched its first Liberty ship before the end of 1941, building 243 ships in all, including 186 Libertys. For its contributions during the war, the Navy awarded the company its "E" pennant for excellence in ship construction.

In the post-war years, NNS built the famous passenger liner SS United States, which set a transatlantic speed record that still stands today. In 1954, NNS, together with Westinghouse and the Navy, developed and built a prototype nuclear reactor for a carrier propulsion system. NNS designed the Enterprise in 1960. In 1959 NNS launched its first nuclear-powered submarine, Shark as well as the ballistic missile submarine Robert E. Lee.

In the 1970s, NNS launched two of the largest tankers ever built in the western hemisphere and also constructed three liquefied natural gas carriers -- at over 390,000 deadweight tons, the largest ever built in the United States. In the 1980s, NNS produced a variety of Navy products, including Nimitz-class nuclear aircraft carriers and Los Angeles-class nuclear attack submarines. The original ship in its class, the USS Nimitz was already well under construction by the early '70's, being built in a drydock at 42nd Street in Downtown Newport News, in full view of most of the downtown area.

On November 7, 2001, NNS signed a merger agreement with industrial conglomerate Northrop Grumman. The combination created a $4 billion shipyard now called Northrop Grumman Newport News. The shipyard is a major employer not only for the lower Virginia Peninsula, but portions of Hampton Roads south of the James River and the harbor, portions of the Middle Peninsula region, and even some northeastern counties of North Carolina. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Last additions - American shipyards
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