Marcus W. Robbins, Historian & Archivist
Copyright. All rights reserved.

The Norfolk Navy Yard into the 20th Century


Notes: [] designates page numbers; () designates footnotes.


The Norfolk Naval Shipyard, a component of the Fifth Naval District, is one of the largest establishments of its type in the world. Built on 811 acres of land, it contains 30.64 miles of paved streets and roads, 403 buildings with a total area of more than seven and one half million square feet, 44.2 miles of railroad track with nine locomotives and 254 cars, seven dry docks; two shipbuilding ways, and 350 cranes and derricks.

It is one of the oldest shipyards in the western hemisphere. Behind its modern productive efficiency is a history of nearly two centuries, antedating the Navy itself.

The Shipyard has experienced six major wars, in which it was three times burned. Six flags, representing four sovereign powers, have flown from its staff.

The Public Information Office of Norfolk Naval Shipyard has conceived and published this book to present as briefly as possible the long and distinguished story of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. Grateful acknowledgement is made to Mr. Marshall W. Butt, through whose efforts much of the early history has become available.

Early Settlement and Shipbuilding

The Elizabeth River (1), upon which the Yard is located, was recognized as a desirable shipbuilding site by the English settlers of Jamestown as early as 1620, when one John Wood, a shipbuilder, applied for a patent of land here and pointed out that the great depth of water and stand of good timber were especially suitable for the building of ships. With the spread of settlement in this region, a plantation community with local county government was established in 1637. The many navigable streams in the area led directly to the doors of the planters who made use of them for direct transportation of  their goods both at home and to and from the West Indies and Europe. This gave rise to the need of ships and shipbuilding facilities, resulting in the early establishment of several small private shipyards along the sandy shores of the Elizabeth River.

At first, they were little more than careening grounds with tar pots, timber sheds, and a saw pit for hand sawing large timbers, and, perhaps, a smith's forge for the iron work. Later, to the larger yards, there were added such conveniences as masting shears for stepping the tall masts in vessels and a rope walk for manufacturing the cordage with which the spars and sails were handled. With the passing of the years the pungent smell of oakum floated over the waters, and the ring of the caulker's mallet and the ship-carpenter's adze echoed from the wooded banks of the Elizabeth River, while in the local people there was developed to a high degree the skill of the shipbuilder which for generations has been a recognized tradition in this area.

One of these yards, the forerunner of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, was located along the western shore of the Southern Branch near where the Shipyard's First Street gate now stands. Andrew Sprowle, a Scot who had settled first in Norfolk Borough about 1746, acquired this tract of land in 1767 from Col. William Craford (2) who, fifteen years earlier, in 1752, had established the Town of Portsmouth on a 50-acre tract about a half-mile north of the Shipyard site. Town and Shipyard were separated by a broad and navigable creek; their relative situations being somewhat similar to those of Portsmouth and Gosport, the two great naval ports of

(1) Named for Princess Elizabeth Stuart, eldest daughter of James I, King of England. She became the consort of Frederick V, elector palatine and titular King of Bohemia.

(2) Pronounced, and later spelled, "Crawford

[2] England. The former name had been given by Col. Craford to his little Colonial Virginia town and the latter was probably chosen by Sprowle for the area including his shipyard, not only to complete the English analogy, but with business acumen as well. Vessels of the Royal Navy often visited this port and the Scottish shipyard proprietor undoubtedly wished to supply their naval requirements in Virginia.

Revolution and the Virginia Navy

The Shipyard was developed and prospered under Andrew Sprowle who Was made a trustee for the Town of Portsmouth and became a wealthy merchant and ship owner, as well as a shipbuilder. He was appointed British Navy Agent, but his ambitions in this direction were soon' frustrated by the outbreak of the American Revolution in 1775. Sprowle was one of a number of British settlers in the Norfolk-Portsmouth area who, having recently immigrated into Virginia, remained,loyal to the crown in our struggle for freedom, and who fled with Lord Dunmore, the Royal Governor, at the beginning of the conflict. All of his, lands and property in Virginia were immediately confiscated and title to the Gosport Shipyard was thus acquired by the newly independent Commonwealth of Virginia.

For the protection of her shores and vast network of inland waters, Virginia built a navy and also operated several shipyards that rendered valiant service during the Revolution. (3) The Gosport Shipyard was one of these and played a leading role from 1776 to 1782. In May 1779, however, the operation of the Shipyard was interrupted by the invasion of a British fleet under Admiral Sir George Collier who was transporting troops commanded by General Matthewes. Debarking his men from their transports anchored in Elizabeth River, Matthewes occupied Portsmouth and burned the Gosport Shipyard, although his action was vigorously protested by Admiral Collier, who wished to retain possession and make use of the Yard's facilities. Of the Yard and its detraction at this time, Collier wrote: "... the marine-yard was

(3) The Virginia Navy was under the command, of Commodore James Barron whose sons, a grandson, and a great grandson were also distinguished in the naval service. Samuel, the eldest son, after serving with his father in the Virginia Navy, entered the U. S. Navy and was twice, 1799 and 1810, in command of the Gosport Navy Yard. James, the other son, was Commandant of this Yard in 1825. He was the inventor of a dry dock and an ironclad vessel, and, in a duel fought in 1820, as a result of the Chesapeake-Leopard affair; shot and killed Commodore Stephen Decatur. The tomb of James Barron, the son, may be seen in Trinity Churchyard, Portsmouth, Va. He died in 1851, senior officer of the II. S. Navy. Captain Richard Dale, a native of Portsmouth and celebrated for his naval service under John Paul Jones, "father of the U. S. Navy," had previously served in the Virginia Navy and was also in command of this Yard as superintendent to 1794.

[3] the most considerable one in America . . . large and extremely convenient . . . Five thousand loads of fine seasoned oak-knees for shipbuilding, an infinite quantity of plank, masts, cordage, and numbers of beautiful ships of war on the stocks, were at one time in a blaze . . ." Their mission accomplished, the British evacuated the area shortly thereafter.

Federal Government Selects Site

With the close of the Revolution both the Virginia Navy and the Continental Navy were disbanded. Personnel was dismissed and the remaining ships were disposed of. The shipyard at this period was inactive insofar as its services to naval vessels was concerned. The growing merchant marine, however, was carrying the American flag to the ports of the world. The appearance in the Mediterranean bf the merchant ships of a young nation, unprotected by a naval force, encouraged- the corsairs of the Barbary states to seize American ships, cargoes and men. Public' opinion, aroused by these acts of piracy, brought the subject of an American naval force to the attention of Congress as early as 1791, but it was 27 March 1794 before Congress passed "An Act to Provide a Naval Armament".

This act authorized the construction of six frigates, the first American naval vessels built since the Revolution. The act founded the Navy of the United States, although, there being no Navy Department at this time, the work was entrusted to the Secretary Of War. The National Government owned no shipyards, consequently it was decided to lease the necessary facilities and build the ships under the supervision of their captains and government-employed naval constructors. Navy agents in charge of the shipyards and yard clerks were also appointed.

The names eventually given the frigates and the places selected for their construction were as follows:

UNITED STATES at Philadelphia
CONGRESS at Portsmouth, N. H.
CHESAPEAKE at Gosport, Virginia

The vessels were first designed as 44-gun frigates but it was finally decided to build the last three as 36-gun frigates.

[4]  In 1794 the Gosport Shipyard was leased from the State of Virginia, Mr. William Pennock was appointed Navy Agent and Captain Richard Dale, who was to have assumed command of the frigate, was appointed Superintendent. Mr. John Morgan had been provisionally appointed constructor or master builder but was succeeded by Mr. Josiah Fox. Timbers of white oak, cedar, and pitch-pine were cut and shaped for the new frigate but her keel, due to many delays, had not been laid when peace was declared early in 1796 when further work on the vessel was suspended. However, the renewed naval interest brought on by the threat of war with France resulted in the creation by Congress of the U. S. Navy Department on 30 April 1798, and the laying of the keel for the CHESAPEAKE on 10 Dec. 1798. This vessel was launched the following year on 2 Dec. 1799, commissioned in May 1800, and was commanded by Captain Samuel Barron during the Quasi-War with France.

Federal Ownership

Continued naval activity caused the Federal Government, in 1801, to purchase the Gosport Shipyard from the State of Virginia. The deed was executed on June 15th by James Monroe, Governor of Virginia, and conveyed approximately 16 acres to the U. S. Government for the sum of $12,000. This tract was situated in the Northeast corner of the present Shipyard and erected upon it, prior to 1827, were the following structures: an office, a commandant's house, marine barracks, brick storehouse which stood near the First Street Gate, a powder magazine, a "smithery", and two large covered building-ways known as "ship-houses". In the center of the Yard stood a large frame two-story building used as a marine hospital, and also as a rigging-loft and gunners store-room. A brick wall, begun in 1803, marked the northern and western boundaries, while wooden docks, requiring frequent repairs, stood along the water-front. A marine guard, ordered to the Yard in October 1801, was detached in 1804, but was reestablished in November 1807.

Squadrons under Commodores Dale, Truxton, and Decatur, frequently repaired or were fitted-out here and other vessels, renowned in their day, were built or reconstructed here during this early period.

Prior to 1810, the Yard's administrative officers, who were sometimes civilians, were styled "superintendents" or "navy-agents" but, on 7 July 1810, Commodore Samuel Barron, who, in 1799, had [5] previously served as superintendent, was appointed as the first commandant. He has been followed by a long line of distinguished naval officers, many of whose names are found as street or place-names throughout the Yard as well as in the adjoining communities.

War of 1812

The War of 1812 found the Gosport Navy Yard* with but little protective force except that afforded by a flotilla of small gunboats inadequately manned. Fortunately, however, the frigate CONSTELLATION, sailing from Washington, had been prevented from putting to sea through the Capes by a large British blockading squadron. With great difficulty she was kedged to a position in the Elizabeth River opposite Fort Norfolk from where she furnished detachments of seamen and marines from her crew to reinforce the harbor's weak defenses. Capture of the Yard, which would almost certainly have followed the fall of Portsmouth, was prevented with the aid of these men when local militia and regular forces defeated a determined landing attack at the battle of Craney Island, 22 June 1813. The Yard furnished large quantities of stores and ordnance to the war effort, but the harbor continued to be blockaded until the close of the war.

Expansion and First Dry dock

Expansion and improvement to the Navy Yard followed the War of 1812 and the period was marked by a number of events, outstanding in their day. The keel of the line-of-battle ship DELAWARE5, the first of her type ever to be built here, was laid in the summer of 1817 and she was launched 21 October 1820, with due ceremony attended by the local populace. The ALERT, first British man-of-war captured in the War of 1812, was assigned to this Yard in June 1818 as its first receiving ship. Three years later, in August 1821, a school for midshipmen was established here

(4) With the creation of the Navy Department in 1798 the term "Navy Yard*' was adopted. However, the old place-name "Gosport" often appeared, even on official documents, long after the Yard was officially designated the Norfolk Navy Yard.

Gosport Shipyard ....................................... From Mar. 27, 1794
Gosport Navy Yard ................................... From Apr. 30, 1798
U. S. Navy Yard, Norfolk, Va ....................  From May 10, 1862
Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Va. ........ From Feb. 13, 1929

(5) The hand-carved figurehead of this vessel, representing a chief of the Delaware tribe of Indians, was the work of William Luke, a Portsmouth native who was well known for his fine ship-sculpture. A replica now stands prominently on the grounds of the U. S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, where it is venerated by the midshipmen as their 4god of two point five," the Academy's passing grade.6Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Va. From Dec. 1, 1945

[6] on board the 44-gun ship GUERRIERE, with Chaplain David P. Adams in charge. At about this period there was inaugurated at the Gosport Navy Yard the custom of supplying other naval establishments with timber, cordage, and other naval stores so readily available in this locality.

As a result of "An Act for the Gradual Improvement of the Navy of the United States," passed by Congress, 3 March 1827, there was constructed in this Yard one of the first two dry docks in the United States. Begun in 1827 and finally completed in 1834, the dock was built of huge blocks of Massachusetts granite and cost $974,365.65, a fabulous sum for those days. Now more than a century old, the dock is still in daily use, only the caisson having been replaced as required. Before the dry dock was formally completed, it was christened 17 June 1833, by the reception of the ship DELAWARE, the first vessel to be dry docked in the United States. The ceremonies, in keeping with the importance of the occasion, were attended by many national and local dignitaries, and attracted widespread attention.

The tract of land on the eastern side of Southern Branch, known as Saint Helena, was originally purchased for the storage and repair of ordnance, and was added to the Navy Yard in 1846. In 1855, an epidemic of yellow fever, which ravaged and decimated the population of Portsmouth and Norfolk, seriously arrested the Navy Yard's activities for a brief period. The infection, the cause of which was then unknown, was brought here by mosquitoes trapped in the hold of the BEN FRANKLIN, a merchant ship from the West Indies docked at a private shipyard in Gosport. The same year, 1855, saw the inauguration of gas-light in the Navy Yard, while the whole period, beginning with the construction of the first dry dock to the year 1860, was marked in the Yard by expansion, extensive improvements and naval construction of varied types.

Federal Evacuation—Confederate Navy

When War between the Government of the United States and the seceding Southern States appeared to be imminent, the Federal authorities evacuated and burned the Gosport Navy Yard on the night of 20 April 1861. The torch was applied to the buildings, equipment and stores, and eleven ships of war were either burned or scuttled at their moorings, while at the same time, an unsuccessful attempt was made to blow up the dry dock. Although Virginia had passed an ordinance of secession she had hot yet joined the Confederacy, and for a brief interval the flag of Virginia [7] was unfurled when the re-created Virginia State Navy seized possession of the Navy Yard. (6)

When Virginia united with the Confederate States her military and naval forces were transferred to that government, and accordingly the Confederate flag was raised over the Navy Yard on 1 July 1861. Large quantities of salvaged stores and equipment from the partially destroyed Yard, including 1085 pieces of heavy ordnance, were used to equip and fortify the many land batteries hastily erected in this vicinity as well as the defenses in other Southern States. Batteries of cannon were mounted at strategic points within the Yard against possible land attack while the brick walls in places were pierced every few feet for the use of riflemen. These embrasures, the remains of which may still be seen in parts of the west wall, were manned by the Yard workmen who were drilled in their military duties every Saturday afternoon.

The steam-frigate MERRIMAC, 40 guns, which had been under repair at the Yard, was burned to the water-line and sunk. This vessel was raised, placed in the old stone dry dock, and from designs drawn by Naval constructor John L. Porter, a native of Portsmouth, converted into the famed ironclad C. S. S. VIRGINIA. She was the first armored vessel of her type ever built, and while on her trial trip in Hampton Roads, her engagements with the wooden vessels of the Federal squadron on 8 March 1862, and on the following day with the ironclad MONITOR, changed the course of naval history.

The Navy Yard was set ablaze by the third destructive torch on 10 May 1862, when it was evacuated by the Confederate States Navy. Reoccupation by Federal forces followed at once, and the flag of the United States was again made fast to the staff. (7)

Reconstruction of the Yard along more modern lines together with some innovations of present-day interest, followed the close

(6) Capt. Robert B. Pegram, VSN, Was ordered as commandant pending arrival of Capt. French Forrest, VSN. Both officers had just resigned their commissions in the U. S. Navy and were later commissioned in the C. S. Navy. In 1862, Forrest was relieved as commandant, by Capt. Sidney S. Lee, CSN, a brother of General Robert E. Lee. As an officer in the U. S. Navy, Capt. Lee had been at the Siege of Vera Cruz, served three years as commandant of the U. S. Naval Academy, and commanded Perry's flagship on the celebrated expedition to Japan.

(7) This sixth and last change of flags had been preceded in the following order:

1 Nov. 1767, flag Of Great Britain
1775, flag of Virginia
27 Mar. 1794, flag of the United States
21 Apr. 1861, flag of Virginia
1 Jul. 1861, flag of the Confederate States
11 May 1862, flag of the United State

of the War of 1861-65. The "9 o'clock gun", a time honored institution in the local community, was first fired in 1866; and the following year a large bell was hung in the cupola which surmounted the First Street gate. An electrical fire-alarm system was installed in 1886 and, in 1887, the celebrated Naval Post Band, which for many years played for the community's festive and social occasions, gave its first concert. The telephone system was installed in 1888, followed in 1889 by the first use of a railroad car in the Yard, which year also marked the completion of the second dry dock. The Labor Board was instituted in 1891.

Steel, Steam and the White Fleet

As the war with Spain approached, and wood and canvas had given way to steel and steam, the Yard built two of the^ first ships of the modern navy; the USSJ RALEIGH, a protected cruiser, and the USS TEXAS, a second class battleship, both launched in 1892. The RALEIGH was the first ship of the new navy to be completely built by the Government and the TEXAS was the navy's first battleship. Public interest in the Navy Yard and in naval affairs, already aroused by the launching of these vessels, was increased to a marked degree the same year by the International Columbian Naval Rendezvous in Hampton Roads, which was in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America.

During the Spanish-American War the Navy Yard was the scene of great activity. Many ships were converted, repaired and fitted-out for war service, while the harbor approaches to the Yard were protected by mines. At the close of the war, the Spanish cruiser REIN A MERCEDES, the only vessel of any size which was saved from the wreck of Admiral Cervera's fleet at Santiago, was brought to the Navy Yard. The captured vessel arrived on 27 May 1899, under escort of 22 tugs, all with flags flying and whistles tied down, while thousands of local people lined both sides of the river. Two torpedoes and other ordnance removed from her were placed in the Yard's Trophy Park where they may be seen with the naval relics of other wars.

The Yard's third dry dock was begun in 1903 and completed in 1911. Constructed of granite and concrete this dock was only one of many new shipbuilding facilities which were now added, necessitating expansion to the south and west. A large area containing 272.35 acres, known as the "Schmoele tract" was purchased in 1904, this being the most extensive growth in area the Yard had yet experienced.

Two memorable events of 1907 attracted widespread attention to the Norfolk Navy Yard* and also to this locality as a great naval [9] port; the Jamestown Exposition and the sailing of the famous "White Squadron" on its world cruise from Hampton Roads. Furthermore, both served to announce to the world that the United States, through its fleet, had become a world power. Only seven short years afterward Europe was plunged into World War I.

Expansion and World War I

In 1915, before the United States entered the war, the Yard became the reluctant host to two interned German sea-raiders, the KRONPRINZ WILHELM and the PRINZ EITEL FREDERICK. The crews of these vessels, numbering about a thousand officers and men, built in the Yard from scrap materials a typical German village named "Eitel Wilhelm", which attracted many visitors.

In World War I, the Norfolk Navy Yard was greatly expanded. Three new dry docks, begun in 1917 and 1918, were completed in 1920, and many new shop facilities were added. Employment reached its peak in February 1919, attaining the record figure of 11,234, as compared with 2,718 workers in June 1914. To accommodate the hundreds of Yard workers and their families, many of whom had migrated from distant places, two war-housing projects, Cradock and Truxton, were built on the outskirts of Portsmouth. Numerous vessels were repaired, converted, and fitted-out, and four destroyers were built: the CRAVEN, launched in 1918; and the HULBERT, NOA, and WM. B. PRESTON, launched in 1919. A battleship of 43,200 tons, the USS NORTH CAROLINA, BB52, was under construction at the Yard, and although more than a third completed, this ship, more powerful than any then possessed by the fleet, was scrapped in 1923 as a result of the Washington Naval Limitation Treaty. During the years 1919 to . 1922 the Yard converted the collier JUPITER into the U. S. Navy's first aircraft carrier, the USS LANGLEY.

Depression and Six Battleships

From the 11,000 mark in 1919, employment in the Yard dropped to 2,538 by the end of 1923, less than it had been in 1914. During the twenties and early thirties no new ships were built and little improvement was made in the Yard itself. But the long naval holiday and economic depression were alleviated by a battleship modernization program which began in 1925. Six of the fleet's older battleships were modernized at the Norfolk Navy Yard: the TEXAS in 1925-26, the NEW YORK in 1926-27, the NEVADA in 1927-29, the ARIZONA in 1929-31, the MISSISSIPPI in 1931-33, and the IDAHO in 1931-34. In the spring of 1933, [10] Navy Yard employees, along with other Government workers, were given a fifteen per cent cut in pay in a last-ditch economy move against the depression, while apprehension over lay-offs plagued the community.

The crisis was reached and relieved in July 1933, however, with the passage of the National Industrial Recovery Act, through which there was initiated a naval construction program. From this and succeeding programs, the Yard was allotted a total of nine destroyers, which were built and launched during the years 1934-1939. With its battleship modernization program, Yard employment had risen by the end of 1932 to 3,819, but, with a workload of nine destroyers, there began a steady climb in employment which reached a total of 7,625 by 1 September 1939, the day World War II began in Europe.

World War II and Aftermath

The part played by the Norfolk Navy Yard in World War II, its services to the U. S. Fleet and to ships of many allied navies, its expansion in size and development of shipyard facilities surpassed to an incredible degree the experience of this Yard in any former war.

From 1 January 1940, four months after the outbreak of war in Europe, to the end of the war with Japan, on 2 September 1945, a period of five years and eight months, the Yard repaired, altered converted, or otherwise accomplished work on 6,850 naval vessels, aggregating more than 27 million tons. At the same time, 101 new ships and landing craft were built for the fleet, and millions of dollars worth of manufactured products were turned out for the forces afloat and for other naval establishments. The Yard's productive work in World War II reached the staggering total of well over one billion dollars.

To accomplish its huge and difficult task, the Yard more than doubled its physical size and increased its productive capacity many fold. The size of the reservation expanded from 352.76 acres to 746.88 acres with nearly four and a quarter miles of waterfront. A dry dock 1,100 feet in length, capable of taking the largest ship afloat, was constructed, and 685 new buildings, both permanent and temporary were erected, while the dollar value of the plant increased from 42 million to nearly 136 million.

At the period of its heaviest work-load, the Yard's man-power requirements were more than five and a half times greater than they were at the beginning of the war in Europe, when the pay- [11] roll listed 7,625 names which was pushed to 42,893 in February 1943, the peak for World War II. This was nearly four times the maximum employment of World War I. Portsmouth and the entire local area were hard-pressed to accommodate the thousands of civilian workers and naval personnel, who with their families, were concentrated here from almost all of the 48 states. Housing facilities in the community, hopelessly inadequate, were supplemented on the Portsmouth side of the river by the construction of no less than 45 public and private war-housing projects, totaling 16,487 family units.

Including the nine destroyers constructed in 1934-39, the Yard built and launched 30 major vessels during the World War II period. This number, however, does not include 20 LST's of 3,776 tons each and many other smaller craft built during this periods

The DOWNES, TUCKER, BLUE, ROWAN, FEGHTELER and GSPREY, in addition to three LST's also built here, were lost during the war.

With the close of World War H the Shipyard was placed on a peace-time footing when its activity and personnel were substantially reduced. Indicative of the Shipyard's record of efficiency and strategic importance, however, the working force did not fall "below 9,025, which figure was reached in March 1950.

As a consequence of the Korean action which broke out in June 1950V the Nation began the rebuilding of its defenses. The Shipyard was again placed under a heavy work load and is rendering: extraordinary service to the fleet. The working force has expanded far beyond the World War I peak and; at the beginning of April! 1951, had reached? a total of 14,577, while for the same ten-month period repair or other work had been accomplished on 38-3 naval vessels of various types. Quietly and efficiently the Norfolk Naval Shipyard is going about its assigned task under war-time restrictions.

The "Thetis" Careened and Repairing at Gosport, Virginia
(From a Water-Colour by G. Tobin, 1795)
(Macpherson Collection)

U. S. Frigate Chesapeake
Keel Laid at Gosport Shipyard, 1798
First vessel built by the Yard under Federal Management

The First Dry Docking in America
U. S. S. Delaware secured in No. 1 Dock, Gosport Navy Yard, 17 June 1833
From a contemporary print by J. G. Bruff

"Navy Yard, Gosport"
From an engraving by J. O. Montalant, published 1845 in
Howe's "Historical Collections of Virginia"

Steam Sloop
Built at Gosport Navy Yard, 1858-1860

The Navy-Yard at Norfolk, Virginia

The "Merrimac," From a Sketch Made the Day Before the Fight.
Prow, of Steel; Wooden Bulward; Pilot-House
Lt. B. L. Blackford, del. March 7, 186?
d d Iron under Water, f Propeller

C. S. S. Virginia
Built at Gosport Navy Yard, 1862, from U. S. frigate MERRIMAC
From a contemporary drawing, courtesy of the Mariners' Museum

Photograph, Norfolk Navy Yard, 1875, showing old shipbuilding ways
Iron Plating Shop, Pitch House, Smithery, Construction & Repair Store, Park

Photograph, Norfolk Navy Yard, 1875, showing old timber dock, now Slip No. 1
Iron Plating Shop, Steam Fire Engine House, Timber Dock, Entrance Building

Photo, Norfolk Navy Yard, 1875, U. S. S. PLYMOUTH at dock

U. S. S. TEXAS, the Navy's first battleship
Built at Norfolk Navy Yard, 1889-1892

Launching of U. S. S. WM. B. PRESTON, DD344, Norfolk Navy Yard, 1919

U. S. S. ALABAMA, BB60, built at Norfolk Navy Yard, 1940-1942

Entrance to Gosport Navy Yard, 1851

Fourth Street Gate, Norfolk Naval Shipyard, 1951


Gosport Shipyard Established in Colonial Virginia Under British Flag:
Andrew Sprowle & Co., Proprietors, 1 Nov. 1767
Andrew Sprowle, British Navy Agent, 1775

Confiscated in American Revolution by the Commonwealth; Operated by the Navy of Virginia Under the Virginia Flag; Burned 1779, in British Invasion:
Superintendents, 1776-1782, not known
Shipyard inactive, 1783-1793

Loaned To The United States Under Act of Congress, 27 March 1794; Operated Under The Secretary of War and Flag of the United States:
Captain Richard Dale, Superintendent, 1794
William Pennock, Navy Agent, 1794

United States Navy Department Created, 30 April 1798. Shipyard Designated Gosport Navy Yard:
Captain Thomas Williams, Superintendent, July 1798
Captain Samuel Barron, Superintendent, 16 July 1799.
William Pennock, Navy Agent, Aug. 1799

Gosport Navy Yard Site Purchased from the State of Virginia by the United States, 15 June 1801:
Daniel Bedinger, Navy Agent & Supt., 26 April 1802
Theodorick Armistead, Navy Agent & Supt., 10 Feb. 1808
Captain Samuel Barron, Commandant, 7 July 1810
Lieutenant Robert Henley, Commanding, 10 Nov. 1810
Captain Samuel Evans, Commandant, May 1811
Captain John Cassin, Commandant, 10 Aug. 1812
Captain Lewis Warrington, Commandant, June 1821
Captain James Renshaw, Commandant, Dec. 1824
Captain James Barron, Commandant, 25 May 1825
Captain Lewis Warrington, Commandant, 26 May 1831
Captain Wm. B. Shubrick, Commandant, 7 Oct. 1840
[13] Captain Jessee Wilkinson, Commandant, 1 Oct. 1843
Captain Chas. W. Skinner, Commandant, Oct. 1846
Captain Lawrence Kearney, Commandant, 1 June 1847
Captain John D. Sloat, Commandant, 19 Jan. 1848
Captain Silas H. Stringham, Commandant, 17 Feb. 1851
Captain Samuel L. Breese, Commandant, 1 April 1852
Captain Isaac McKeever, Commandant, 10 May 1855
Captain Thomas A. Dornin, Commandant, 6 May 1856
Captain Charles H. Bell, Commandant, 30 April 1859
Captain Chas. S. McCauley, Commandant, 1 Aug. 1860

Gosport Navy Yard Evacuated and Burned By U. S. N., 20 April 1861; Immediately Occupied and Operated By Virginia State Navy Under the Virginia State Flag:
Captain Robert B. Pegram, V. S. N., Commandant, 21 April 1861
Captain French Forrest, V. S. N., Commandant, 22 April 1861

Gosport Navy Yard Transferred To, and Operated By, Confederate States Navy, 1 July 1861, Under Flag of the Confederate States:
Captain French Forrest, C. S. N., Commandant, 1 July 1861
Captain Sidney S. Lee, C. S. N., Commandant, April 1862

Gosport Navy Yard Evacuated and Burned By C. S. N., 10 May 1862; Immediately Reoccupied and Operated By U. S. N. Under the Flag of the United States and Designated U. S. Navy Yard, Norfolk, Virginia:
Commodore John W. Livingston, Commandant, 20 May 1862
Captain John M. Berrien, Commandant, 16 Nov. 1864
Commodore Robert B. Hitchcock, Commandant, 31 Oct. 1865
Rear Admiral Stephen C. Rowan, Commandant, 7 Aug. 1866
Commodore Augustus H. Kilty, Commandant, 15 Aug. 1867
Rear Admiral Charles H. Davis, Commandant, 1 Oct. 1870
Commodore Thomas H. Stevens, Commandant, 1 July 1873
Commodore J. Blakeley Creighton, Commandant, 1 July 1876
Commodore Aaron K. Hughes, Commandant, 1 July 1879
Commodore William K. Mayo, Commandant, 3 July 1882
Commodore William T. Truxtun, Commandant, 10 April 1885
Commodore George Brown, Commandant, 11 March 1886
Commodore Aaron W. Weaver, Commandant, 14 Jan. 1890
Captain Edward E. Potter, Commandant, 16 Jan. 1893
Rear Admiral George Brown, Commandant, 29 July 1893
Rear Admiral Norman H. Farquhar, Commandant, 1 June 1897
[14] Rear Admiral Albert S. Barker, Commandant, 5 Oct. 1899
Rear Admiral Charles S. Cotton, Commandant, 16 July 1900
Rear Admiral Purnell F. Harrington, Commandant, 1 April 1903
Rear Admiral Robert H. Berry, Commandant, 7 July 1906
Rear Admiral Edward D. Taussig, Commandant, 26 Dec. 1907
Rear Admiral Wm. A. Marshall, Commandant, 20 Nov. 1909
Rear Admiral Robert M. Doyle, Commandant, 1 Nov. 1911
Rear Admiral Nathaniel R. Usher, Commandant, 1 Dec. 1913
Commander Louis R. de Steiguer, Acting Commandant, 25 Sept. 1914
Rear Admiral Frank E. Beatty, Commandant, 4 Jan. 1915
Rear Admiral Walter McLean, Commandant, 25 Nov. 1915
Rear Admiral Augustus F. Fechteler, Commandant, 5 Feb. 1918
Captain Benjamin F. Hutchison, Acting Commandant, 10 April 1919
Rear Admiral Guy H. Burrage, Commandant, 15 Nov. 1919
Rear Admiral Philip Andrews, Commandant, 1 July 1921
Rear Admiral Henry J. Ziegemeier, Commandant, 6 June 1923
Captain Clarence S. Kempff, Acting Commandant, 10 Jan. 1925
Captain William T. Tarrant, Acting Commandant, 18 May 1925
Rear Admiral William C. Cole, Commandant, 16 Nov. 1925
Rear Admiral Wat T. Cluverius, Commandant, 2 July 1928

Designated: Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Va.; 13 Feb. 1929:
Rear Admiral Frank H. Brumby, Commandant, 31 May 1930
Captain William N. Jeffers, Acting Commandant, 28 Sept. 1932
Rear Admiral A. St. Clair Smith, Commandant, 14 Feb. 1933
Rear Admiral Charles S. Freeman, Commandant, 23 July 1935
Captain Lawrence P. Treadwell, Acting Commandant, 15 Oct.1937
Rear Admiral Manley H. Simons, Commandant, 22 Nov. 1937
Captain Lawrence P. Treadwell, Acting Commandant, 17 June 1941
Rear Admiral Felix X. Gygax, Commandant, 1 Aug. 1941
Rear Admiral Carl H. Jones, Commandant, 19 Oct. 1944

Designated: Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Va.; 1 Dec. 1945:
Commodore Lisle F. Small, Commander, 1 Dec. 1945
Captain Noah W. Gokey, Acting Commander, 1 Nov. 1946
Rear Admiral David H. Clark, Commander, 19 March 1947
Captain Noah W. Gokey, Acting Commander, 27 Jan. 1949
Rear Admiral Homer N. Wallin, Commander, 18 Feb. 1949
Rear Admiral David H. Clark, Commander, 15 Feb. 1951


Together With Some Notable Vessels Rebuilt, Converted or
Completed by The

Here are listed the principal vessels known to have been built by the Shipyard together with such other vessels of historic interest as have undergone a major rebuilding or conversion or were completed at the Shipyard. Those vessels not originally built at this Shipyard are indicated.

Necessarily missing from the list are the names of numerous vessels known to have been built by the Gosport Shipyard during the earliest period of its history, especially those built for the Virginia Navy during the period of the American Revolution, for which no data is now extant.

No attempt has been made to list small boats and some types of yard craft, of which the Shipyard has produced a large number throughout its long history.

The number of guns shown for the earlier vessels is the "rate" and not necessarily the actual battery carried, which varied with different periods in the life of the vessel.

Warships built at this Shipyard have seen action in every major war in which the Nation has taken part.

CHESAPEAKE, frigate, 36 guns, 1244 tons, keel laid 10 Dec. 1798, launched 2 Dec. 1799. Originally designed as a 44-gun frigate, one of five sister ships of the CONSTITUTION. The CHESAPEAKE was attacked by the British LEOPARD off Cape Henry in 1807 which affair led to the duel between Commodores James Barron and Stephen Decatur, and was one of the causes leading to the War of 1812. She was captured off Boston, 1 June 1813, by the British frigate SHANNON, on which occasion her commander, Capt. James Lawrence, uttered his celebrated dying words, "Don't Give Up the Ship", which have become a tradition in the Navy. The CHESAPEAKE was taken into the Royal Navy and, in 1820, broken up at Portsmouth, England, her timbers being used to build a flour mill at Wickham.

FERRET, cutter, 12 guns, length on deck 73', built 1806-1809, changed to a brig and renamed VIPER. [16] GUNBOATS 146 to 155, Ten vessels, length approx. 50', built 1808-1810.

DELAWARE (3rd), ship, 74 guns, 2633 tons keel laid Aug. 1817, launched 21 Oct. 1820. Entered dry dock No. 1 at the Gosport Navy Yard, 17 June 1833, the first ship to be dry docked in America. Burned and sunk at Gosport Navy Yard, 20 April 1861, by evacuating Federal forces.

NEW YORK (3rd), ship, 74 guns, 2633 tons, keel laid 1818, never completed, burned on the stocks at Gosport Navy Yard, 20 April 1861, by evacuating Federal forces.

ST. LAWRENCE, frigate, 44 guns, 1708 tons, keel laid 1826, launched 25 March 1847. Stationed at Norfolk Navy Yard as ordnance ship 1865-1867, and as marine barracks 1868-1875, sold here 31 Dec. 1875.

NATCHEZ, sloop, 20 guns, 691 tons, built 1827, broken up at New York 1840.

JOHN ADAMS (2nd), sloop, 20 guns, 700 tons, keel laid 1829, launched 17 Nov. 1830, sold at Boston 5 Oct. 1867.

MACEDONIAN (2nd), frigate, 36 guns, 1341 tons, keel laid 1832, launched 1836. One of Commodore Perry's squadron on expedition to Japan 1852-1854; Naval Academy practice ship 1863-1870; laid up at Norfolk Navy Yard 1872, where she was sold 31 Dec. 1875.

PIONEER, brig, 6 guns, 230 tons, built 1836 for Wilkes scientific expedition to the Antarctic and Pacific but found unsuitable. Under Lt. Tattnall she returned General Santa Anna to Vera Cruz in 1837. Sold at Norfolk Navy Yard 1844.

YORKTOWN, sloop, 16 guns, 566 tons, keel laid 1838, launched 17 June 1839, wrecked near Cape Verde Islands 6 Sept. 1850.

UNION, steam schooner, 4 guns, 956 tons, keel laid 1841, launched 12 May 1842, the first steam vessel built at Norfolk Navy Yard. Engines built at Washington Navy Yard. The UNION was the first of three Navy vessels to be equipped with Hunter submerged paddle wheels. These wheels were mounted with a vertical axis and marked an interesting but unsuccessful experiment in the transition from the orthodox side-wheel to the screw propeller. Converted to Receiving Ship at Philadelphia 1848. Sold 1858.

TRUXTUN, brig, 10 guns, 331 tons, keel laid 1842, launched 16 April 1842, the first naval vessel to set up her shrouds by any [17] method other than the ancient deadeyes and lanyards, she having rollers in her chain-plates under which the shrouds passed. Active service Mexican War. Wrecked off Mexico 15 Aug. 1846.

SOUTHAMPTON, storeship, 4 guns, 567 tons, keel laid 1842, launched 1845. Sold, date unknown.

PERRY, brig, 10 guns, 280 tons, keel laid 18 Feb. 1843, launched 9 May 1843, considered the fastest ship in the Navy of her period. Active Civil War service, sold at Philadelphia 10 Aug. 1865.

JAMESTOWN, sloop, 20 guns, 1150 tons, keel laid 1843, launched 16 Sept. 1844, blockade duty in Civil War, training ship 1889, transferred to Marine Hospital Service 1892, stricken from Navy Register 4 Sept. 1912 but was still afloat in. 1932.

POWHATAN, steam bark, side-wheel, 9 guns, 2415 tons, keel laid 1847, launched 14 Feb. 1850, engines and boilers built by A. Mehaffy & Co., Gosport, Va. One of Commodore Perry's squadron on expedition to Japan 1852-1854, active service in Civil War. The POWHATAN was noted for her speed and good sailing qualities as well as her long period of naval service. Sold 30 July 1887.

CONSTELLATION (2nd), corvette, 24 guns, 1278 tons, keel laid 1853, launched 1855, the last sailing vessel built at the Norfolk Navy Yard. Active service Civil War, receiving ship at Norfolk Navy Yard 1865, Naval Academy practice ship 1873-1892, training ship at Newport 1893-1920, still afloat and on Navy List.

ROANOKE steam frigate, screw, 40 guns, 3400 tons, launched 13 Dec. 1855, machinery built by Tredegar Iron Works. Richmond, Va. Active service in Civil War. Altered to a 3-turreted ironclad at New York 1862-3, sold 27 Sept. 1883.

COLORADO, steam frigate, screw, 40 guns, 3400 tons, keel laid May 1854, launched 19 June 1856. Machinery built by Tredegar Iron Works, Richmond, Va., this vessel was a duplicate of the RONOAKE. Active service in Civil War, receiving ship New York Navy Yard 1875-1884, sold 14 Feb. 1885.

DACOTAH, steam sloop, screw, 6 guns, 998 tons, keel laid 1858, launched 23 March 1859, machinery built by Murray and Hazel-hurst, Baltimore, Md. Active service in Civil War, sold 30 May 1873.

RICHMOND, (2nd), steam sloop, screw, 14 guns, 2700 tons, keel laid 1858, launched 26 Jan. 1860, machinery built at Washington [18] Navy Yard. Active service in Civil War, auxiliary receiving ship at Norfolk Navy Yard 1903-1919, sold 1919.

POCAHONTAS, steam sloop, screw, 5 guns, 694 tons. Formerly CITY OF BOSTON, purchased at Boston 20 March 1855 and name changed to DESPATCH. Rebuilt and enlarged from 558 to 694 tons at Gosport Navy Yard 1859 and name changed to POCAHONTAS. Active service in Civil War. Sold 30 Nov. 1865.

VIRGINIA (S. S.), ironclad ram, steam screw, 10 guns, 3200 tons, constructed from the partly burned U. S. steam frigate MERRIMAC in dry dock No. 1, Gosport Navy Yard. Entered dock 30 May 1861, left dry dock and attacked Federal squadron in Hampton Roads 8 March 1862, engaged the MONITOR 9 March 1862. When the Navy Yard was evacuated by the Confederate forces, the VIRGINIA was found to be too deep for navigation in James River and to avoid capture was destroyed by her own crew off Craney Island 11 May 1862.

RICHMOND (C. S. S.), ironclad ram, steam screw, 4 guns, length 180', keel laid 1861, launched 6 May 1862, scuttled at the evacuation of Richmond 4 April 1865.

NANSEMOND (C. S. S.), gunboat, wood, steam screw, 2 guns, 80 tons, built 1862, burned at the evacuation of Richmond 4 April 1865.

HAMPTON (C. S. S.), gunboat, wood, steam screw, 2 guns, 80 tons, built 1862, burned at the evacuation of Richmond 4 April 1865.

NORFOLK (C. S. S.), gunboat, wood, steam screw, building and nearly completed 1862, burned on the stocks at evacuation of the Navy Yard by Confederate forces 10 May 1862.
PORTSMOUTH (C. S. S.), gunboat, wood, steam screw, building and nearly completed 1862, burned on the stocks at evacuation of the Navy Yard by Confederate forces 10 May 1862.

GALENA (2nd), steam sloop, screw, 8 guns, 1900 tons. Vessel and machinery built at Norfolk Navy Yard 1871-1879. Wrecked on Gay Head, Martha's Vineyard, 1891.

ALLIANCE (2nd), steam bark, screw, wood, 6 guns, 1375 tons, keel laid 1873, launched 8 March 1875 as the HURON, name changed 1875 and commissioned as the ALLIANCE 8 Jan. 1877. Machinery built by Quintard Iron Works, New York. Stricken from Navy Register 9 Aug. 1911.

DAISY, steam ferry, wood, length 64' 6", built 1885, condemned by [19] survey 29 Oct. 1919.

TEXAS, battleship, twin screw, main battery, two 12" and six 6" rifles, 6315 tons, keel laid 1 June 1889, launched 28 June 1892. Machinery built by Richmond Locomotive Works, Richmond, Va. The Navy's first battleship and first steel vessel built at this Yard. Active service in Spanish-American War, name changed to SAN MARCOS 16 Feb. 1911, used as a target and sunk in Chesapeake Bay. Stricken from Navy List 11 Oct. 1911.

RALEIGH, cruiser, twin screw, 11 guns, 3183 tons, keel laid 15 Dec. 1889, launched 31 March 1892. Machinery built by New York Navy Yard. Active service in Spanish-American War, sold 5 Aug. 1921.

AMPHITRITE (2nd), Monitor, twin screw, double turrets, 4 guns, 3990 tons, built 1874-1883 by Harlan and Hollingsworth, Wilmington, Del. Rebuilt at Norfolk Navy Yard 1890-1894 where she was commissioned 23 April 1895. Active service in Spanish-American War. Stricken from Navy List 24 July 1919, sold and converted to a floating hotel and still in use at Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

SAMOSET, harbor tug, steel, 225 tons, keel laid 13 Jan. 1896, launched 20 March 1897. Assigned to League Island as Yard Tug.

COURIER, steam ferry, wood, length 56' 8", built 1897.

NAVY YARD, steam ferry, composite, length 80', built 1901.

GALVESTON, cruiser, twin screw, 10 guns, 3200 tons, keel laid 19 Jan. 1901 at Richmond, Va., by Wm. R. Trigg Co., launched 23 July 1903, construction completed at Norfolk Navy Yard and commissioned 15 Feb. 1905. Stricken from Navy List 1 Nov. 1930 and sold 13 Sept. 1933.

INDIAN, steam ferry, wood, length 60' 9", built 1906.

PATUXENT, ocean tug, steel, 755 tons, keel laid 25 July 1907, launched 16 May 1908. Loaned to Bureau of Fisheries 17 Dec. 1925 and name changed to ALBATROSS II.

CHEMUNG, ocean tug, steel, 575 tons, keel laid 2 Oct. 1915, launched 1 April 1916 as the POCAHONTAS, name changed to CHEMUNG 1 Sept. 1917. Stricken from Navy List Dec. 22, 1936. Sold Feb. 2, 1937.

SUBMARINE CHASERS, SC116 to 136, 21 vessels, wood, 110, long, gasoline engines, triple screw, built 1917-1918. SC117 and SC132 were lost, SC128 was sold to Italy.

[20] CRAVEN, DD70, destroyer, 1125 tons, keel laid 20 Nov. 1917, launched 29 June 1918. Name dropped 31 May 1935. Turned over to British Oct. 1940 and name changed to HMS LEWES.

HULBERT, DD342, destroyer, four funnels, 1215 tons, keel laid 18 Nov. 1918, launched 28 June 1919. Participated in defense of Pearl Harbor 7 Dec. 1941, and other active service in World War II. Stricken from Navy List 28 Nov. 1945.

NOA, DD343, destroyer, four funnels, 1215 tons, keel laid 18 Nov. 1918, launched 28 June 1919. Converted in World War II to High Speed Transport APD24, lost in S. W. Pacific 12 Sept. 1944.

WM. B. PRESTON, DD344, destroyer, four funnels, 1215 tons, keel laid 18 Nov. 1918, launched 9 Aug. 1919. Converted in World War II to Auxiliary-Seaplane Tender (Destroyer) AVP20, later designated AVD7. Sold 23 May 1946.

LANGLEY, CV1, aircraft carrier, 12700 tons, the Navy's first electrically propelled vessel, built as the Collier JUPITER at Mare Island Navy Yard 1908-1911. Converted to the Navy's first aircraft carrier at Norfolk Navy Yard 1919-1922, name changed to LANGLEY 21 April 1920, commissioned 20 March 1922. Converted to seaplane tender AV3 and sunk in action south of Java 27 Feb. 1942.

NORTH CAROLINA, BB52, battleship, 43200 tons, keel laid 12 Jan. 1920, construction suspended 8 Feb. 1922, when 36% completed. Sold 25 Oct. 1923 and scrapped in accordance with treaty limiting naval armaments.

TEXAS, BB35, battleship, 27000 tons, built 1911-1914 at Newport News S. B. Co. Completely modernized 1925-1926 at Norfolk Navy Yard. Active service World Wars I and II. Presented to the State of Texas 21 April 1948 and maintained as a memorial.

NEW YORK, BB34, battleship, 27000 tons, built 1911-1914 at New York Navy Yard. Completely modernized 1926-1927 at Norfolk Navy Yard. Active service World Wars I and II. Target ship at Bikini bomb test and later sunk at sea near Pearl Harbor 8 July 1948.

NEVADA, BB36, battleship, 29000 tons, built 1912-1915 at Fore River S. B. Co. Completely modernized 1927-1929 at Norfolk Navy Yard. Active service World Wars I and II. Beached during Pearl Harbor attack 7 Dec. 1941, repaired and rejoined the Fleet in 1943. Target ship at Bikini atomic bomb test and destroyed 31 July 1948.

ARIZONA, BB39, battleship, 32600 tons, built 1914-1916 at New [21] York Navy Yard. Completely modernized 1929-1931 at Norfolk Navy Yard. Active service World War I. Sunk in Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor 7 Dec. 1941.

MISSISSIPPI, BB41, battleship, 33000 tons, built 1915-1917 at Newport News S. B. Co. Completely modernized 1931-1933 at Norfolk Navy Yard. Active service World Wars I and II. Converted 1946 at Norfolk Navy Yard to training and gunnery ship and designated AG128.

IDAHO, BB42, battleship, 33400 tons, built 1915-1917 at New York S. B. Co., commissioned in Hampton Roads 24 March 1919. Completely modernized 1931-1934 at Norfolk Navy Yard. Active service World War II. Stricken from Navy List 16 Sept. 1947 and sold.

TUCKER, DD374, destroyer, 1500 tons, keel laid 15 Aug. 1934, launched 26 Feb. 1936, one of the Navy's first all welded vessels. Active service World War II, sunk by mine off New Hebrides 4 Aug. 1942.

DOWNES, DD375, destroyer, 1500 tons, keel laid 15 Aug. 1934, launched 22 April 1936. Destroyed by Japanese bombs at Pear] Harbor while in dry dock 7 Dec. 1941, machinery salvaged and placed in new hull at Mare Island. DOWNES was the first of nine vessels built at Norfolk Navy Yard which were lost in World War II.

BAGLEY, DD386, destroyer, 1500 tons, keel laid 31 July 1935, launched 3 Sept. 1936. Active service World War II. Sold 3 Oct. 1947.

BLUE, DD387, destroyer, 1500 tons, keel laid 25 Sept. 1935, launched 27 May 1936. Active service World War II. sunk by enemy action in Guadalcanal-Tulagi area 22 Aug 1942.

HELM, DD388, destroyer, 1500 tons, keel laid 25 Sept. 1935, launched 27 May 1937. Active service World War II. Sold 2 Oct. 1947.

ROWAN, DD405, destroyer, 1500 tons, keel laid 25 June 1937, launched 5 May 1938. Active service World War II. Sunk by enemy action off Italy 11 Sept. 1943.

STACK, DD406, destroyer, 1500 tons, keel laid 25 June 1937, launched 5 May 1938. Active service World War II. Target ship at Bikini atomic bomb test and later destroyed 24 April 1948.

MORRIS, DD417, destroyer, 1570 tons, keel laid 7 June, 1938, [22] launched 1 June 1939. Active service World War H.Sold 2 Aug. 1947.

WAIN WRIGHT, DD419, destroyer, 1570 tons, keel laid 7 June 1938, launched 1 June 1939. Active service World War II. Target ship at Bikini atomic bomb test and later destroyed 2 July 1948.

RAVEN, AM55, mine sweeper, 765 tons, keel laid 28 June 1939, launched 24 Aug. 1940. Active service World War II.

OSPREY, AM56, minesweeper 744 tons, keel laid 28 June 1939, launched 24 Aug. 1940. Active service World War II. Sunk by mine in English Channel 5 June 1944.

WAHTAH, YTB 140, harbor tug (big), 237 tons, keel laid 28 Aug. 1939, launched 14 Dec. 1939.

YF257, covered lighter (self propelled), keel laid 31 Jan. 1940, launched 29 June 1940.

ALABAMA, BB60, battleship, 35000 tons, keel laid 1 Feb. 1940, launched 16 Feb. 1942, commissioned 16 Aug. 1942. Active service World War II.

YF287, covered lighter (self propelled), keel laid 21 Feb. 1941, launched 3 May 1941.

AUK, AM57, minesweeper, 890 tons, keel laid 15 April 1941, launched 26 Aug. 1941. Active service World War II.

YW59, water barge (self propelled), keel laid 26 July 1941, launched 29 Aug. 1941.

HERNDON, DD638, destroyer, 1630 tons, keel laid 26 Aug. 1941, launched 5 Feb. 1942. Active service in World War II.

SHUBRICK, DD639, destroyer, 1630 tons, keel laid 17 Feb. 1942, launched 18 April 1942. Active service World War II. Sold 28 Sept. 1947.

KENTUCKY, BB66, battleship, 45000 tons, keel laid 7 March 1942, construction interrupted and, on 17 April 1946, suspended when 73% completed.

LANDING CRAFT, MECHANIZED, LCM, Fifty vessels, each 50' in length and powered with two 225 hp diesels. Building program started 20 May 1942, completed 21 Aug. 1942.

LANDING SHIPS, TANK, LST 333 to 352, 20 vessels, each 1625 tons, first keels laid 17 July 1942, final vessels launched 7 Feb. [23] 1943. LST333 sunk by submarine in Mediterranean 22 June 1943, LST342 sunk by submarine off Solomons 18 July 1943, LST348 sunk by submarine off Italy 19 Feb. 1944, LST349 stranded and lost 26 Feb. 1944.

REUBEN JAMES, DE153, escort vessel, 1400 tons, keel laid 7 Sept. 1942, launched 6 Feb. 1943. Active service World War II.

SIMS, DE154, escort vessel, 1400 tons, keel laid 7 Sept. 1942, launched 6 Feb. 1943. Altered to high speed transport APD50. Active service World War II.

YSD38, seaplane wrecking derrick, keel laid 10 Nov. 1942, launched 16 Jan. 1943.

HOPPING, DE155, escort vessel, 1400 tons, keel laid 15 Dec. 1942, launched 10 March 1943. Altered to high speed transport APD51. Active service World War II.

SHANGRI-LA, CV38, aircraft carrier, 27100 tons, keel laid 15 Jan. 1943, launched 24 Feb. 1944. Active service World War II.

YSD39, seaplane wrecking derrick, keel laid 18 Jan. 1943, launched 8 March 1943.

REEVES, DE156, escort vessel, 1400 tons, keel laid 7 Feb. 1943, launched 22 April 1943. Altered to high speed transport APD52. Active service World War II.

FECHTELER, DE157, escort vessel, 1400 tons, keel laid 7 Feb. 1943, launched 22 April 1943. Sunk by submarine in Mediterranean 4 May 1944.

YSD 40, seaplane wrecking derrick, keel laid 8 March 1943, launched 6 May 1943.

LAKE CHAMPLAIN, CV39, aircraft carrier, 27100 tons, keel laid 15 March 1943, launched 2 Nov. 1944. At Norfolk Navy Yard for post-shakedown availability when war with Japan ended. Established new world's record for trans-Atlantic crossing while transporting troops from Europe in Nov. 1945.

CHASE, DE158, escort vessel, 1400 tons, keel laid 16 March 1943, launched 24 April 1943. Altered to high speed transport APD54. Active service World War II. Sold 13 Nov. 1946.

YRD(H)3, workshop, floating dry dock (hull), keel laid 1 April 1943, launched 14 May 1943.

[24] YRD(M)3, workshop, floating dry dock (machinery), keel laid 5 April 1943, launched 14 May 1943.

LANING, DE159, escort vessel, 1400 tons, keel laid 23 April 1943, launched 4 July 1943. Altered to high speed transport APD55. Active service World War II.

LOY DE160, escort vessel, 1400 tons, keel laid 23 April 1943, launched 4 July 1943. Altered to high speed transport APD56. Active service World War II.

BARBER, DE161, escort vessel, 1400 tons, keel laid 27 April 1943, launched 20 May 1943. Altered to high speed transport APD57. Active service World War II.

YSD41 seaplane wrecking derrick, keel laid 7 May 1943 launched 16 June 1943.

LOVELACE, DE198, escort vessel, 1400 tons, keel laid 22 May 1943, launched 4 July 1943. Active service World War II.

ATHERTON, DE169, escort vessel, 1240 tons, keel laid 14 Jan. 1943 at Newark, N. J., by Federal S. B. Co. Transferred to Norfolk Navy Yard 23 June 1943 when 73% completed. Completed 17 Sept. 1943. Active service World War II.

BOOTH, DE170, escort vessel, 1240 tons, keel laid 30 Jan. 1943 at Newark, N. J. by Federal S. B. Co. Transferred to Norfolk Navy Yard 26 June 1943 when 57% completed. Completed 30 Sept. 1943. Active service World War II.

CARROLL, DE171, escort vessel, 1240 tons, keel laid 30 Jan. 1943 at Newark N. J. by Federal S. B. Co. Transferred to Norfolk Navy Yard 26 June 1943 when 53% completed. Completed 8 Nov. 1943. Active service World War II.

THOMAS, DE102, escort vessel, 1240 tons, keel laid 16 Jan. 1943 at Wilmington, Del. by Dravo Corp. Transferred to Norfolk Navy Yard 4 August. 1943 when 53% completed. Completed 4 Dec. 1943. Active service World War II.

YRD(H)4, workshop, floating dry dock (hull), keel laid 16 Aug. 1943, launched 20 Sept. 1943.

YRD(M)4, workshop, floating dry dock (machinery), keel laid 17 Aug. 1943, launched 20 Sept. 1943.

BREEMAN, DE104, escort vessel, 1240 tons, keel laid 20 March 1943 at Wilmington, Del. by Dravo Corp. Transferred to Norfolk [25] Navy Yard 8 Sept. 1943 when 46% completed. Completed 27 Dec. 1943. Active service World War II.

YRD(H)5, workshop, floating dry dock (hull), keel laid 15 Oct. 1943, launched 26 Oct. 1943.

YRD(M)5, workshop, floating dry dock (machinery), keel laid 15 Oct. 1943, launched 26 Oct. 1943.

TARAWA, CV40, aircraft carrier, 27100 tons, keel laid 1 March 1944, launched 12 May 1945, completed 26 Jan. 1946, too late for action in World War II.

YF1092, covered lighter (self propelled), keel laid 14 Jan. 1946, launched 15 March 1946.


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