NY Shipbuilding ID Pin A Place Called YORKSHIP
First and Last, Least and Most
  Last Revised: 16 Jul 2006

Here we chronicle the rise and decline of a great shipyard with a collection of New York Shipbuilding trivia--beginnings, endings, and superlatives.

First and Last by Shipway

Shipway First Vessel (Keel Laid) Last Vessel (Launched) Total Built
J SS Nevadan (1901) USS Haddo (1962) 118
K SS Texan (1901) USS Joseph Strauss (1961) 99
L SS J.M. Guffey (1900) USS Pogy (1967) 95
M SS Mississippi (1902) USS Truxton (1964) 91
O SS Tidewater (1916) USS Camden (1965) 86
T SS M. J. Scanlon (1917) SS Prairie Mariner (1954) 13
U SS William N. Page (1918) SS Silver Mariner (1954) 20
TB 1 USS DeLong (1918) USS Barry (1920) 4
TB 2 USS Jacob Jones (1918) USS Sturtevant (1920) 2
TB 3 USS Hatfield (1918) USS Childs (1920) 2
TB 4 USS Brooks (1918) USS King (1920) 2
TB 5 USS Gilmer (1918) USS Bainbridge (1920) 2
TB 6 USS Fox (1918) USS Goff (1920) 2
TB 7 USS Kane (1918) USS Lawrence (1920) 2
TB 8 USS Humprheys (1918) USS Hopkins (1920) 2
TB 9 USS McFarland (1918) USS McFarland (1920) 1
TB 10 none in contract records   0
Drydock USS Kitty Hawk (1955) USS Kitty Hawk (1960) 1
South Yard 1 SS Keystone State (1919) SS Yankee Arrow (1921) 2
South Yard 2 SS Empire State (1919) SS Empire Arrow (1921) 2
South Yard 3 SS Lone Star State (1919) SS Dixie Arrow (1921) 2
South Yard 4 SS Hoosier State (1919) SS Levant Arrow (1921) 2
South Yard Barge Plant LCT(5)-400 (1942) LCT(5)-498 (1942) 100

Slowest Build

USS Saratoga, originally laid down in 1920 as a heavy cruiser, spent 1655 days on the ways before being launched as America's third aircraft carrier. It took another 953 days to outfit her, for a total of 2608 days--more than seven years--from keel-laying to delivery.

Second in both categories was the USS Guardfish (SSN-612), a boat whose troubled build spanned 2486 days and likely contributed to the cancellation of the Pogy contract in 1967.

Fastest Build

Obviously, the smaller and simpler a vessel, the shorter the expected building time, and a fast turnaround on a tank barge, car float, or landing craft would probably pass without comment. But the amazing 37-day construction of the 331-foot, 5,500 dwt collier SS Tuckahoe in 1918 attracted the notice of no less than the President of the United States. Tuckahoe was laid down April 8, launched May 5, and delivered to the US Shipping Board on May 15. To commemorate this achievement, a special medal was struck and presented to the workers along with a letter of commendation from Woodrow Wilson.

Oldest Commissioned

To the oldest commissioned ship in the U.S. Navy goes the honor of displaying the First Navy Jack, a flag design which dates back to the Continental Navy of 1775--a field of 13 red and white stripes bearing a rattlesnake and the legend Don't Tread on Me. On September 30, 1998, with the decommissioning of USS Independence, the USS Kitty Hawk became the oldest active ship, and it will retain that status until its scheduled retirement in 2008.

Most Launches In A Year

Looking past 1942, when 100 LCT(V)s and 48 LCI(L)s swelled the total to 154, the busiest year on the ways was 1927, when a Coast Guard order for 27 patrol boats led to 40 hulls being launched into the Delaware River. But the tonnage launched that year was dwarfed by the 22 launches of 1920: two oil tankers, 9 destroyers, and eleven passenger-and-cargo vessels over 500 feet long.

Fewest Launches In A Year

There were zero launches at New York Shipbuilding in 1934, 1946, 1952, and 1966. The first three were only pauses. In 1934, the Depression-tested yard laid down the cruiser Savannah and the tankers Socony Vacuum and Magnolia. and four destroyers (Porter, Selfridge, McDougal and Winslow) were building for delivery in 1935 and 1936. In the difficult post-war doldrums of 1946, the yard laid down no new vessels, and with cancellations only the cruisers Worcester and Roanoke were still under construction. In 1952, the U.S. Maritime Administration rescued New York Ship from falling quiet with an order for three C4 cargo ships (Garden Mariner, Diamond Mariner, and Empire State Mariner). But there were no white knights in 1966, when all the shipways were standing empty except where Camden and Pogy were nearing completion.

More to Come!


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