Richmond Shipyards

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Richmond Shipyard Number Three
Richmond Shipyard No. 3 (Richmond, CA).jpg
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Location Richmond, California
Coordinates 37°54′22.3″N122°21′52.79″W / 37.906194°N 122.3646639°W / 37.906194; -122.3646639 Coordinates: 37°54′22.3″N122°21′52.79″W / 37.906194°N 122.3646639°W / 37.906194; -122.3646639
Built1940
NRHP reference No. 00000364 [2]
CHISL No.1032 [3]
Added to NRHPApril 28, 2000

The four Richmond Shipyards, located in the city of Richmond, California, United States, were run by Permanente Metals and part of the Kaiser Shipyards. During World War II, Richmond built more ships than any other shipyard, turning out as many as three ships in a single day. The shipyards are part of the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park, whose the Rosie the Riveter memorial honors the shipyard workers. Shipyard #3 is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a California Historical Landmark # 1032.

Contents

History

Henry J. Kaiser had been building cargo ships for the U.S. Maritime Commission in the late 1930s. When he received orders for ships from the British government, already at war with Nazi Germany, Kaiser established his first Richmond shipyard in December 1940. The shipyard legacy continues by virtue of its innovative medical care, which was derived from Kaiser's earlier California Colorado Aqueduct Project insurance and today called Kaiser Permanente.

The four Richmond Kaiser Shipyards built 747 ships during World War II, a rate never equaled. [4] Compared to the average ship built elsewhere, Richmond ships were completed in two-thirds the time and at a quarter of the cost. The Liberty ship SS Robert E. Peary was assembled in less than five days as a part of a competition among shipyards. By 1944, the yard routinely needed only a bit more than two weeks to assemble a Liberty ship. [4] By the end of the war the Richmond Shipyards had built $1.8 billion worth of ships. [5]

A "Wendy the Welder" at the shipyard Wendy Welder Richmond Shipyards.jpg
A "Wendy the Welder" at the shipyard

Kaiser and his workers applied mass assembly line techniques to building the ships. This production line technique, bringing pre-made parts together, moving them into place with huge cranes and having them welded together by "Rosies" (actually "Wendy the Welders" here in the shipyards), allowed unskilled laborers to do repetitive jobs requiring relatively little training to accomplish. This sped up construction, allowed more workers to be mobilized, and opened jobs to women and minorities. [4]

During the war, thousands of men and women worked in this area in hazardous jobs. Actively recruited by Kaiser, they came from all over the United States to swell the population of Richmond from 20,000 to over 100,000 in three years. For many of them, this was the first time they worked, earned money, and faced the problems of working parents: finding day care and housing.

Women and minorities entered the workforce in areas previously denied to them. However, they still faced unequal pay, were shunted off into "auxiliary" unions and still had to deal with prejudice and inequities. [6] During the war, labor strikes and sit-down work stoppages eventually led to better conditions. [4]

Many workers commuted from other parts of the Bay Area to the Kaiser Shipyards in Richmond on the Shipyard Railway, a temporary wartime railway whose trains used cars of the local Key System and whose line extended from a depot in Emeryville to a loop serving all four shipyards. [7]

The SS Red Oak Victory is docked nearby Kaiser Richmond No. 3 Yard.

Kaiser Richmond shipyards

For World War 2 Kaiser opened four shipyards in San Pablo Bay, the northern part of San Francisco Bay each using prefabricated parts to built ships. Prefabricated subcontractors included: Graham Ship Repair Company, Herrick Iron Works, Independent Iron Works, Berkeley’s Trailer Company of America, Steel Tank & Pipe Company, California Steel Products Corporation, Pacific Coast Engineering in Alameda and Clyde W. Wood Company in Stockton. [8] [9]

Kaiser Richmond No. 1 Yard

Ocean Traveller launched August, 1942 Ocean Traveller LOC fsa.8b07487.jpg
Ocean Traveller launched August, 1942

Kaiser Richmond No. 1 Yard was a new shipyard built to support the demand for ships for World War 2. Kaiser purchased the contact and the yard to built type Ocean ship from the Todd Shipyards Corporation in 1940. Kaiser built yard No. 1 to build the Ocean ships. Yard No. 1 was built on unoccupied land with construction starting in December 1940. In April 1941 the keel for the first British bound Ocean ship was laid. The next series of ships built were Liberty ships, with the first keel laid on May 15, 1942. Needing faster cargo ships the next series of ships built were Victory ships, with the first keel laid on January 17, 1944. After the war, in 1946, the yard closed. Kaiser Richmond No. 1 Yard was located at 700 Wright Ave, Richmond on the Parr Canal. The site now has general docks for construction supplies. Located at GPS 37°55′15″N122°21′47″W / 37.920887°N 122.362920°W / 37.920887; -122.362920 . [10] [11]

Built at Kaiser Richmond No. 1 Yard:

Notable ships: SS Ocean Victory, SS Ocean Vigour, SS Chief Ouray, SS Logan Victory and SS Northeastern Victory.

Kaiser Richmond No. 2 Yard

USS Noble (APA-218), Haskell-class attack USS Noble APA-218.jpg
USS Noble (APA-218), Haskell-class attack

Kaiser Richmond No. 2 Yard started as a joint project of Kaiser Permanente Metals Corporation and Todd Shipyards Corporation. Construction of its first Liberty Ship at the site started in September 1941. Permanente Metals was a subcontractor building many of the pre-fabricated parts of the ships. Kaiser purchased Todd's interest in the yard in 1942 and renamed it Kaiser Richmond No. 2 Yard. The yard started by working 6 keels at a time and at its peak was working on 12 keels a day. Most ships being built in under 30 days. The yard was built starting in 1941 and closed at the end of the war in 1945, no traces of yard No. 2 remains. The yard was located at 1923 Esplanade Drive, Richmond. The site is now the north side of the Inner Harbour Basin, in the Richmond Marina Bay, at Marina Bay Park. At the park is the Rosie the Riveter Memorial. GPS site is 37°54′55″N122°20′58″W / 37.915315°N 122.349372°W / 37.915315; -122.349372 . [12] [13]

Built at Kaiser Richmond No. 2 Yard:

Notable ships: SS Timothy Pickering, SS Stephen Hopkins, SS Samuel Huntington, SS Robert T. Lincoln, SS Hobart Baker, SS Melville E. Stone, SS E. A. Bryan, SS Antoine Saugrain, and SS Hobbs Victory.

Kaiser Richmond No. 3 Yard

USS General C. G. Morton (AP-138) a C4 Cargo ship under the Golden Gate Bridge USNS General C.G. Morton (T-AP-138) passing under the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California (USA), in the 1950s.jpg
USS General C. G. Morton (AP-138) a C4 Cargo ship under the Golden Gate Bridge

Kaiser Richmond No. 3 Yard opened in 1943 and built Kaiser's largest ships, the Type C4-class ship, General G. O. Squier-class transport ships. These ships had a 12,420 GRT with a length of 523 feet (159 m). While the yard closed at the end of the war in 1946 the shipyard was not taken apart. The shipyard is still intact and there have been unsuccessful attempts to reopen the yard. Kaiser Richmond No. 3 Yard is located at 1040 Canal Boulevard, Richmond at Point Potrero. At 1337 Canal Boulevard Berth 5, Richmond is the SS Red Oak Victory Cargo ship a Museum ship. Kaiser Richmond No. 3 Yard thus became the U.S. National Register of Historic Place and California Historical Landmark. At GPS 37°54′19″N122°21′55″W / 37.9054°N 122.3653°W / 37.9054; -122.3653 . [14]

Built at Kaiser Richmond No. 3 Yard:

Notable ships: USS General M. L. Hersey (AP-148) and USS General Omar Bundy (AP-152).

Kaiser Richmond No. 4 Yard

USS LST-486 training at San Clemente January 9, 1944 USS LST-486 San Clemente 9 January 1944.jpg
USS LST-486 training at San Clemente January 9, 1944
USS Peoria (PF-67) Tacoma-class frigate USS Peoria (PF-67) off Charleston, South Carolina (USA), circa in June 1945 (19-N-84718).jpg
USS Peoria (PF-67) Tacoma-class frigate
USS Alcona C1 Cargo ship USS Alcona (AK-157).jpg
USS Alcona C1 Cargo ship
SS Red Oak Victory at Kaiser Richmond No. 3 Yard RedOakVictory-2013-07-20.jpg
SS Red Oak Victory at Kaiser Richmond No. 3 Yard

Kaiser Richmond No. 4 Yard was planned to be called Richmond #3A Yard, as just an expansion of Richmond #3. But when opened became its own shipyard with separate management. The yard opened in 1943 and closed at the end of the war in 1945. The yard was located at 800 Wharf Street Richmond, on the south side of Richmond Inner Harbor Channel's Santa Fe Channel. The site now is Sugar Dock, a deepwater service port in Point Richmond. At GPS 37°55′13″N122°22′19″W / 37.9203°N 122.37186°W / 37.9203; -122.37186 . [15] [16]

Built at Kaiser Richmond No. 4 Yard:

Notable ships: USS LST-480, USS Tacoma (PF-3), USS Pasco (PF-6), USS Fentress (AK-180), USS Beltrami and USS Blount.

Richmond Shipyard # 3 in 1944 RichmondShipyard3 1944.jpg
Richmond Shipyard # 3 in 1944

See also

Related Research Articles

Henry J. Kaiser American industrialist

Henry John Kaiser was an American industrialist who became known as the father of modern American shipbuilding. Prior to World War II, Kaiser was involved in the construction industry; his company was one of the companies that built Hoover Dam. He established the Kaiser Shipyards, which built Liberty ships during World War II, after which he formed Kaiser Aluminum and Kaiser Steel. Kaiser organized Kaiser Permanente health care for his workers and their families. He led Kaiser-Frazer followed by Kaiser Motors, automobile companies known for the safety of their designs. Kaiser was involved in large construction projects such as civic centers and dams, and invested in real estate, later moving into television broadcasting. With his wealth, he established the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, non-partisan, charitable organization.

Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Historical Park United States historic place

Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Historical Park is a United States national historical park located in Richmond, California, near San Francisco. The park preserves and interprets the legacy of the United States home front during World War II, including the Kaiser Richmond Shipyards, the Victory ship SS Red Oak Victory, a tank factory, housing developments and other facilities built to support America's entry into World War II. In particular, the role of women and African-Americans in war industries is explored and honored.

SS Robert E. Peary was a Liberty ship which gained fame during World War II for being built in a shorter time than any other such vessel. Named after Robert Peary, an American explorer who claimed to have been the first person to reach the geographic North Pole, she was launched on November 12, 1942 just 4 days, 15 hours and 29 minutes after the keel was laid down.

USS <i>Crater</i> (AK-70)

USS Crater (AK-70) was the lead ship of her class of converted liberty ship cargo ships in the service of the US Navy in World War II. She was first named after John James Audubon, an American ornithologist, naturalist, and painter. She was renamed and commissioned after the constellation Crater, she was the only ship of the Navy to bear this name.

Marinship shipyard in Sausalito, California, United States

Marinship Corporation was a shipbuilding company of the United States during World War II, created to build the shipping required for the war effort. Founded in 1942, the shipyard built 93 cargo ships and oil tankers, before ending operations 1945.

Kaiser Shipyards

The Kaiser Shipyards were seven major shipbuilding yards located on the United States west coast during World War II. Kaiser ranked 20th among U.S. corporations in the value of wartime production contracts. The shipyards were owned by the Kaiser Shipbuilding Company, a creation of American industrialist Henry J. Kaiser (1882–1967), who established the shipbuilding company around 1939 in order to help meet the construction goals set by the United States Maritime Commission for merchant shipping.

Marina Bay, Richmond, California Neighborhood of Richmond in Contra Costa, California, United States

Marina Bay, is located in Richmond's protected Richmond Inner Harbor. It was developed in the mid-1980s in an effort to clean up what had been up to that point the defunct World War II-era Kaiser Shipyards.

Type C4-class ship

The Type C4-class ship were the largest cargo ships built by the United States Maritime Commission (MARCOM) during World War II. The design was originally developed for the American-Hawaiian Lines in 1941, but in late 1941 the plans were taken over by the MARCOM.

The SS Lindenwood Victory was a Victory-class cargo ship built during World War II. The Lindenwood Victory was a type VC2-S-AP2 victory ship built by Permanente Metals Corporation, Yard 2, of Richmond, California. The Maritime Administration cargo ship was the 766th ship built. Her keel was laid on May 12, 1945. SS Lindenwood Victory was an armed cargo ship She was built in just 70 days, under the Emergency Shipbuilding program for World War II. SS Lindenwood Victory was an armed cargo ship, named for Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri, one of 150 educational institutions that had Victory ships named after them. The 10,600-ton ship was constructed for the Maritime Commission.

Ocean ship

The Ocean ships were a class of sixty cargo ships built in the United States by Todd Shipyards Corporation during the Second World War for the British Ministry of War Transport under contracts let by the British Purchasing Commission. Eighteen were lost to enemy action and eight to accidents; survivors were sold postwar into merchant service.

SS <i>Marcus Daly</i>

SS Marcus Daly was a liberty ship built by the Kaiser Shipyards at their Permanente No.1 yard at Richmond, California, and launched on 24 July 1943.

The SS Melville E. Stone was a Liberty ship built in the United States during World War II. She was named after Melville Elijah Stone, a newspaper publisher, founder of the Chicago Daily News, and one time general manager of the reorganized Associated Press.

SS <i>Navajo Victory</i>

SS Navajo Victory was a cargo ship built during World War II under the Emergency Shipbuilding program. It was completed by the California Shipbuilding Company on June 30, 1944 and served in the Pacific during World War II. Victory Ship class vessels were designed to replace the Liberty Ship class. Victory Ships were designed to last longer and to serve the US Navy after the war. The Victory Ships were faster, longer, wider, and taller than the Liberty ships, and they had a thinner stack set farther toward the superstructure as well as a long raised forecastle.

SS <i>Drexel Victory</i> SS Drexel Victory was a Victory-class cargo ship built during World War II

The SS Drexel Victory was a Victory-class cargo ship built during World War II. The SS Drexel Victory (MCV-712), was a type VC2-S-AP2 victory ship built by Permanente Metals Corporation, Yard 2, of Richmond, California under the Emergency Shipbuilding program. The Maritime Administration cargo ship was the 744th victory ship. Her keel was laid on February 25, 1945. The ship was christened on May 2, 1945. The ship was named in honor of Drexel University in Philadelphia, one of 150 educational institutions that had Victory ships named after them.

SS <i>St. Lawrence Victory</i>

The SS St. Lawrence Victory (MCV-735) was a type VC2-S-AP2 Victory-class cargo ship built for the United States during World War II. The ship was built as part of the Emergency Shipbuilding program by Permanente Metals Corporation in Yard 2 of the Richmond Shipyards in Richmond, California.

SS <i>Middlebury Victory</i>

The SS Middlebury Victory was an American Victory-class cargo ship built during World War II. The Middlebury Victory (MCV-726), was a type VC2-S-AP2 victory ship built by Permanente Metals Corporation, Yard 2, of Richmond, California. The Maritime Administration cargo ship was the 726th ship built. Her keel was laid on December 16, 1944. The ship was christened on March 1, 1945. SS Middlebury Victory was an armed cargo ship named for Middlebury College in Vermont, one of 150 educational institutions that had Victory ships named after them. She was built at the Oregon Shipbuilding yards in just 75 days, under the Emergency Shipbuilding program for World War II. The 10,600-ton ship was constructed for the Maritime Commission. She was operated by the General SS Company under the United States Merchant Marine Act for the War Shipping Administration.

SS <i>Bucknell Victory</i>

The SS Bucknell Victory was a Victory-class cargo ship built during World War II. The Bucknell Victory was a type VC2-S-AP2 victory ship built by Permanente Metals Corporation, Yard 2, of Richmond, California. The Maritime Administration cargo ship was the 728th ship built. Her keel was laid on December 27, 1944. SS Bucknell Victory was an armed cargo ship, named for Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, one of 150 educational institutions that had Victory ships named after them. She was built in just 70 days, under the Emergency Shipbuilding program for World War II. The 10,600-ton ship was constructed for the Maritime Commission.

SS <i>Cuba Victory</i>

SS Cuba Victory was built and operated as Victory ship class cargo ship which operated as a cargo carrier in World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War.

SS <i>Berea Victory</i>

The SS Berea Victory (MCV-734) was a type VC2-S-AP2 Victory-class cargo ship built for the United States during World War II. The ship was built as part of the Emergency Shipbuilding program by Permanente Metals Corporation in Yard 2 of the Richmond Shipyards in Richmond, California. Launched in 3 March 1945, the Berea Victory delivered supplies for the Pacific War.

California during World War II Overview of the role of the U.S. state of California during World War II

California during World War II was a major contributor to the World War II effort. California's long Pacific Ocean coastline provided the support needed for the Pacific War. California also supported the war in Europe. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941 most of California's manufacturing was shifted to the war effort. California became a major ship builder and aircraft manufacturer. Existing military installations were enlarged and many new ones were built. California trained many of the troops before their oversea deployment. Over 800,000 Californians served in the United States Armed Forces. California agriculture, ranches and farms were used to feed the troops around the world. California's long coastline also put the state in fear, as an attack on California seemed likely. California was used for the temporary and permanent internment camps for Japanese Americans. The population of California grew significantly, largely due to servicemen who were stationed at the new military bases/training facilities and mass influx of workers from around the U.S. in the growing defense industries. With all the new economy activity, California was lifted out of the great depression. Over 500,000 people moved to California from other states to work in the growing economy. California expanded its oil and mineral production to keep up with the war demand.

References

  1. "Richmond Shipyard District". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-09-05.
  2. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places . National Park Service. March 15, 2006.
  3. "Richmond Shipyard District". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-09-05.
  4. 1 2 3 4 "Richmond Shipyard Number Three". World War II in the San Francisco Bay Area. National Park Service. Archived from the original on March 29, 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-02.
  5. Gunther, John (1947). Inside U.S.A. New York, London: Harper & Brothers. p. 71.
  6. Arroyo, Cuahutémoc (Faculty Mentor: Professor Leon F. Litwack). "Jim Crow" Shipyards: Black Labor and Race Relations in East Bay Shipyards During World War II. The Berkeley McNair Journal, The UC Berkeley McNair Scholars Program. - Accessed from Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State University on August 24, 2007
  7. Rosener, Ann (1943). "California shipyard workers. En route to the shipyards across the bay, tin-hatted San Francisco war workers have time for relaxation and discussion on the forty-five minute ferry ride to the Richmond Shipbuilding Company yards". www.loc.gov. Retrieved 2021-02-11.
  8. "Lost and Found: Photos Tell Stories of World War II". about.kaiserpermanente.org. Retrieved 2021-02-11.
  9. "World War II Shipbuilding in the San Francisco Bay Area (U.S. National Park Service)". www.nps.gov. Retrieved 2021-02-11.
  10. "Kaiser Permanente No. 1". shipbuildinghistory.com. Retrieved 2021-02-11.
  11. "Richmond Shipyards". www.globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2021-02-11.
  12. "Kaiser Permanente No. 2". shipbuildinghistory.com. Retrieved 2021-02-11.
  13. "Marina Bay Park | Richmond, CA - Official Website". www.ci.richmond.ca.us. Retrieved 2021-02-11.
  14. "Kaiser Permanente No. 3". shipbuildinghistory.com. Retrieved 2021-02-11.
  15. "Kaiser Richmond No. 4 Yard". shipbuildinghistory.com. Retrieved 2021-02-11.
  16. "Location – SugarDock" . Retrieved 2021-02-11.

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates  public domain material from websites or documents ofthe National Park Service .