Brown Shipbuilding

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The Brown Shipbuilding Company was founded in Houston, Texas, in 1942 as a subsidiary of Brown and Root (now KBR) by brothers Herman and George R. Brown to build ships for the U.S. Navy during World War II. Brown Shipbuilding Company ranked 68th among United States corporations in the value of World War II military production contracts.[1]

In 1941, Navy officials asked the Brown brothers to build four submarine chasers. The brothers had no shipbuilding experience, but had helped build Naval Air Station Corpus Christi.[2] In 1942, the brothers formed Brown Shipbuilding and, with $9 million in Navy funding, built the Green's Bayou Fabrication Yard at the juncture of the Houston Ship Channel and Green's Bayou.[3] After delivering the ships, Brown received orders for landing craft and more sub chasers, and eventually won an order for destroyer escorts at $3.3 million per ship. [2]

Between May 1943 and August 1944, Brown turned out 61 destroyer escorts, an average of one per week.[3] Perhaps the most famous was the USS Samuel B. Roberts, part of the outgunned Taffy 3 unit that turned back a Japanese battleship force during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Brown also built 254 amphibious assault ships, known as LSMs, between May 1944 and March 1946. By the end of the war, it had produced over 350 Navy warships in contracts totaling over $500 million. [2]

After the war, the shipyard was sold to Todd Houston Shipbuilding Company. After Todd Houston closed in 1985, the yard was once again used by Brown and Root, this time for barge construction and repair. The property was sold piecemeal to multiple buyers in 2004.[4]

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  1. ^ Peck, Merton J. & Scherer, Frederic M. The Weapons Acquisition Process: An Economic Analysis (1962) Harvard Business School p.619
  2. ^ a b c "Brown & Root company history". Retrieved 2007-07-28. 
  3. ^ a b "Shipbuilding in Texas During World War II" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-07-28. 
  4. ^ "Todd Houston company history". Archived from the original on 2007-03-11. Retrieved 2007-07-28. 

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Coordinates: 29°45′11″N 95°10′52″W / 29.753°N 95.181°W / 29.753; -95.181