New York Shipbuilding Corporation

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New York Shipbuilding Corporation
Fate Bankruptcy
Founded 1899
Defunct 1968
Headquarters Camden, New Jersey

The New York Shipbuilding Corporation (or New York Ship for short) was founded in 1899 and opened its first shipyard in 1900. Located in Camden, New Jersey, on the east shore of the Delaware River, New York Ship built more than 500 vessels for the U.S. Navy, the United States Merchant Marine, the United States Coast Guard, and other maritime concerns. It was funded in large part by Pittsburgh's Mellon Financial and Andrew W. Mellon.[1] On November 27, 1916 a special meeting of the company's stockholders ratified sale of the "fifteen million dollar plant" to a group of companies composed of American International Corporation, International Mercantile Marine Company, W. R. Grace & Company and the Pacific Mail Steamship Company.[2][note 1]

New York Ship's unusual covered ways produced everything from aircraft carriers, battleships, and luxury liners to barges and car floats. At its peak during World War II, NYSB was the largest and most productive shipyard in the world. Its best-known vessels include the destroyer USS Reuben James (DD-245), the cruiser USS Indianapolis (CA-35), the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63), the nuclear-powered cargo ship NS Savannah, and a quartet of cargo-passenger liners nicknamed the Four Aces.

Air view of Yorkship Village.
Eight destroyers of the Wickes class, New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey, 1919.

During World War I, New York Ship expanded rapidly to fill orders from the U.S. Navy and the Emergency Fleet Corporation. A critical shortage of worker housing led to the construction of Yorkship Village, a planned community of 1,000 brick homes designed by Electus Darwin Litchfield and financed by the War Department. Yorkship Village is now the Fairview section of the City of Camden.

New York Ship's World War II production included all nine Independence-class light carriers (CVL), built on Cleveland-class light cruiser hulls; the 35,000-ton battleship USS South Dakota (BB-57); and 98 LCTs (Landing Craft, Tank), many of which took part in the D-Day landings at Normandy.

After World War II, a much-diminished New York Ship subsisted on a trickle of contracts from the United States Maritime Administration and the U.S. Navy. The yard launched its last civilian vessel (SS Export Adventurer) in 1960, and its last naval vessel was ordered (USS Camden) in 1967. The former yard's site is now part of the Port of Camden, and handles breakbulk cargo.

The last completed submarine to be delivered to the U.S. Navy was USS Guardfish (SSN-612) and was commissioned December 1967. Although USS Camden was the last ship ordered, Guardfish had been ordered years before, but construction was halted from 1963 to 1965 because of the loss of the USS Thresher. USS Pogy (SSN-647) was under construction, and towed to Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi, in 1968 for completion, and NYS went bankrupt due to lack of orders from the Navy.

Ships built[edit]

Ships built by New York Ship include:


  1. ^ On page 510 of the reference notes that American International Corporation holds interests in the International Mercantile Marine Company, Pacific Mail Steamship, Grace Lines and other ocean transportation companies. The same journal in the October issue, page 440, states American International Corporation had "control of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company."


  1. ^ Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Google News Archive Search
  2. ^ Marine Engineering (1916). "Shipbuilding and General Marine News". Marine Engineering (New York: Marine Engineering Incorporated) 21 (December 1916): 510, 557. Retrieved 4 March 2015. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°54′39″N 75°7′20″W / 39.91083°N 75.12222°W / 39.91083; -75.12222