Alabama Drydock and Shipbuilding Company
The Alabama Drydock and Shipbuilding Company (ADDSCO) located in Mobile, Alabama, was one of the largest marine production facilities in the United States of America during the 20th century. It began operation in 1917, and expanded dramatically during World War II, becoming the largest employer in the southern part of the state. It is now owned by BAE Systems, which purchased the yard from Atlantic Marine in May 2010.
World War II
During and after World War II, ADDSCO became the largest employer in southern Alabama, building Liberty ships, tankers and other vessels from the keel up, often at rapid speeds during the stateside war effort. The first yard was built on Pinto Island in Mobile Bay. During World War II, the facility was primarily tasked for production of the Liberty ships, but wartime losses caused a shift to repair of tanker vessels. Twenty Liberty ships were produced in Mobile. From 1943 to 1945, 102 T2 tanker ships were produced at ADDSCO.
Thousands made their way to Mobile to find work. By 1943 some 18,500 men were employed, including 6,000 African-Americans. Achieving racial equality was an ongoing problem at the shipyard following the war. Although addressed repeatedly by both management and trade unions, a small race riot erupted and forced temporary closing of the yard.
In the mid-1970s, the Mobile yard closed due to declining business and labor unrest. The facility later re-opened and remains in operation today. The ship repair subsidiary of ADDSCO closed in September 1988.
A portion of the facility was leased to Atlantic Marine in March 1989, which acquired the site outright in December 1992. The investment company, headed by former U.S. Navy Secretary John Lehman, operated the yard from 1992 until 2010. It was acquired by BAE Systems in May 2010, which continues to operate it as a full service shipyard, BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards.
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