Bethlehem Fairfield Shipyard

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Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard, Inc.
Industry Shipbuilding
Founded February 1941; 76 years ago (1941-02) in Wagner's Point, Fairfield, Baltimore, Maryland
Defunct 1945 (1945)
Number of employees
27,000
Parent Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation

The Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard of Baltimore, Maryland, was a shipyard in the United States from 1941 until 1945. Located on Baltimore Harbor, it was owned by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Company. The yard is now the location of the underground entrance of the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel.

Bethlehem-Fairfield was one of two new emergency shipyards, established by the Maritime Commission under the Emergency Shipbuilding program, in 1941. The other shipyard was the Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation, Portland, Oregon.[1]

Because Baltimore Harbor is so old there was not sufficient space to build both the shipways and the fabrication plant in the same waterfront area. The fabricating plant was only about two miles away though, which was better than other shipyard on the East Coast whose fabricating plants were usually located some miles away. This allowed for easy transportation by railroad cars of the preassembled components and other sections needed for the assembly of the ship hulls to the storage yard where they would later be moved by cranes to one of the 13 ways used for erecting the ships, this was later expanded to 16 ways.[1][2]

On 27 September 1941, Fairfield hosted Liberty Fleet Day, with the launching of their first Liberty Ship, SS Patrick Henry. She was the first of an eventual 384 Liberty ships built there, along with 45 LSTs, and 94 Victory ships.[1][2]

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Further reading[edit]

  • Silverstone, Paul H. (1968). U.S. Warships of World War II. Doubleday and Company. ISBN 978-0-87021-773-9. 

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Coordinates: 39°14′42.21″N 76°34′45.62″W / 39.2450583°N 76.5793389°W / 39.2450583; -76.5793389