Brown Shipbuilding

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The area for the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston

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] In 1961, the company won the $200 million contract to build the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, Texas.[5]

Ships built here[edit]

Submarine chaser:[6]

  • USS PC-565 (25 May 1942)
  • USS PC-566 (15 June 1942) (disposition:named Honesdale 1956, to Venezuela 1960 as Calamar, struck 1978)
  • USS PC-567 (27 June 1942) (disposition:named Riverhead 1956, to USAF 1960)
  • USS PC-568 (13 July 1942)
  • USS PC-608 (18 August 1942) (disposition:to Mexico 1952 as Guardacosta, scrapped 1964)
  • USS PC-609 (7 September 1942) (disposition:to Thailand 1947 as Khamronsin)
  • USS PC-610 (28 September 1942) (disposition:wrecked 1950 and used as a target)
  • USS PC-611 (26 October 1942) (disposition:sold to Dulien Steel 1948, scrapped)
  • USS PC 1251 (27 February 1943) (disposition:named Ukiah 1956, scrapped 1960)
  • USS PC 1252 (27 March 1943) (disposition:named Tarrytown 1956, to Venezuela 1960, used for parts )
  • USS PC 1253 (30 March 1943) (disposition:to Thailand as PC-7)
  • USS PC 1254 (13 April 1943) (disposition:to Taiwan 1954 as Po Kiang)

Destroyer escort:

Landing craft:

  • USS LCI(L)-327 (31 October 1942) (disposition: destroyed at Kwajalein 30 October 1947)
  • USS LCI(L)-328 (31 October 1942) (disposition: sold 1946)
  • USS LCI(L)-329 (31 October 1942) (disposition: scuttled at Kwajalein 16 March 1948)
  • USS LCI(L)-330 (8 November 1942) (disposition: sold 1946 as ferry Siasconset)
  • USS LCI(L)-331 (9 November 1942) (disposition: sold 1946)
  • USS LCI(L)-332 (16 November 1942) (disposition: scuttled at Kwajalein 28 September 1947)
  • USS LCI(L)-333 (17 November 1942) (disposition: destroyed 1946)
  • USS LCI(L)-334 (24 November 1942) (disposition: sold 1946)
  • USS LCI(L)-335 (27 November 1942) (disposition: to NDRF 1946)
  • USS LCI(L)-336 (3 December 1942)
  • USS LCI(L)-337 (21 December 1942) (disposition: sold 1947)
  • USS LCI(L)-338 (26 December 1942) (disposition: to NDRF 1948)
  • USS LCI(L)-339 (30 December 1942)
  • USS LCI(L)-340 (12 December 1942) (disposition: sold 1946)
  • USS LCI(L)-341 (26 December 1942) (disposition: sold 1946)
  • USS LCI(L)-342 (30 December 1942) (disposition: to NDRF 1948)
  • USS LCI(L)-343 (8 January 1943) (disposition: sold 1946)
  • USS LCI(L)-344 (18 January 1943) (disposition: to NDRF 1948)
  • USS LCI(L)-345 (22 January 1943) (disposition: sold 1948)
  • USS LCI(L)-346 (25 January 1943) (disposition: sold 1946)
  • USS LCI(L)-347 (27 January 1943) (disposition: to NDRF 1948)
  • USS LCI(L)-348 (27 January 1943) (disposition: to NDRF 1948)
  • USS LCI(L)-349 (31 January 1943) (disposition: to NDRF 1948)
  • USS LCI(L)-350 (4 February 1943) (disposition: to NDRF 1948)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  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 2006-05-09. Retrieved 2007-07-28. 
  4. ^ "Todd Houston company history". Archived from the original on 2007-03-11. Retrieved 2007-07-28. 
  5. ^ "Manned Spacecraft Center"
  6. ^ "Brown Shipbuilding Company vessels". Archived from the original on 13 March 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2016. 

External links[edit]

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