Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company

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Launching of USS Robalo 9 May 1943, at Manitowoc Shipbuilding Co., Manitowoc, WI.

Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company, located in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, was a major shipbuilder for the Great Lakes. It was founded in 1902, and made mainly steel ferries and ore haulers. During World War II, it built submarines, tank landing craft (LCTs), and self-propelled fuel barges called "YOs".[1] Employment peaked during the military years at 7000. The shipyard closed in 1968, when Manitowoc Company bought Bay Shipbuilding Company and moved their shipbuilding operation to Sturgeon Bay.

Submarine building program[edit]

Shipyard President Charles C. West contacted the Bureau of Construction and Repair in 1939 to propose building destroyers at Manitowoc and transporting them through the Chicago River, Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, Illinois River, and Mississippi River in a floating drydock towed by the tugboat Minnesota. After evaluating the plan and surveying the shipyard, the Navy suggested building submarines instead. A contract for ten submarines was awarded on 9 September 1940. The Navy paid for lift machinery on Chicago's Western Avenue railroad bridge to clear a submarine. The 15-foot-draft submarines entered the floating drydock on the Illinois River to get through the 9-foot-deep Chain of Rocks Channel near the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. Submarines left the drydock at New Orleans and reinstalled periscope shears, periscopes, and radar masts which had been removed to clear bridges over the river.[2]

Manitowoc had never built a submarine before, but the first was completed 228 days before the contract delivery date. Contracts were awarded for additional submarines, and the last submarine was completed by the date scheduled for the 10th submarine of the original contract. Total production of 28 submarines was completed for $5,190,681 less than the contract price.[2][3]

SS-361 through SS-364 were initially ordered as Balao-class, and were assigned hull numbers that fall in the middle of the range of numbers for the Balao class (SS-285 through SS-416 & SS-425–426).[4] Thus, in some references they are listed with that class. However, they were completed by Manitowoc as Gatos, due to an unavoidable delay in Electric Boat's development of Balao-class drawings. Manitowoc was a follow yard to Electric Boat, and was dependent on them for designs and drawings.[5][6]

List of fleet submarines built by Manitowoc[edit]

The following is a complete list of the submarines built by Manitowoc during WW II.[7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15] Years listed reflect launch dates.

Gato-class:

One of the 28 Manitowoc submarines produced, used in the Pacific Theater, from 2 April 1943 to the end of the war, on 15 August 1945. Two lookouts are posted next to the periscope shears. Her bow planes are rigged in, main gun visible on deck aft. Notice the limber holes and saddle ballast tanks.

Balao-class:

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Herman, Arthur. Freedom's Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II, pp. 252-3, 258, Random House, New York, NY. ISBN 978-1-4000-6964-4.
  2. ^ a b Nelson, William T., RADM USN "1,500 Miles in a Floating Dry Dock" United States Naval Institute Proceedings March 1980 pp. 86-89
  3. ^ Herman, Arthur. Freedom's Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II, pp. 252-3, Random House, New York, NY. ISBN 978-1-4000-6964-4.
  4. ^ Fleet Submarine index page at Navsource.org
  5. ^ Bauer, K. Jack; Roberts, Stephen S. (1991). Register of Ships of the U.S. Navy, 1775-1990: Major Combatants. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. pp. 271–273. ISBN 0-313-26202-0.
  6. ^ Friedman, Norman (1995). U.S. Submarines through 1945: An Illustrated Design History. Annapolis, Maryland: United States Naval Institute. p. 209. ISBN 1-55750-263-3.
  7. ^ Silverstone, Paul H. U.S. Warships of World War II Doubleday & Company (1968) p.197
  8. ^ Fahey, James C. The Ships and Aircraft of the U.S. Fleet (Victory Edition) Ships and Aircraft (1945) p.32
  9. ^ Morison, Samuel Eliot History of United States Naval Operations in World War II (Volume 15) Little, Brown & Company (1962) p.58
  10. ^ Kafka, Roger and Pepperburg, Roy L. Warships of the World Cornell Maritime Press (1946) p.173
  11. ^ Preston, Anthony Jane's Fighting Ships of World War II Random House (1996) p.290
  12. ^ Silverstone, Paul H. U.S. Warships of World War II Doubleday & Company (1968) p.201
  13. ^ Morison, Samuel Eliot History of United States Naval Operations in World War II (Volume 15) Little, Brown & Company (1962) p.59
  14. ^ Kafka, Roger and Pepperburg, Roy L. Warships of the World Cornell Maritime Press (1946) p.170
  15. ^ Silverstone, Paul H. U.S. Warships of World War II Doubleday & Company (1968) p.202
  16. ^ a b c d e Blair, Clay Jr. Silent Victory, volume 2 J.B.Lippincott Company (1975) p.955
  17. ^ a b c Blair, Clay Jr. Silent Victory, volume 2 J.B.Lippincott Company (1975) p.954
  18. ^ a b c d e f g Blair, Clay Jr. Silent Victory, volume 2 J.B.Lippincott Company (1975) p.949
  19. ^ Blair, Clay Jr. Silent Victory, volume 2 J.B.Lippincott Company (1975) p.956
  20. ^ Blair, Clay Jr. Silent Victory, volume 2 J.B.Lippincott Company (1975) p.923
  21. ^ a b Blair, Clay Jr. Silent Victory, volume 2 J.B.Lippincott Company (1975) p.947
  22. ^ Blair, Clay Jr. Silent Victory, volume 2 J.B.Lippincott Company (1975) p.924
  23. ^ a b c d Blair, Clay Jr. Silent Victory, volume 2 J.B.Lippincott Company (1975) p.948
  24. ^ Blair, Clay Jr. Silent Victory, volume 2 J.B.Lippincott Company (1975) p.944

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