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The Philadelphia Navy Yard Builds A Battleship

This material is adapted from an April 1942 article(s) in the Beacon, the weekly newspaper of the Philadelphia Navy Yard (PNY). It consists of 80 slides of B&W photos of battleships being built at the Philadelphia Navy Yard from authorization and planning through keel laying, construction, launch, dockside fit out, dry dock, & commissioning. Virtually every department and shop of the PNY is shown. Most of the photos and captions do not refer to a specific battleship except for the launch and commissioning which show and identify the USS Washington. However, since the Washington had left PNY a year earlier and both the Battleships New Jersey & Wisconsin were under construction at PNY at the time of publication of this article in the Beacon, it is probable that the photos include components the Iowa class battleships as well.

Note that the full text of the newspaper article (see notes of slide #2) and the photo captions are unedited from their original publication in the Beacon on April 17, 1942 so that the reader/viewer can perceive the story in the context of the culture and the atmosphere of the time, World War II.

This story is interesting but also important in that it highlights the contribution made to the war effort and US history by the thousands of workers, sailors and officers of the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Unfortunately, this story is not told today at the site of the former Philadelphia Navy Yard, where the US Navy and US Marine Corps were born and up to 50,000 workers built the mighty US warships that defended our country and won the peace.

About the Developer/Presenter
Ron Gottardi is a Volunteer Assistant Director of the Oral History Program, a docent (tour guide), and an educator on the Battleship New Jersey Museum & Memorial; this gives him access to the rich material in the museum-ship’s libraries, curatorial archives, and oral history recordings and transcripts. He is a member of the United States Naval Institute and was a consultant to the Philadelphia Navy Yard when it was in operation.


 
 
 
 

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