A HISTORY OF
We tore the iron from the mountain's hold, By blasting fires we smithied it to steel; Out of the shapeless stone we learned to mold, The sweeping bow, the rectilinear keel; We hewed the pine to plank, we split the fir, We pulled the myriad flax to fashion her.
Out of a million lives our knowledge came, A million subtle craftsmen forged the means; Steam was our handmaid and our servant flame, Water our strength, all bowed to our machines. Out of rock, the tree, the springing herb, We built this wandering beauty so superb.
The authors wish to extend acknowledgement to the following for their help and assistance, without which this monograph would not have been possible.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Bicentennial Grants Program, which funded this monograph.
Mayor Walter Hannon, Quincy Planning Department, Executive Director, John Graham, Quincy Heritage, Inc., and Ward 4 Councillor, James A. Sheets, all of whom were the prime movers of this project.
G. L. Glosten, Public Affairs Department, Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Robert Dwyer, Public Relations Department, Quincy Shipbuilding Division, General Dynamics Corporation, Quincy, Massachusetts.
H. Hobart Holly, Mrs. Rudolf Oberg of the Quincy Historical Society for use of photo albums, Volumes IV (1903-11), XVII (1913-40), and XVIII (1941-53) of the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, in the possession of the Society.
Public Relations Department, Quincy Savings Bank, which allowed us to photograph the Fore River mural in the branch bank in Quincy center which appears at the beginning of this monograph.
Professor Ronald Goodman, Instructor in Photography, Quincy Jr. College, who photographed the ship photos which appear throughout this monograph, and who did much of the contemporary photography.
Arthur Rochefort, a student at Quincy Junior College who did some of the contemporary photography.
Ms. Patricia Steen, a student at Quincy Jr. College who assisted in researching newspaper sources and in the organization and layout of this monograph.
Charles P. Goodman, Quincy Public Schools who did the cartography work, the drawing of the Lykes Seabee Barge Ship, and the yard layout chart.
Carl Deyeso, Bruce McLean of Quincy Public Schools who put so much effort into preparing this monograph to be published.
1975 marked the 350th anniversary of the founding of the Mount Wollaston settlement out of which the Quincy community grew. The Honorable Walter Hannon, Mayor of Quincy, the Department of Planning, and the Directors of Quincy Heritage, Inc. asked the History Department of Quincy Junior College to produce a monograph on the history of shipbuilding at Fore River shipyard in celebration of this event.
Fore River shipyard, located in Quincy, Massachusetts is an excellent example of how a major east coast shipyard developed in this country in a business which, historically has been one of "feast and famine." Periods of war have spelled "feast" for American shipyards and post-war periods have unfortunately brought on "famine." The crises that Fore River shipyard faced and the challenges that it met were typical of most major American shipyards at the time. Despite the "feast and famine" conditions latent in the shipbuilding industry, despite numerous crises and challenges, Fore River shipyard became one of America's great shipyards and established a reputation for building quality ships which ranks with the shipbuilding reputations of such famous east coast yards as Donald McKay of East Boston, 2 Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine,3 and Newport News of Virginia.4
It is the purpose of this monograph to chronicle the history of shipbuilding at Fore River shipyard from its beginning in East Braintree in 1883, through the relocation of the yard at its present site at Quincy Point around the turn of the century, down to the present time. Fore River shipyard has had three owners since its inception in 1883: Thomas Watson's Fore River Ship & Engine Company which controlled the destiny of the yard between 1883 and 1913; Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, Ltd., which controlled the yard between 1913 and 1964; and, its present owners, Quincy Shipbuilding Division of General Dynamics Corporation. An attempt will be made to shed some light on how and why certain actions were taken that changed the direction and destiny of Fore River shipyard and those that worked there. Present and future prospects will also be considered.
Anthony F. Sarcone
History records that shipbuilding has been carried on in the Quincy area since 1696 when the ketch Unity was launched from Ship's Cove (Quincy Neck). Today it is the most important pursuit for the city's 88,000 inhabitants. When one looks at the geography of the area that was to become Fore River shipyard, one begins to wonder about the sanity of the yard's founder.
The yard is located along the Weymouth Fore River (hence its name) just southeast of Quincy center. Originally, part of it was marshy, but as the yard's founder, Thomas A. Watson observed, "the ground at Quincy Point is firm, but easily escavated." 5 It also had two creeks that cut in from the river. The smaller one, known as Howard's Creek was filled in soon after the yard was started up in 1901. The larger one, Bent Creek was the early wet basin with a long wharf built along the south shore. However, as time went on and more land was needed in the crowded location, the creek was steadily filled in at its upper end along Howard Street so that today none of the original configuration remains. It should be noted that the original width of the river opposite the ways was only 200 feet and the depth 25 feet at low tide.6
A further example of how location seemed to preclude the building of a shipyard at Quincy Point was the fact that Washington Street was carried over the Weymouth Fore River by a narrow draw bridge. This was (and is) across the yard's access to the sea. This did not bother Watson and his associates at all. The first vessel launched at Fore River was the protected cruiser Des Moines. She could not fit through the bridge and Watson cheerily speculated, " . . . the public interest in our enterprise was so great that we were sure we could get the county to build another bridge before we could finish that ship." 7 He was right and Watson's yard built the bridge!8
The last major problem faced by the yard was the limited space available for future expansion. Quincy Point in 1900 was a residential area and Watson could only secure about 100 acres.9 Today the yard comprises about 180 acres, 15 of which are yet to be developed.10 This growth was a long and difficult process.
Despite all these apparently insurmountable problems, Fore River shipyard became one of the great shipyards in the United States. This success was due probably as much to the foresight of
Thomas A. Watson its founder, as it was to the genius of Charles Schwab, S. Wiley Wakeman and others associated with Bethlehem Steel Corporation which owned the yard between 1913 and 1964.
Thomas Augustus Watson was born on January 18, 1854 in Salem, Massachusetts and went to work at the age of fourteen. The year 1872 found the talented young Watson working in the electrical shop of a one Charles William, Jr. on Court Street in Boston. It was to this shop that many of the inventors of that day came to have working models of their inventions made. In 1874, Professor Alexander Graham Bell of Boston University was assigned the young Watson to help him build his telephone. Everyone knows that the first words spoken on Bell's telephone were, "Watson, come here." 11 This was the beginning of telephony. By 1877 Bell had given the imaginative Watson a considerable stake in his neophyte Bell Telephone Company. When Bell went to Europe, Watson became head of the Research Department of Bell Telephone Company. Watson, an ever restless soul grew tired of communications research and finally retired from the telephone business altogether in 1881. The following year was spent traveling abroad and upon his return to the United States in September of 1882 he married Elizabeth Kimball of Cohasset.12
In 1882 Watson purchased a 60 acre farm with a half-mile of shoreline along the Weymouth Fore River in East Braintree. On this farm was one large house, a barn and several good outbuildings. It was on this farm that Watson, in 1883, experimented with all sorts of new farming techniques and devices that his scientific mind had devised, but the farm proved to be too small to produce results. Besides, the rigors of farm toil depleted his health. It was at that point that Watson decided to return to mechanics.
A Lexington, Massachusetts mechanic by the name of L. J. Wing had begun to develop a rotary steam engine. Approaching Watson on the prospect of developing it, he found him to be receptive.13 Work on the engine was quite complicated so Watson hired Frank O. Wellington to help with the project. Work on the engine began in the winter of 1884 but by the spring of 1885 it had proven to be a mechanical failure and a financial albatross. What grew out of this experience, however, was a friendship between Watson and Wellington that was to last for a lifetime, and more
importantly a desire to build marine engines for yachts and tugs, which, in the end led both into the shipbuilding business. 14 This was the beginning of the partnership known as the Fore River Engine Company.
The first order that Watson and Wellington received was for a 50 h.p. engine for a small passenger steamer owned by a Mr. Delano of Damariscotta, Maine. The two began work on the engine in a small room warmed by an oil stove.15 Along with the engine work came a decision to build small boats. The first boat launched by Fore River Engine Company at East Braintree was the Barnacle for a Marblehead, Massachusetts gentleman. It had an alcohol vaporizing engine. Because of the narrowness of the river, boats were hauled across the mud by a capstan and an old white horse. Castings came from the old Howard Foundry and John McCafferty supplied the brass. 16 Boat building was good for the local economy.
It was during this time that Watson made the momentous decision to go into shipbuilding. He was later to observe in his autobiography that, "It was a momentous decision for from it came one of the largest shipbuilding establishments in the country, if not in the world, that made Massachusetts again a shipbuilding center and afterwards played an important part in the World War."17
Despite the experience earlier with the ill-fated Wing engine, Watson maintained an abiding appreciation for steam and thus was quite content in his new pursuits. 18 The steam engine built by Fore River Engine Company soon became well known all along the entire New England coast and gave the company a considerable reputation. The engine was of the typical reciprocating variety, but it had several new features among which were a radial valve gear and slow running boiler feed pumps.19 Orders for this engine came flowing in and soon the Watson farm was hosting a work force of twenty to thirty men in a new engine shop that had just been built. 20
The Fore River Engine Company did not limit itself to marine engines. The company also turned out Prouty printing presses, Dudley guns for coastal defense, staple heeling machines for the numerous shoe factories dotting eastern Massachusetts, and electric lighting for many area plants.21 Watson, a humanitarian throughout his life, engaged his company in such diversified work in order to give employment to his friends and neighbors. By 1896, with the depression in the nation deepening, there was little work for the Fore River Engine Company to do.
It was during this depression that the United States Navy came through with what turned out to be a most opportune naval contract which in its total effect, drastically altered the employment and financial situation of Fore River Engine Company.22 The Navy contracted for the construction of two 400 ton torpedo boat
destroyers, the Lawrence and the Macdonough. The total cost was $562,000.00. As Watson observed, "This was the turning point in my life as well as in the destinies of the Fore River Engine Company." 23
A former employee, Charles Edwards was brought back from Canada to help yard manager, Frank O. Wellington with the two ships. The ships were 246' 3" x 22' 2" x 12' 10" and both had a 4-cylinder, triple expansion engine rated at about 8400 h.p. They were fired by water tube boilers.24 This lucrative Navy contract brought employment on the Watson farm to about 300 men, and no doubt saved the Fore River Engine Company from financial ruin.25 These two torpedo boat destroyers were launched at the turn of the century, the Macdonough being the last ship launched by Watson at the East Braintree site. Both were delivered to the Navy in 1903.
The next major contract that Fore River Engine Company procured was from the government. It was for a different kind of vessel than the Lawrence and Macdonough. This was for the lightship, Diamond Shoal. She was 125' 6" x 23' 6" with a 350 h.p., single cylinder engine.26 When she slid down the ways on September 7, 1900, she became the first steel vessel built on the South Shore.27 Delivered in 1901, she proved to be of valuable service to mariners from that time on.
U.S.L.V. Diamond Shoal
Probably one of the momentous occasions of this period was the awarding of a $1,065,000 contract to Fore River Engine Company for the protected cruiser, Des Moines. This vessel was too large to be built at the East Braintree site, so Watson immediately sought a new location. Watson soon found the right location two miles away at Quincy Point. This area has been generally described above. Of this important decision to relocate, Watson said, " . . . I started in to build with my own capital the largest shipyard in the United States, capable of constructing any ship that they might offer.' 28 The job of building the new facility fell to Watson's associate, Frank O. Wellington. It took almost five years to get the new Quincy yard into complete operating condition. The fact that Watson decided to go into bigger and more complex shipbuilding operations at this time attests to his love for his calling. He was not in it for personal financial gain, because after completing the two torpedo boat destroyers he announced that the whole affair has "led me into financial disaster, but it was good for eastern Massachusetts." 29 The expenses incurred at the new yard quadrupled and large government payments were the only source of relief.30 The weekly payroll in 1900 was about $6,500. 31
While Wellington planned the new yard at Quincy Point, Watson commenced with the construction of the Des Moines. Since there were no yard buildings at the time, Watson had the machine shop floated over from the East Braintree yard.32 By the time the Des Moines was to move out of the Fore River in 1904, a new 800 foot long swing span bridge had been built. The center span alone was 100 feet long. The spans, made of German steel, were floated into their appropriate positions by Watson at high tide. With the changing of the tide, they were dropped into place.33
As far as the original Quincy plant was concerned, Wellington had built a machine shop, giant forge, storehouse, ship tool shop, pattern storage shop, joiner, pattern and mold loft, power house and boiler room, carpentry and rigging shop, and a carpentry shop for yard construction. All were of wood except the power and boiler houses which were of brick. The four-story office building was also floated over to Quincy Point without disturbing the occupants. By 1901 when the yard was officially started up, there was a total of 451,178 square feet of space in the new yard with about 11 acres of it under roof.
The boilers operated and induced draft because there were no smokestacks. The light and power cables were run underground in tunnels built of Quincy granite. The yard also had some of the largest shipbuilding equipment of that day. Two 100 ton steam hammers were used for shaping materials, while a specially built 75 ton traveling crane and a 25 ton crane were used to drop materials into place. The forge, the largest in the United States at the time, did all sorts of jobs. At one time it turned out sixty 3" rapid fire guns. They were rough, turned out of nickel steel, ready for rifling. The forge also did miscellaneous work for other shipyards in the area. The forge was so busy that it was on a 24 hour a day, 6 day schedule.34
When the yard at Quincy Point was started up in 1901, Fore River Engine Company was awarded a large Navy contract. No doubt Fore River Engine Company won these lucrative Navy contracts because of the low bids it submitted, plus a reputation for quality. The Navy contract called for the construction of two 14,600 ton battleships, the Rhode Island and New Jersey. Fore River Engine Company was to be paid $6,810,000 for the pair. They were 441' x 71' x 23' 9" and had a top speed of 19 knots. 35 Both were delivered to the Navy in 1906.
Battleship, New Jersey
Before Watson's company could proceed with the construction of these two battleships, the Navy required that the Old Watson-Wellington partnership be dissolved and the company incorporated for the protection of both of the contracting parties. The incorporation of the Fore River Ship and Engine Company, under the laws of the state of New Jersey took place on February 15, 1901. The business was capitalized at $6,500,000. The original directors of the company were: Thomas A. Watson, President and Treasurer; Arthur Wainwright, Vice President and Secretary; Frank O. Wellington, General Manager; H.P. Elwell, General Superintendent; and, J.B. Dill of New Jersey, Attorney-at-Law. 36 Watson soon surrendered his Treasurer's job to a Mr. Davenport but he eventually broke down under the strain of that office and ended up in a sanitarium. 37
Fore River Ship and Engine Company soon found out that its recently acquired Navy contract was more complex and more costly than originally anticipated. Watson hoped that a merchant contract might help the yard through the dilemma. 38 A merchant contract came through from Captain John G. Crowley. Captain Crowley awarded Fore River Ship and Engine Company a $240,000 contract to build a seven masted, steel hull schooner, the only one of its kind ever built. This was the Thomas W. Lawson, named
after a wealty Scituate resident. The contract on the Thomas W. Lawson provided for a subscription rate and Captain Crowley was awarded a $25,000 bond. 39
The Thomas W. Lawson in many ways was a unique vessel. She was 403 feet in length and was equipped with some 25 different sails. When under full sail she was capable of spreading 43,000 square feet of canvas. The lower parts of her seven masts were of steel while the upper parts were of pine. She had a double cellular bottom, 4 feet deep. Below was 1,000 tons of water ballast with a trimming tank at each end of the vessel. 40 Some friendly discussion has occured in maritime circles over the years concerning the names of her seven masts. A manuscript on file in the archives of Bethlehem Steel Corporation, provides the answer. The masts, fore to aft were: fore, main, mizzen, rusher, driver, jigger, and spanker. The Thomas W. Lawson became waterborn on July 10, 1902 with Watson's daughter, Helen, as sponser. 41 The Thomas W. Lawson has attracted many critics over the years, but her builder claimed that she was a marvelous success and that few steamers in her time could equal her. 42 Tragically, she was-wrecked in a northeast gale off the Cornish coast on December 13, 1907, carrying a large cargo of parrafin oil. Captain Geoffrey Dow and her engineer, Edward Rowe were the only members of her crew to survive the wreck.
Seven Masted Steel Schooner,
Thomas W. Lawson
Captain Crowley was so pleased with the ship that he placed an order for the largest six masted steel collier ever built, the William L. Douglas. This vessel was 339' 6" in length and spread about 36,000 square feet of canvas when under full sail. The lower parts of her masts were hollow steel cylinders. 43 She was delivered to Captain Crowley in 1903.
Six Masted Steel Collier,
William L. Douglas
By the end of 1902, Fore River shipyard had 11 contracts totaling about $20 million.44 While this looks as if all was fine at Fore River, Watson was struggling to pay bills because checks from the contractors, especially the United States Navy, were often far apart. Watson paid for most of his materials by selling his telephone stock.45
The way out of this financial dilemma appeared to be stock offerings. On April 2, 1902, the first Prospectus of the Fore River Ship and Engine Company was published. The public was offered 10,000 shares at $100.00 per share. The buyer received 1 common for every 2 preferred shares purchased. According to the prospectus the founders of the company had personally invested over $1,000,000 in the enterprise and over $1.5 million had been spent on the plant from the time it was started up in 1901. Earnings from July 1, 1901 to January 1, 1902 were $101,574.36.46 Watson also secured a loan from the Adams Trust Company of Boston for $1.25 million at 6% for 20 years. He was also forced to turn over a large bonus of preferred stock and majority control of the Board of Directors. All of this displeased Watson greatly for the sum raised by these means was not nearly adequate to meet the needs of the yard at the time. Added to this was the decision to suspend dividends until the plant was paid for. This further crimped Watson financially because the Fore River stock that he did hold was the only personal source of income that he had.47
It was during these troubled financial times that the United States Navy awarded a contract to Fore River shipyard for the battleship Vermont. The contract, awarded in June, 1903 called for the vessel, whose dimensions were 456' x 76' x 34', to have two reciprocating engines of 16,500 h.p., capable of turning out a speed of 18 knots. The Navy agreed to pay Fore River $4,169,000 for the vessel. She was delivered to the Navy in 1907.
As it turned out, the contract for the Vermont was the last contract negotiated by Watson. Watson felt the company still needed one or two million dollars more in orders to clear up the financial situation at the yard. He hoped to get some of it from the United States Navy in the form of compensation for the costly experiments in removing the "sympathetic vibrations" caused when the engine pulsations equalled the torsioned vibration of the propellers at 26 knots in the torpedo boat destroyers, Lawrence and MacDonough, built earlier.48 The United States Congress pigeonholed the request.49
Three actions were ultimately taken to try and cope with the financial situation at the yard. Orders were given to curtail construction of plant buildings that were not of immediate importance. Further, in September, 1903, Wellington was ordered to discharge 500 laborers at the yard, and the following month the company was again reorganized. Many important stockholders in the company felt that Fore River shipyard was not run as efficiently as others. Watson attempted to prove that this was not the case, but to no avail. As a result of the company reorganization, Admiral Francis T. Bowles (U.S.N., Ret.) was elected President of Fore River Ship & Engine Company, and the displaced Watson ended up as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Watson was pleased with the way the yard operated under Bowles' leadership, and so in early 1904, he quit the shipbuilding business altogether.50 Bowles was signed on for five years at $25,000 a year.51
If the year 1904 was a busy and exciting one for Fore River shipyard, it was a terrible one for the retired Watson. When he left the company it was under a foreclosure sale and thus he lost everything that he had had in it. Watson had begun in a small building with Wellington his associate, and twenty years later his company comprised about 100 acres and had a work force of about
4,000 men.52 As reported above, it was a tough financial road to success. Along the way Watson had even had to put up with an independent soul who refused to sell a few feet of land to Fore River shipyard in order to run a track three miles to the N.Y.N.H. and H.R.R. He finally ended up buying the whole estate for about $40,000, all of this to save the expense of shipping material in by steam lighter and truck. 53 And now, after some 20 years of labor and struggle Watson had nothing substantial to show for all his efforts.
Watson quickly rebounded from his disappointments and misfortunes. He, along with his wife Elizabeth, entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston to study geology. Both eventually received degrees in geology from M.I.T. Watson also became highly proficient in music, drama and literature, and thus as a result published his fine autobiography in 1926 called Exploring Life. On December 13, 1934, the founder and guiding spirit of Fore River shipyard in the early years of its development passed away. 54 Watson left the City of Quincy a rich economic legacy. Fore River shipyard today stands as a monument to Watson's ingenuity and genius.
Early in 1904 a $100,000 loan was secured for Fore River shipyard. 55 Further, the Company decided to gain exclusive rights to manufacture the Curtis marine turbine. Fore River shipyard hoped that this engine could successfully compete with the Parsons turbine. Most experts felt that the Curtis engine was too high speed to be economical. Because of its beginnings as a marine engine manufacturer, Fore River shipyard felt equal to the challenge. 56 The United States Navy was interested too. The Navy authorized the construction of three scout cruisers in 1905. These were the Salem, Birmingham, and Chester. All three were delivered to the Navy in 1908. They were to have Curtis and Parsons engines respectively. Both the Salem and Birmingham had Curtis turbines with two screws. The Chester had a Parsons turbine with four screws and was actually completed at Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine before delivery to the Navy. All three vessels were of 3,750 tons and of the dimensions, 423' x 46' x 17'. 57 Their turbine power plants could generate 16,000 h.p. which produced a
Scout Cruiser, Salem
speed of 24 knots with fuel consumption at 1.8 knots/ton. 58 All three vessels were extensively tested by the Navy in order to compare the efficiency of their power plants. The Salem proved to be the best of these third class cruisers. 59
The story of the freighter, S.S. Creole is not one that Fore River shipyard likes to remember. In 1905, the Southern Pacific Company ordered a freighter from Fore River shipyard and another from William Cramp & Sons of Philadelphia. The contract, signed in 1905, called for two reciprocating engines of 8,000 h.p. capable of turning out 16 knots. Admiral Bowles got the permission of Southern Pacific Company to substitute two Curtis turbines. The 440 foot Creole was delivered to Southern Pacific in 1907. Her trial speed was a good 16.73 knots. Despite this, the Curtis turbines did not live up to expectations and Fore River shipyard soon found itself being sued for breech of contract. Fore River shipyard counter-sued to collect the contract price. Fore River shipyard lost the case after extensive litigation and two reciprocating engines were eventually put in. The two Curtis turbines were scrapped. 60
It was at about this time that a conflict broke out in the Far East between Japan and Russia. The Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) as it was called, was largely a naval conflict in which sophisticated naval weaponries, developed earlier, were used for the first time. 61 The Japanese who had the naval edge over the Russians in this conflict contracted with Fore River shipyard to build five small submarines, a weapon which was just coming into its own. These submarines were assembled in the yard, then knocked down, loaded onto freight cars for shipment to the West Coast to await shipment to Japan by steamer. They were then reassembled upon arrival in Japan. 62 Not much is known of these submarines except
that they were of the elementary Holland type of about 125 tons. They had only one torpedo tube and could travel at about 9 knots fully submerged. 63
On the subject of submarines, it was at this time that the Holland Company, one of the foremost builders of submarines at that time, passed into the hands of a new group known as the Electric Boat Company. Since this company had no yard of its own it contracted with Fore River shipyard to built most of its submarines that it contracted. This arrangement with Fore River shipyard lasted for twenty years. Fore River shipyard built the first submarine Electric Boat Company contracted for, and this was the Octupus, delivered to Electric Boat in 1908. Others built under this arrangement were Viper, Cuttlefish, and Tarantula. All were delivered to the Navy in 1907.
While this arrangement with Electric Boat Company lasted, Fore River shipyard built many of the early classes of submarines used by the United States Navy at the time. These included: K, L, M, H, AA, O, T, R, and S. In 1924 Electric Boat Company built its own yard in Groton, Connecticut and on February 27, 1924, the last of some 80 submarines, built at Fore River shipyard, were delivered to Electric Boat Company. This was the S-47. 64 It is indeed ironic that in 1963, when Bethlehem Ship Corporation ceased operations at Fore River shipyard, the yard was bought by General Dynamics Corporation of St. Louis, Missouri, the parent company of the Electric Boat concern. For a brief period after 1964, Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation operated Fore River shipyard until its reorganization into the Quincy Shipbuilding Division.
It would be a mistake to assume that Fore River shipyard was concerned only with the construction of large naval vessels. At the same time the yard was building battleships, cruisers, and submarines, it was also contracting and building a variety of other vessels.
In 1904 the freight steamer, Boston was delivered, and in 1905 the passenger steamer, Providence was delivered to the Fall River Line. The Providence (shown ashore at Peddock's Island in Boston Harbor) was in service for only about two months previous to her burning in May of 1905. In the same year, Fore River shipyard undertook the building of the first modern fishing trawlers. These were built for the Bay State Fishing Company. By the time World War I had begun, Fore River shipyard had completed the Spray, Foam, Ripple, Crest, Swell, Surf, Wave and Breaker. All of these fishing trawlers were delivered to their owners between 1905 and 1912. During World War I many of them served as minesweepers.
Freight Steamer, Boston
Passenger Steamer, Providence
Besides the fishing trawlers, Fore River shipyard built four freighters for the Brunswick Steam Ship Company, a passenger steamer for the Nantasket Beach Line, the South Shore, and three colliers for the New England Coal and Coke Company. 65
Passenger Steamer, South Shore
It was during this time also that the physical plant at the yard was improved to meet the construction requirements of the three battleships then under construction at the yard. A new gantry crane was added for use at the fitting out dock on Bent Creek. It had a folding jib with an elevation of 140 feet. It was quite versatile with one-25 ton and one-50 ton traveling trolleys. On the end of the boom was a fixed 10 ton masting tackle. 66 Some of the most important machines of the time were a 30 foot boring mill for turret tracks, 120 inch planer, a lathe for turning and boring shafting up to 65 feet, a planer for any size propeller, a large gear cutting machine, and a special lathe for turning turbine rotors up to 12 feet in diameter. 67
While Fore River shipyard was launching ships, it also launched a new program which has lasted down to the present time. This was the Apprentice School to train young men in the art and science of shipbuilding. The program, started up in 1906 began in the Y. M. C.A. and in 1907 moved into an annex by the steel mill at the yard. A new school building was added by Bethlehem Steel in 1943. Applicants were required under the program to be between the ages of 18 and 20 years of age and have a high school diploma. A rather rigorous physical examination was another prerequisite for admission to the program. Once accepted, the rules and classwork were quite exacting, due to the fact that those enrolled were on company time. Acceptance was based on a written exam plus a quota system. Fifty per cent of the applicants were drawn from the same department that their relatives worked in as they were being trained in. Another twenty five per cent could come from any department, no matter what one was being trained for, and the final twenty five per cent consisted of applicants outside of Fore River shipyard.
The various trades taught under the program were: pipefitter, plumber, coppersmith, electrician, shipwriter, joiner, patternmaker,
sheet metal, machinist, boilermaker, shipfitter, loftsman, electrical draftsman, foundryman, and outside machinist. The most popular of the trades was that of machinist while few chose to train to be a foundryman. Students attended evening classes for two-two hour periods in a week. The total time for apprenticeship covered four grading periods of 2,000 hours each. A "C" average had to be maintained. A lower average resulted in taking another 500 hours of class instruction. Over 2,000 have graduated from this excellent program. 68
In 1906, Fore River shipyard delivered its first battleships, the Rhode Island and New Jersey to the Navy. These ships were well built but had one major flaw. Like the battleships Kentucky and Kearsarge before them, they had a tendency to roll. This was mainly due to the fact that these ships had twin super-imposed turrets. In the case of the Rhode Island and New Jersey, they had an 8-inch twin mount above a 12-inch twin mount. This was the last experiment by the Navy with double-turreted battleships. 69
The year 1907 centered around battleships also. In May, the Vermont, with its 12-inch main armament was delivered to the Navy. This ship was a coal burner and was considered to be very economical. 70 The Navy also awarded Fore River shipyard a contract for the first turbine-driven battleship, the North Dakota of the "Delaware class." She displaced 22,000 tons and was of the dimensions 518' x 85' x 27'. The main armament was the 12 naval rifle and like the Vermont she was a coal burner. Fore River shipyard also supplied the machinery and Curtis turbine power plants. The North Dakota, delivered to the Navy in 1910, could turn out 22 knots under full steam. 71
Battleship, North Dakota
Other government work kept employment at the yard around 2,500. This work included the auxiliaries, Hedge Fence, Relief #1, Relief #2, and the lightship, Swiftsure. All of these vessels were delivered in 1908. The second group of submarines for Electric Boat Company were also begun. Merchant work on the whole was
quite meager, consisting of a freighter, lighter and tug.
Auxillary, Relief #1
A record number of eighteen contracts were engaged in 1908. This record was not to be equalled again until 1916. The United States Army ordered eight tugs, while the Navy ordered the torpedo boat destroyers, Perkins and Sterett. Both were delivered to the Navy in 1910. These government orders were rounded out by an order from the N.Y.N.H. and H.R.R. Company for seven steel car floats and the tug, Transfer#2. 72
U. S. T. B. Perkins
(Background gives excellent pre-war view of shipyard.)
Until its purchase by Bethlehem Steel Corporation in 1913, Fore River Shipyard was quite busy completing the contracts that it had received during the first decade of the twentieth century. Again, the kinds of vessels built were of various types, something which has always characterized ship construction at Fore River shipyard. The torpedo boat destroyers, Walke, Henly, Duncan, Cushing, and Tucker were ordered by the Navy. All five vessels were delivered to the Navy between 1911 and 1916. Other government work included six more submarines, an ammunition lighter, and the
suction dredge, New Orleans. The merchant contracts ranged from the steam yacht, Aloha for Commodore A.C. Jones of the New York Yacht Club to molasses barges and lighters. Also constructed at this time were tankers, trawlers and car floats. The contractors included such companies as Standard Oil, Union Sulphur, Cuba Distilling, as well as old customers like the N.Y.N.H. and H.R.R. Company, and the Bay State Fishing Company. It is clear that at the end of its first decade of business in Quincy, Fore River Ship & Engine Company had a lucrative and very diversified shipbuilding operation. From 1905 to 1910 there had been 53 launchings. 73
The single greatest event in this period was the awarding of a contract to build two battleships for the Argentina Navy. Early in 1910, Admiral Garcia and other Argentinian officials arrived at Fore River shipyard to see if the yard was capable of handling the assignment. Satisfied with what they saw, the contract to construct these ships was awarded to the yard. The contract however, set the condition that the vessels had to be built in different yards due to scheduling problems and the necessity of early completion. Fore River shipyard constructed the Rivadavia and subcontracted the Moreno to New York Shipbuilding Company of Camden, New Jersey. The Moreno, some 580' in length and of 30,000 tons was the first to be completed, sliding down the ways only 18 months after the signing of the contract. Rivadavia was not completed and delivered to her owners until 1914 due to problems at the yard at the time. Both warships were equipped with 12 main batteries and had triple screws. The power plants were Curtis turbines. Mr. H.E. Gould accompanied the Rivadavia to Argentina where she was highly acclaimed by naval officials. Both warships were the most modern of that era and both had long and distinguished careers of service. 74 They were eventually converted from coal to oil burners and their fire protection and other equipment was updated at Fore River shipyard in 1925.
As alluded to above, the completion of Rivadavia was held off until 1914 due to unforeseen problems at the yard at the time.
Argentina battleship, Rivadavia
Apparently financial strain at the yard and a backlog of work held up the completion of this warship. Though it would appear that the acquisition of this contract was an immediate boon to the yard and made Fore River shipyard respected around the world, it did place a great strain on the available resources of Fore River Ship & Engine Company. In the end Admiral Bowles was forced to recommend the sale of the yard to a corporation that could stand the trauma of having a great deal of capital laid up for extended periods of time.
Between the time of the acquisition of the Argentina battleship contract and the sale of the yard to Bethlehem Steel Corporation, the keel of the now famous BB-36, Nevada was laid. The keel laying of this battleship further compounded the yard's problems. The Nevada, in many ways similar to Rivadavia and Moreno, was 575 in length and of 28,000 tons. Her Curtis turbines could move her at 20 knots. She was one of the first oil burning capital ships put into service by the United States Navy. 75 She was delivered to the Navy in 1916 and had a long and distinguished career of service.
Nevada was distinguished in that she was the first to embody what turned out to be a fateful naval concept. It was known in Navy parlance as All or Nothing. At the time the submarine was regarded as the one great single threat to large warships. Later it was to be the airplane. The Nevada thus sported heavy armor of about 18 thickness but was woefully lacking in deck protection. The results of this were later to be realized at Pearl Harbor. The Nevada was the only battleship to get under way during the attack, but she took such a heavy pounding in the meantime that she had to be beached, damaging her rudder in the process and ruining her electric drive. 76 After the attack she steamed to Puget Sound under her own power, was repaired and modernized, joining
the Pacific Fleet in 1943. In 1944 she saw action in the Normandy invasion, pounding the shores with her large 14" guns. She ended up her long and distinguished career in 1946 in the center of the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall chain, surviving the A-bomb test, the pounding of the 16" guns of the Iowa, dive bombers and torpedo planes. She was finally sunk by a torpedo amidship from one of the torpedo planes. 77 Fore River shipyard has always prided itself in the quality and durability of its vessels.
As already indicated, financial problems plaguing Fore River shipyard necessitated the sale of the yard. Charles Schwab of Bethlehem Steel Corporation was looking for shipyards as extensions of his steel business. Schwab agreed to buy Fore River shipyard for $4,800,000. As one newspaper commented at the time: "According to the Bethlehem Steel Company management, the purchase of Fore River plant was to complete the development of Bethlehem Steel into an organization capable of turning out all iron and steel products used on land and sea." 78 Bethlehem Steel management quickly scotched a rumor rife at the time that the purchase was aimed at the Steel Trust or other shipyards. Schwab claimed that the purpose was merely to put Bethlehem Steel into a competitive position in the shipbuilding business. At the time of the sale of the yard, the yard was doing an annual business of between $6 and $12 million. Being constructed at the time were some 23 vessels amounting to about $20 million.
At the time Bethlehem Steel purchased the yard, the company reported that the yard comprised 110 acres and had an annual capacity of 60,000 tons. Immediate plans were to add a drydock. Later in the early 1920's, Bethlehem Shipbuilding purchased the old Simpson drydock in East Boston which had been used to construct clippers in the 1850's. Bethlehem still retains control of this important drydock today.
As far as the financial picture was concerned, Bethlehem's outstanding stock amounted to $2.4 million common and the like amount in preferred. The original officers of the company were: President, Frank T. Bowles; Vice President, F. C. Dumaine; Directors Robert Endicott, Jr. of Kidder, Peabody and Company, William A. Gaston, President of the National Shawmut Bank; Gordon Abbott of the Old Colony Trust Company, and Robert Winsor. Bowles was soon replaced by Joseph Powell of the Cramp yard in Philadelphia.79 S. Wiley Wakeman was made General Superintendent. Bethlehem began almost immediately to make major improvements at the yard.
The first full year of Bethlehem operation of the yard saw very little by way of new ship construction. The Navy contracted for the destroyers, Sampson and Rowan, both of which were delivered to the Navy in 1916. Contracts were accepted for three submarines but these were sublet. No merchant contracts were acquired at this time.
Besides the destroyer and submarine contracts, the Royal Navy gave the only other contract in 1914. Due to the outbreak of World War I in Europe in the summer of 1914, the British found themselves sorely pressed for submarines. Though this weapon was looked upon as unfair and "un-British," the Royal Navy contracted with Fore River shipyard to build ten submarines. The United States at the time was a declared neutral in keeping with a foreign policy dating back to the time of the founding of the Republic, and thus did not want to provoke any of the belligerants involved in the war. The United States State Department refused to allow Fore River shipyard to build the submarines. Fore River shipyard got around the State Department order by prefabricating the submarines, and then shipping the prefabs and labor to Canada for assembly there. All of this was accomplished in the space of about ten months. The German reaction to this is not known nor would it have made any difference.80
In 1915 the Spanish Navy contracted for the submarine, Isaac Peral, while the United States Navy ordered a new type of submarine, the AA-1. In the merchant area the Texas Oil Company ordered four tankers, and the Edward F. Luckenbach Company ordered four freighters named after family members. A tanker was also built for the Argentina Navy. This completed the contracts for 1915.
During World War I, Bethlehem Steel Company began the first major enlargement of Fore River shipyard since its establishment at Quincy Point at the turn of the century. The steel mill was the most important of the improvements at this time. The steel mill was 770 feet long and about 188 feet wide. The top floor contained a sheet metal shop as well as one of the best mold lofts in the country. On the ground floor was one of the world's largest plate and angle
shops. There were seventy-five machines, served by eight cranes. The steel mill was capable of fabricating 250 tons of steel a day. Another major improvement was the building of a 1,000 foot long concrete and steel building slip. The building slip was 130 feet wide and cost about $500,000. The slip was provided with three 7½ ton cranes and one 50 ton crane. The large crane was 122 feet and the smaller ones 144 feet above the concrete foundation. 81
Another addition is worthy of note. After a somewhat lengthy study of company services in other industries, Bethlehem Steel Company organized a Service Department. It consisted in such things as a modern hospital, a band, glee club, ball teams and other social activities. It was also responsible for the publication of the fine plant monthly, The Fore River Log. 82
A record number of nineteen contracts were secured in 1916. Eight of these were for "0" class submarines and eight for destroyers. The three others were for two tankers and another freighter for the Luckenbach Company. The number employed reached an all-time high of 15,000 at this time.83 Ten more submarines were allowed to be laid down for Great Britain, while the other ten were built at Montreal. The submarines built at Fore River shipyard were held at Boston Navy Yard, and after the United Stated entered World War I in April, 1917, they were released.84
The United States entrance into World War I could not but have a great effect on Fore River shipyard. The government immediately placed orders for a total of 28 destroyers, 15 "R" class submarines, and one battle-cruiser, the Lexington (I). In order to facilitate the work on the destroyers it was decided to build a plant near Quincy to do this work exclusively. The site selected was a marshy area to the north of Fore River shipyard in the area of Quincy known as Squantum. The Squantum site was chosen for two very good reasons, one being that the site was in close proximity to both Quincy and Boston, and secondly, the subsoil afforded suitable foundations, despite the marshy conditions in the area. Known as the "Victory Yard," it consisted in some 70 acres of shipbuilding area and was started up in October of 1917.
The winter of 1917-18 was a harsh one, but despite this, hull fabrication began in January of 1918 without incident. On April 20, 1918 the keel of the Delphy was laid at Squantum. Secretary of the Navy, Josephus Daniels presided at the keel laying ceremonies. The Delphy was delivered to the Navy in November of 1918 just as the cease fire was being negotiated in Europe, ending the shooting
in World War I. The last vessel launched at the Squantum yard was the Osborne on December 29, 1919. After this the "Victory Yard" was turned over to the government for dismantling.
The Squantum yard comprised about 70 acres and cost some $15 million to build. Almost 8,000 workers were employed there, including some 150 women. This yard was unique in many ways. Squantum yard was the first yard designed to build exclusively one type of ship and to utilize the module system inaugurated when submarines were built by Fore River shipyard for Great Britain. 85 Another feature was that all of its ten building ways were under one roof. The yard had six wet slips and the tool room was under the ways. Two 25-ton and four 5-ton cranes served the yard. Two major auxiliary plants were put into operation as well to speed up work at the Squantum yard. The Fields Point boiler plant at Providernce, Rhode Island supplied 90 of the boilers, while the 35 sets of turbines for the destroyers were built at the Black Rock plant in Buffalo, New York.
In all the Squantum yard turned out a total of 35 destroyers while Fore River shipyard produced 36 destroyers over some 27 months and 5 days. This grand total of 71 destroyers was better than all other American yards combined.86 Fore River shipyard's record time for the completion of a destroyer was 174 working days. This was the destroyer, Mahan. The keel of the Mahan was laid on May 4, 1918. She was launched on August 4, 1918 and delivered to the Navy on October 24, 1918.
Squantum yard bettered this record however, and set the world record in the process. The keel of the destroyer, Reid was laid on September 9, 1919. Twenty-eight working days later, Reid was water born (October 15, 1919), and on November 6, 1919 she was delivered to the Navy, roughly 17½ days after launching.87 Apparently Fore River shipyard and the Squantum yard built ships so fast that the Navy was forced to tie many of them up at the Boston Navy yard for lack of crews. 88 With these remarkable achievements, Fore River shipyard secured for itself a place at the forefront of the American shipbuilding industry.
Before 1917 was out, Bethlehem Steel Corporation had reorganized all of its shipbuilding operations into the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, Ltd. Joseph Powell left Fore River shipyard to become Vice President for all Bethlehem shipyards. S. Wiley Wakeman became General Manager with Joseph P. Kennedy as Assistant Manager.89 Wakeman turned out to be a very capable General Manager. He was succeeded many years later by his son.
One of the great events at Fore River shipyard during the war was a shipbuilding contest. The contest was held in 1918. Wakeman was approached by Joseph Tynan of Bethlehem's Union Plant in San Francisco, California with a $5,000 bet to determine which yard could deliver the most destroyers for that year. Wakeman, exuding great confidence in Fore River shipyard's ability to produce ships confidently doubled the bet and Tynan accepted. Both plants printed about 2,000 participation bonds which sold at $5.00 each to cover the bet. Workers in the winning plant would receive $10.00 for every $5.00 bond purchased. The losers, of course, got nothing. The score at the end of 1918 was: Fore River shipyard, 18 destroyers; the Union Plant, 6 destroyers.90 Wakeman's confidence had been justified.
Fore River shipyard did not immediately feel the effects of the depression in shipbuilding that always follows a war. The Squantum yard was still busy completing its destroyer contracts. Fore River shipyard completed and delivered three merchant vessels to the Emergency Fleet Corporation in 1919. One of these was the Hadnot, a 430 foot long tanker of 13,500 tons, launched 99 9/10% complete. Steam was up as she went down the ways. She was delivered on October 24, 1919, three days after launch.91 A sister ship, the Hagan was delivered on November 25, 1919.
The only gloomy occurrence in the post-war period was the cancellation of the battlecruiser, Lexington, and a sister-ship, Saratoga. This was offset however by a contract for two Navy scout cruisers, the Raleigh and Detroit. Both scout cruisers were delivered to the Navy in 1923-1924. Of the two, the most distinguished was the Raleigh. On the morning of December 7, 1941, Raleigh was moored on the northwest side of Ford Island, Hawaii. In the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on that "day of infamy", she was heavily damaged by five Japanese torpedo-bombers, along with three other ships moored nearby.92 Raleigh later underwent repairs and in May of 1943 participated in the American recovery of Attu in the Aleutians, 93 as part of Rear Admiral Francis Rockwell's North Pacific Amphibious Force.
Besides these two scout cruisers, Standard Transportation Company ordered four freighters. Six "S" class submarines were also contracted for at the end of the war.
Scout Cruiser, Raleigh
The year 1920 witnessed the last new ship contracts until 1925. These were for two tankers for the Atlantic, Gulf and West Indies Corporation. It should not be inferred that Fore River shipyard was idle. The "S" class submarines were not delivered until 1922, so work on these vessels progressed, and work on the 550 foot, 35 knot Raleigh, mentioned above was in progress.
It was during this "lull" period at Fore River shipyard that Bethlehem took the opportunity to do some expansion work on the Quincy plant. By 1921, a new office building had been completed, as well as work on a new building way for merchant ships. This way was erected on the old submarine ways at the yard. Another important addition was a 10,000 ton floating dry dock which Bethlehem purchased at East Boston. This was the old Simpson drydock dating from the pre-Civil War era and which had been used at that time for the construction of clipper ships. This drydock was removed to Bethlehem's repair yard in Boston in 1924. Of all the new additions, perhaps the most important was a new battleship slip which in time played host to the building of ships never before built at Fore River shipyard.
As mentioned above, the United States Navy had initially cancelled the construction of two 43,500 ton battlecruisers, the Lexington and Saratoga. By 1920 however, the Navy had changed its mind and had gone ahead with the construction of these two battlecruisers. On January 8, 1921 the keel of the Lexington was laid at Fore River shipyard. As work progressed on the Lexington it appeared that she would never get off the building ways. The Washington Conference, called by Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes was meeting at the time to discuss placing limits on naval armaments. A series of naval agreements negotiated at this
very important naval arms conference placed limits on capital ship construction, and total capital ship tonnage. 94 The United States Navy thus changed its plans in regard to the Lexington and Saratoga. The United States did secure however, permission to convert these two battle-cruisers into aircraft carriers, which, at the time was considered in many quarters to be the naval weapon of the future and the logical replacement for the battleship as the number one weapon in the Navy's arsenal.95 Since the agreements negotiated at the Washington Conference did not cover aircraft carriers, the Navy went ahead with its plans. By October 3, 1925 the necessary alterations had been made on the Lexington, and with 20,000 spectators in attendance she slid down the ways into the Fore River with the distinction of being the second of the aircraft carriers to be built. Of all the ships built at Fore River shipyard, the Lexington perhaps has had the most notoriety.
The Lexington, delivered and commissioned by the Navy in 1928 was one of the largest warships built at Fore River shipyard to that time. Of 40,000 tons, her dimensions were 888' x 105' x 32'. She had a top speed of 33 knots, fast for an aircraft carrier of that time. Her career however, was to be short and tragic. In February, 1942, she helped to break the Japanese control of the waters around New Guinea, and in May, 1942 under her commander, Rear Admiral Frank Fletcher, participated in the Battle of the Coral Sea, the first naval battle in which the ships involved on both sides failed to sight each other.96 On May 8, 1942 Lexington suffered two torpedo and two bomb hits. As the battle drew to a close, Lexington had three fires burning on board but her power plant was still intact, and still capable of moving her at 33 knots. As the fires raged, they touched off powerful gases deep within her, causing massive internal explosions which caused her to list. She was eventually abandoned and her survivors were picked up by Rear Admiral Thomas Kincaid's destroyers standing nearby.97
The loss of the Lexington was deeply felt at Fore River shipyard. Employees at the yard petitioned the government to name a carrier being built at the yard in 1942, after her. The petition was granted and CV-16, Cabot, became Lexington (II).98 Like her famous
Aircraft Carrier, Lexington (I)
predecessor, Lexington (II) distinguished herself in the service of her country. Under her commander, Admiral Marc Mitscher, she saw action in the Battle of the Phillipine Sea in mid-June, 1944, the Battle of Leyte Gulf in October, 1944, and, as the war in the Pacific wound down, she saw action in the naval assaults on Iwo Jima and Okinowa in the Japanese island chain.99
The Lexington and Saratoga were not the only victims of the Washington Conference. The battleship, Massachusetts, whose keel was laid down in April, 1921 was also cancelled out. She was sold for scrap in 1923 when about 11% completed.100 During World War II a famous battleship bearing her name would be built at Fore River shipyard in honor of the State of Massachusetts.
Because of a lack of new contracts in the post-war period, Fore River shipyard entered into repair work. One such repair job was putting a new engine and auxiliaries into the J. E. O'Neill in only 43 days. A rather different type of job was the conversion of the troopship Minnekahda into a floating hotel. In a vacant turbine shop, 500 men worked for several months repairing 50 locomotives for the strike-bound N.Y.N.H. & H.R.R. Company.101 Fore River shipyard also engaged in specialized work on automobiles and fabricating brass ornaments for banjo clocks. This varied type of work, some not even related to shipbuilding, was part of a program on the part of Bethlehem's Chairman, Charles Schwab and President Grace to keep the nucleus of a talented work force around.102 This posture on the part of Bethlehem management certainly paid off when the United States Navy launched its building program in 1938.
The first new contract in over five years came from the City of Boston when it contracted with Fore River shipyard to build the steel ferry, Charles C. Donaghue. Cumulative figures to 1925 show that Fore River shipyard had built a total of 400 ships with 111 of these being of the naval type, 289 merchant and the rest miscellaneous. In terms of tonnage this amounted to a total of 1,023,762 tons, with 266,184 being naval tonnage, 757,578 merchant tonnage and the rest miscellaneous. 103
As the 1920's progressed, more naval and merchant contracts came in. The Navy ordered two cruisers, the Northampton and Portland. This cruiser contract was the most important of the naval contracts at this time. The two cruisers were delivered to the Navy between 1930 and 1933. Of the two, the most important was the Northampton. Northampton was a casualty in World War II. After the Battle of Guadalcanal in November, 1942, Admiral Halsey made Northampton part of Rear Admiral Thomas Kincaid's new strike force which was made up of heavy cruisers. Before the strike force could engage the Japanese, Kincaid was replaced by Rear Admiral
Carleton H. Wright. Wright's strike force engaged the Japanese on November 30, 1942 off Tassafaronga, near Guadalcanal. In the ensuing battle, Northampton took two torpedo hits and after a heroic three hour battle to save her, she sank.104 Even though the United States Navy lost the battle, Northampton distinguished herself by firing 18 salvos from her 8" guns at the enemy, and made a good account of herself at Tassafaronga. 105
Besides these two cruisers, contracts came in for the cutters Chelan, Tahoe, Pontchertrain, Champlain, and Mendora. These ship contracts completed government orders for the decade. As far as the merchant contracts are concerned, they were somewhat diversified, consisting of six barges, one double-ended ferry, four trawlers, four steamers, two colliers and two tankers. The most important merchant contract came from the Oceanic Steam Ship Company for the liners Lurline, Monterrey and Mariposa. 106 These three liners were delivered between 1931-1933. In the 1930's Oceanic Steam Ship Company contracted with Fore River shipyard to air condition these liners.
The decade of the 1930's saw a downturn in productivity at the yard which stemmed from the Great Depression. The only major
work undertaken as this timewere a number of Navy cruisers and destroyers, and a carrier. The cruisers Quincy (I) and Vincennes emerged at this time. Quincy (I) delivered to the Navy in 1936 and the Vincennes, delivered in 1937 were both lost in the naval assault of Guadalcanal. In the battle that took place off Savo Island on August 9, 1942, Quincy (I) took the worst beating of any ship engaged, but in the opinion of the Japanese Command, put up the best fight.107 Vincennes, on the other hand, was lost because of the ineptness of her commander, Captain Riefkohl.108 Both ships were replaced by Quincy-built ships during the course of World War II. The heavy cruiser, Quincy (II) was delivered to the Navy and commissioned for service in 1943. The destroyers contracted for were Benson, Mayo, Gridley, Craven, Phelps, Clark, Moffett, Balch, and Farragut. All of these destroyers were completed in and
Cruiser, Quincy (I)
delivered to the Navy in the late 1930's as was the carrier, Wasp. The Wasp, delivered to the Navy in April, 1940, saw action in the Guadalcanal campaign in the eastern Solomons. On September 15, 1942, while carrying American reinforcements to Guadalcanal, she was sunk by three Japanese torpedos.109 The Navy named another Fore River carrier after her, the "Essex class" Wasp (II). This 890 foot warship saw action in both World War II and in Korea. She was scrapped in 1973 as part of the Navy's effort to update and modernize the fleet.
Carrier, Wasp (I)
The effect that the Great Depression had on Fore River shipyard can be seen in the employment figures of the time. In 193l employment at the yard was at 4,900. This was largely due to contracts, made earlier, which were nearing completion. By 1933 when unemployment was peaking at around the 12 million level, employment at the yard was down to a meagre 812.110 The winds of war on the horizon however brought Fore River shipyard out of the depression.
As alluded to above, Fore River shipyard recovered from the depression of the 1930's due largely to the Naval Expansion Program of 1938. Fear of the outbreak of war in Europe and in the Pacific at that time no doubt had everything to do with this ambitious naval program becoming a reality. By the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941), employment at the yard had climbed to about 17,000. Peak employment was reached in 1943 when some 32,000 (including 1,200 women) were occupied by war or war-related tasks at the yard.111 Annual payroll in the peak
year of employment at the yard reached $110 million. Ship contracts to that time amounted to some $700 million.112 Fore River shipyard built naval vessels as fast and as well as it could, given the conditions of the time. An example of the fast pace maintained is the fact that on the day the battleship Massachusetts was launched, the keel for the cruiser, Vincennes (II), (ex-Flint) was swung into place as the great battleship slid down the ways.
From December 7, 1941 until the end of the war, Fore River shipyard built 92 naval vessels of 11 different types, the most notable types being the battleship, carrier, heavy and light cruisers, and destroyers for which the yard has been known. This great effort earned Fore River shipyard the highly prized Navy "E". This honor was bestowed on May 15, 1942. Four stars were subsequently added. 113
All of these achievements no doubt were due to the great physical plant built through the years by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, and the Navy. After World War II began some $25 million was spent on modernizing existing facilities at the yard. They deserve a detailed description:
2 bays, 766' x 188'
1014' x 102'
17 bridge cranes (largest-15 tons)
65' angle furnaces 36' plate furnaces
1500 ton hydraulic press
covered welding platens totaling 74,000 sq. ft. plate storage area of 18,000 ton capacity, all served by 6 revolving tower cranes up to 50 tons capacity.
brick and concrete with dimensions of 892' x 120' (138,000 sq. feet).
8 bridge cranes
9 vertical boring mills (largest - 30')
9 lathes above 48" (largest- 108")
10 planes above 36" (largest - 12' x 10' x 30').
gear cutting machines
special machines for the manufacture of any size turbine. 114
largest in the United States at the time with 142,000 sq. ft.
produced 100,000 bls./week in World War II. 115
2 wet basins
12 building slips
x-ray and gamma ray inspection of weldments and castings.
portable x-ray machines (140,000 volts) for use in ship ways.
one of a few yards in the country capable of designing and building gun turrets. 116
It was from this great establishment that these vessels were built during World War II: Battleship, Massachusetts (II), delivered to the Navy in May, 1942 and now permanently berthed at "Battleship Cove", Fall River, Massachusetts; "Essex class"
Battleship, Massachusetts (II)
carriers, Lexington (II), delivered to the Navy in 1943, Bunker Hill, Wasp (II), Hancock, and Phillipine Sea, all of which were delivered to the Navy between 1943-1946. Of the group, Lexington (II) compiled a record of distinction during World War II equalled by few carriers of her time. Re-designated CVT-16 on January 1, 1969, she is the oldest commissioned carrier in service today; 13,000 ton heavy cruisers, Baltimore, Boston (after World War II she was converted into the first guided missile cruiser in Navy service), Canberra, Quincy (II), 117 Pittsburgh, St. Paul, Columbus, Helena, Oregon City, Albany, Rochester. All of these heavy cruisers were delivered to the Navy between 1943-1946. Boston, Quincy (II), Pittsburgh, Rochester and Helena were scrapped by the Navy in 1973 in the first major reduction of the
Carrier, Lexington (II)
Carrier, Phillipine Sea
Heavy Cruiser, Quincy (II)
Heavy Cruiser, Pittsburgh
Heavy Cruiser, Oregon City
"mothball fleet" since the end of World War II; 10,000 ton cruisers of the "Cleveland" class, Vincennes (II), Pasadena, Springfield, Topeka, Providence and Manchester. All of these light cruisers were delivered to the Navy between 1944-1946. Of the group Topeka was the most recent to go the scrapheap; 6,000 ton
Anti-Aircraft Cruiser, San Diego
anti-aircraft cruisers, San Diego and San Juan. Both were delivered to the Navy in 1942; four 2,425 ton "Gearing" class destroyers; seven 1,620 ton "Benson" class destroyers; three 1,450 ton "Rudderow" class destroyer escorts; and, five 1,400 ton "Buckley" class destroyer escorts. 118
Destroyer , Bancroft
As in World War I, Fore River shipyard found itself overcrowded. The cruiser San Juan for instance was cut up and moved three times to make way for other construction. The answer was to build another facility near-by to take on the task of building the multitude of auxiliaries necessary to fight the war. The site chosen was a few miles to the southeast on the Back River in Hingham. The government built 16 ways on this 96.5 acre facility and operated for some 39 months during the war. The Hingham facility employed about 23,500 workers and ended up producing about 75 DE's (many were transferred to Britain, including one with a fire-place and a grog locker in it), 17 Fast Transports (APD), 95 LST's, 40 LCI (L), for a grand total of 227 vessels. In addition, 53 ICT were cancelled before the keels were laid and 116 DE's were also cancelled. 119
Fore River shipyard and the Hingham facility set many records during World War II. Fore River shipyard set a world's record for the building of a carrier by completing the Hancock, an "Essex"
class carrier in just 14 months and 15 days. The Hancock was delivered to the Navy in 1944. The best time for the completion of a heavy cruiser was 20 months and 15 days. The record for a light cruiser such as the Pasadena of the "Cleveland" class was 16 months and 15 days. In addition, 2 LST's were built in just 30 days and 5 LST's were delivered in a span of just 50 hours. Lastly, Hingham shipyard was able to deliver a DE in just 23 working days from keel laying to launch. 120
One of the most interesting stories to come out of the war is that of "Kilroy was here." The "Kilroy was here" phrase appeared everywhere during World War II, but its origin did not become widely known until after the war had ended. In 1946 the American Transit Association ran a contest to find out where and why the phrase originated. As it turned out, the winner was James J. Kilroy of Boston. It seems as if Kilroy was hired by Fore River shipyard on December 5, 1941 as a checker. His job was to count the rivet holes and then leave chalk marks where he had left off. It was on this basis that the riveter's piece of work was calculated. Some of the riveters were not too honest and would erase the mark left by Kilroy. Thus, some of the rivet holes were counted twice. Kilroy got wind of this devious practice and proceeded to scrawl "Kilroy was here" on his rounds. He reportedly left his mark on such famous Fore River vessels as the battleship, Massachusetts, now berthed permanently at "Battleship Cove", Fall River, Massachusetts, the Carrier, Lexington (II), and the heavy cruiser, Baltimore, as well as numerous troop carriers. In later life Kilroy became a Boston City Councillor and state representative. He died on November 26, 1962. 121
Fore River shipyard, like most shipyards during the war, did an admirable job. There can be no doubt as to its contributions to the success of our armed forces during that global conflict. The end of the war found Fore River shipyard larger than ever but with little work to do other than completing war associated contracts. The keynote of the post-war era, as far as Fore River shipyard was concerned was, diversification. The yard took on many non-ship related tasks. Fore River shipyard ended up building such things as a 28' diameter blast furnace containing some 2,500 tons of steel, a group of 40 ton turbine rotors, and a wind tunnel with a nozzle speed of mach 3 for the Navy. 122 Other undertakings included fabrication of 1,150 B and 650 B walking draglines for Bucyrus Erie Company, construction of units for Air Preheater Corporation, fabrication of steel for Boston's Metropolitan District Commission aqueduct, and finally, building transformer tanks for the Boston Edison utility. 123
Fore River shipyard obviously found itself in relatively the
same position it had been in during the Depression of the 1930's and adapted to the situation in the same kind of way. Unfortunately, times had changed. The economics of inflation, the high costs of material, labor union pressures for higher wages and benefits caused a greater strain than could be immediately perceived by Bethlehem Steel management.
In the first post-war years, Fore River shipyard turned over to the Navy its last major vessels from wartime contracts. These were two 17,000 ton heavy cruisers, the Salem and Des Moines. The Salem had the distinction of being the first air conditioned vessel
Cruiser, Des Moines
in the fleet. Both of these warships were delivered to the Navy in 1948, and were distinctive because they were the first cruisers to have fully automatic, rapid-fire 8" guns. Other work included the conversion back to civilian use of three government-owned ships of the Panama Railroad Company, the Ancon, Panama, and Cristobal. All three ships had been built at Fore River shipyard just as the war in Europe had broken out. Today the Ancon is the school ship, State of Maine, and the Panama ended up as the President Hoover of the American President Lines. This was the only work undertaken by the yard until about 1950. Employment during this time dipped to a low of 3,800.
It was at the end of this post-war slump that America's first post-war merchant ships were built. These sleek vessels were designed by Bethlehem Steel Corporation for American Export Lines. The 55,000 h.p. turbines were the most powerful to be installed in an American merchant ship to that time. 124 These vessels cost about $25,000,000 each and proved to be quite successful once in service. The ships, Independence and Constitution, delivered in 1951, are now inactive, a sad commentary on the current state of the American merchant marine. Besides these merchant vessels work was begun on converting the cancelled cruiser Northampton into America's first tactical command ship. The CC-1 was delivered to the Navy in 1953.
The early 1950's witnessed some work at the yard, but as the decade progressed, work at the yard declined. The Maritime Commission ordered three C-4 cargo ships in 1951 and two more in 1952. 125 Tankers became the prime item for the yard. Gulf Oil Corporation placed an order for two 28,000 ton tankers, small by
today's standards, Socony contracted for a 29,250 ton tanker, and Orion contracted for three of the same tonnage. 126 The Navy also got into the act by contracting for the fleet oiler, Neosho. In the freighter area, Bethlehem Steel Corporation designed a 13,300 ton, 564 foot vessel which proved to be an important improvement over previous designs. This group of ships were designated as the "Mariner" class of freighters. The first of these launched at Fore River shipyard was the Old Colony Mariner. Two of the largest destroyers ever built in this country emerged from Fore River shipyard at this time also. These were the Willis A. Lee and Wilkinson. They were both delivered to the Navy between 1953-1954. 127
Probably one of the most unique construction jobs ever done at Fore River shipyard was a product of necessity. For years a way to transport any kind of chemical by sea had been frustrated. Dow Chemical Corporation approached Bethlehem Steel Corporation with the problem of transporting liquid chemicals by ship. What resulted, once Bethlehem Steel set its mind to finding a solution to the problem, was the world's first liquid chemical tanker, the Marine Dow-Chem. She was 554 feet long and was of 16,200 tons. Through the use of nickel-clad steel, this ship was capable of carrying a 73% solution of caustic soda. It required a constant temperature of 230° F to prevent solidification. This vessel was unique in many ways. It was capable of carrying some eleven different types of chemicals at once, including methylene, chloride, hydrochloric acid, carbon tetrachloride, styrene monomer, glycols and others. 128
The foregoing proves that the years immediately following World War II would not have seemed bad by themselves, but viewed in the light of the yard's productivity in the war, extensive facilities and high operating costs, the picture for Fore River shipyard was not a bright one. Many experts felt that the primary cause for the situation at the yard in the mid-1950's was that the American merchant marine was fairly new and fairly well-stocked due to the impact that World War II had had on it.129 Added to this was the impact of the Ship Sales Act of 1946. Under this act the government sold the surplus vessels in the wartime merchant marine fleet quickly and cheaply, charging about $120.00 per/ deadweight ton.130 Best calculations were that this large fleet would need to be replaced by 1961 if the American merchant marine were to remain competitive with the foreign fleets. As proof of the "famine" that followed the "feast," as of May 1, 1954, Fore River shipyard had on order 5 tankers, 1 fleet oiler and 5 destroyers, 131 The influence of the Navy is again quite apparent.
In 1955 a political feud involving Fore River shipyard and other major yards building Navy warships developed. The Navy undertook an extensive program to update its carrier forces with the new "Forrestal" class carriers. Most of the contracts were given to Newport News Shipbuilding, which today is the largest builder of naval vessels in the country. Fore River shipyard did not get even one of these lucrative Navy contracts! Bethlehem Steel Corporation was quick to point out that it had built 8 carriers in the past including such famous "Essex" class carriers as Lexington (II), Bunker Hill and Wasp, and thus had the experience to take on the construction of the "Forrestal" class carriers at the Quincy facility. Bethlehem further contended that the Navy, in giving the carrier contracts to Newport News Shipbuilding was showing favoritism. Newport News Shipbuilding, in its defense, charged Bethlehem Steel Corporation with a lack of foresight during World War II. The claim was made that when the government asked the shipyards doing Navy work to indicate their immediate needs, Bethlehem Steel Corporation had been content with asking for improvements of its shop areas and little else. We have noted some of these improvements above. On the other hand, Newport News Shipbuilding had the foresight to update its building slips and wet basin facilities. This obviously put Newport News Shipbuilding in the best position for building the "Forrestal" class carriers that the Navy contracted for in the mid-1950's.132 Bethlehem Steel Corporation was unable to convince anyone that it was worthy of aircraft carrier construction because of its lack of facilities, and, because it had not built a single flat-top since the end of World War II. Despite this, the Navy came across with three contracts for the construction of three frigates worth about $52 million. This helped to halt the layoffs characteristic of the post-war era. 133
It was at this time that Fore River shipyard laid plans for another "first" in the shipbuilding industry. This was the idea of nuclear propulsion for surface warships. The Nautilus, the first of the nuclear powered submarines, had opened up the possibility of powering surface warships by nuclear propulsion. Nautilus was built by General Dynamics Corporation in 1957, the current owners of Fore River shipyard. The Navy decided to build a nuclear, guided-missile cruiser. The project took some six years to bring to realization with an expenditure of about $100 million. This vessel was the famous but controversial, Long Beach. Fore River shipyard was awarded this lucrative cost-plus contract. 134
The designing of the Long Beach took so much of the time and talent of the Central Technical Department (CTD) that Fore River shipyard had to refuse an offer to build the world's first nuclear-
powered merchant ship, the Savannah, currently inactive due to prohibitive operating costs.135
Despite the sluggishness of the shipbuilding industry, Bethlehem Steel Corporation decided to renovate the building areas at Fore River shipyard. This physical plant expansion program cost Bethlehem about $14 million. The chief features of the expansion program were a 950' x 450' building basin that replaced six of the old pre-World War I sliding ways. Depending on size, the basin could accommodate three to six ships.136 Also undertaken in 1957 was the building of two 46,000 ton tankers for the Greek shipping magnate, Stavros Niarchos. These two tankers were the largest tankers to be built to that time and were capable of carrying about 16.5 million gallons of crude oil. These tankers measured 736' x 102' x 35' and were named World Glory and World Beauty. The career of the former ended in tragedy when she broke her back on an unusually high wave in 1968.
By 1959, Fore River shipyard had again produced this country's largest tanker. Costing some $20 million, this tanker, the Princess Sophie was christened by Queen Fredericka of Greece. The C.T.D. at Fore River shipyard played a large role in the creation of the Princess Sophie. This giant tanker was 859' x 115' x 44' and displaced about 72,000 tons. About the time the Princess Sophie was being built the guided missile cruiser, Long Beach had come off the drafting tables and its keel had been laid down, a most auspicious start for the decade of the 1960's.137
While the decade of the 1950's had not been spectacular, Fore River shipyard had built 5 fast cargo ships (Mariners), 1 chemical tanker, and 14 tankers of between 28,000 and 46,000 tons. These ship contracts were valued at over $200 million.138 The diversification that had marked these years culminated in the erection of the first so-called "Texas Tower" for the United States Air Force.
The "Texas Tower" was a triangular shaped platform that stood on three 200 foot long, 10 foot diameter steel legs. The purpose of the tower was to provide an early warning system for missile defense in the "Cold War" era. The platform was about 200 feet long per side and was 87 feet above the Atlantic Ocean in the George's Bank area, 200 miles from Quincy. It was designed to withstand 50 foot seas and 125 mile an hour winds. It weighed close to 6,000 tons and cost about $12 million to build.139 Thus did the 1950's end and the 1960's begin for Fore River shipyard.
The new decade brought Bethlehem Steel Corporation more headaches. A long, five month strike revolving around highly
objectionable unilateral work-rules that had been published in Bethlehem's White Book and which had not been negotiated, broke out. The strike began on January 22, 1960 when shipyard workers walked off their jobs. The local newspapers claimed that the dispute was over wages and fringe benefits. According to the Industrial Union of Marine and Ship-building Workers (I.U.M.S.W.), the unilateral work-rules had brought the strike on. Bethlehem management claimed that the work-rules were not subject to negotiation. In the midst of the strike the Navy towed the almost completed guided missile cruiser, Springfield to the Boston Navy yard for completion.140 This action had the effect of bringing both management and labor to a compromise in the hopes of settling this long and protracted labor dispute at the shipyard. When it was over the local union at the shipyard had achieved a three year contract calling for a $.25 an hour wage increase from the base of $2.00 over the life of the contract. A cost-of-living provision was not agreed to. Many of the work-rules in the White Book were struck out or nullified.141 Though the strike in early 1960 was not the worst that the shipyard had experienced in its tong history,142 it did serve to sour relations between management and labor and embitter feelings at the shipyard.
If the strike of 1960 was not bad enough, the charge was leveled at Bethlehem that it was overcharging the government on the building of the guided missile cruiser, Long Beach and the first nuclear-frigate, Bainbridge.143 The claim covered the cost type, prime and sub-contracts concerning these two warships dating from January 1, 1957 to September 30, 1961. The government charged that Bethlehem Steel Corporation had failed to give adequate credit for cash discounts to cost-type contracts, did not give cash discounts on inter-divisional purchases, and lastly, had failed to allocate cash discounts to certain government cost-type contracts. These failures on the part of Bethlehem, it was contended, had cost the government some $139,000.00. This was recovered, however, through credits on other government contracts then in the offing.144
Finally in 1961 the Long Beach was completed and commissioned, and for a brief moment all the problems attendant with the building of this controversial warship were forgotten, to include the cost-overruns mentioned above, and the sabotaging of equipment on the vessel on three different occasions, including the severing of its anti-magnetic cable.145 Despite these problems, the construction of the Long Beach was a major achievement for Fore River shipyard in terms of its design and in terms of its being the first nuclear guided-missile cruiser.
In January of 1962 another Niarchos vessel was born at Fore River shipyard. This was the Manhattan, the largest commercial vessel built in the United States to that time. The Manhattan was a giant by any standard. 1,005' 5" in length and of 150,000 tons, she was capable of holding 38 million gallons of oil and had a top speed of 19 knots. Manhattan was totally designed by Bethlehem. She was destined to make the first successful transit through the proverbial Northwest Passage to Alaska's North Slope oil fields.146
Another creation of Bethlehem's C.T.D. and which proved to be the last vessel of major importance that Bethlehem would design was the first nuclear frigate, Bainbridge, mentioned above. Bainbridge was launched in 1962. She proved to be just as controversial during construction as had been Long Beach. The government accused Bethlehem of overcharging them about $5 million on this warship. The original estimate of cost in 1959 was $70,867,000. A cost-plus contract was awarded with a fixed-price contract to be negotiated later. By September, 1961, Bethlehem's estimates had risen to over $90 million on this vessel. The Navy's Bureau of Ships felt that this was outrageous and by January, 1962, a fixed-price contract was finally negotiated and agreed to
by both parties.147 The final negotiated price was $87 million. This allowed Bethlehem a reasonable profit of $5 million (6.1%) on the contract.148 Thus, the final adjusted cost of Bainbridge was put at $82 million. An investigation showed that Bethlehem had failed to give adequate credit for cash discounts and that labor and material costs had been overestimated. This put the cost of the warship at $77 million or $5 million less than agreed to in the fixed contract. The government was instructed to use all means appropriate to recover its losses.149
Due to increased costs and the fact that the American merchant marine had practically ceased to exist,150 Bethlehem Steel Corporation put Fore River shipyard up for sale in 1963. The sale of this historic yard ended some fifty years of dynamic Bethlehem management. Bethlehem had rescued Fore River shipyard from financial disaster just prior to World War I and had raised it to one of the foremost shipbuilding establishments in the world. The new owner was General Dynamics Corporation of St. Louis, Missouri, a highly diversified company, and, at the time of the purchase, one of the largest defense contractors in the United States.151
profit as of
July 31, 1963
Bethlehem's cost ledger applicable to the Bainbridge includes costs for change order work, and it does not include certain administrative and general expenses. Accordingly, in arriving at costs incurred we deducted estimated costs for the change orders being priced separately and added an estimated amount for administrative and general expenses based on available rates used by Bethlehem for distributing these expenses. We have also deducted costs not properly chargeable to the Bainbridge based on our findings.
In addition, Bethlehem will also receive about $2,898,000 for change orders. This amount is based on prices negotiated as of February 18, 1963, and on estimated prices for change orders for which a price had not been established at that date. The cost for these change orders included in the $2,898,000 price is estimated to be about $2,654,000 and is not included in the costs incurred as shown above.
General Dynamics Corporation of St. Louis, Missouri purchased Fore River shipyard in 1964. Mr. J. William Jones, President of the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics stated at the time of the purchase that the yard was purchased in order to "provide Electric Boat with greater flexibility and capacity for expanding work in the marine field."152 It should be noted that General Dynamics bought the facilities, not the business, paying $5 million for this fine yard.153 For a brief period after 1964, Electric Boat Division managed Fore River shipyard until its reorganization into the Quincy Shipbuilding Division.
General Offices of
After the sale of the yard it was announced that the yard would be closed down for a brief period of time. Fore River shipyard ceased operations on January 1, 1964. Bethlehem Steel Corporation announced it would retire or pension off immediately, or within two years, some 1,300 of the yard's 1,800 employees.154 Apparently the days of glory were over.
Almost immediately, General Dynamics began a $23 million plant improvement program on this 180 acre facility in order to make it more competitive within the shipbuilding industry. $1.3 million was spent on cranes, $2.5 million on shot-blast and paint facilities, $3 million on land and buildings. The rest of the outlay went for numerically controlled burning machines, new shape handling facilities, automatic welding, and lastly, warehouse modernization.155 The yard's three building ways, two sliding ways and single wet basin as well as its six pier positions were also improved. The way cranes of 250 tons were also improved.156
A View of the Building Areas from the
With the acquisition of the lucrative LNG contracts in the early 1970's, General Dynamics launched a second plant improvement program in order to facilitate the construction of the LNG's under contract to the yard. This $40 million plant improvement program when completed will increase the number of building ways and wet basins at the yard and thus place the yard in a more competitive position in the future to bid on the larger ships currently in demand.157
Building Areas at Fore River Shipyard, 1972
LOA - ft.
BEAM - ft.
LOA - ft.
BEAM - ft.
Louisiana. 159 There is no question that with the acquisition of the LNG contracts in the early 1970's, the main product line of Fore River shipyard in the future will be the 125,000 cubic meter LNG tankers.160 All of the efforts of General Dynamics management at the present time are geared to this end.
A View of a Building Area from Atop the
The acquisition of the Apollo Instrument Ship contract was actually the first of the important new ship contracts for Fore River shipyard since the time General Dynamics had acquired the yard. This three ship contract called for the construction of three advanced electronic surface ships called Apollo Instrument Ships (T-AGM). These ships were Vanguard, Redstone and Mercury. All three were delivered between February-September, 1966.
Just as the Apollo Instrument Ships were nearing completion, Fore River shipyard began construction on four advanced nuclear attack submarines (SSN's) for the Navy. These nuclear vessels were the "first of a class" of this type and were similar in design to the nuclear submarine, Thresher which was lost off the New England coast in 8,000 feet of water in the mid-1960's. Named Greenling,161 Gato, Whale, and Sunfish, they were delivered to the Navy between November, 1967 and March, 1969. Once in service they added some nuclear muscle to the Navy's powerful nuclear submarine fleet.
While work on the nuclear attack submarines was underway at the yard, work was begun on two ammunition ships (AE), the Kilauea and Butte. Both of these AE's were delivered between June-November, 1968. Besides these two AE's, the Navy contracted for two submarine tenders (AS), the Ly Spear, delivered in February, 1970, and the Dixon, delivered in May, 1971 as construction of the fleet replenishment oilers (AOR) and dock landing ships (LSD) was progressing and the construction of the revolutionary Seabee Barge Ships for Lykes Lines was about to begin.
Length - ft.
Mean High Water
Clear Width - ft.
Depth Over Blocks
Lifting Capacity in Tons of 2,240 Lbs.: 10,000
Longest Berth: 883 ft. (3,780 usable linear feet).
Depth in Yard: 40 ft.
Depth in Channel: 30 ft.
Maximum Emergency Wartime Employment: 24,000
(From; United States House of Representatives, Status of Shipyards, I, 10021.)
A Building Area at Fore River Shipyard
Exclusive of the LNG's currently under contract at the yard, Quincy Shipbuilding Division, which describes itself as a "surface ship facility,"158 has constructed 24 ships since 1964, 21 of these for the Navy and the rest merchant. Again, the influence of the Navy is quite evident. The ships constructed have been of great variety, something that has always characterized Fore River shipyard. These include advanced electronic surface ships (T-AGM), first of a class nuclear-attack submarines (SSN's), ammunition ships (AE), submarine tenders (AS), fleet replenishment oilers (AOR's), deck-landing ships (LSD), and the revolutionary Seabee Barge Ships for Lykes Lines of New Orleans,
As far as the fleet replenishment oilers (AOR's) are concerned, six of them were constructed and delivered to the Navy between 1966 and 1973, at a cost of $197 million. These were Wichita, Milwaukee,162 Kansas City, Savannah, Wabash, and Kalamazoo.163 These fleet replenishment oilers were unique in that they are capable of pumping 18,000 gallons per/minute of heavy ship fuel and 9,000 gallons per/minute of jet fuel as well as carrying out ship-to-ship replenishment in the space of about 120 seconds. Virtually "one-stop stores at sea", they are capable of unloading about 180 tons of cargo per/hour. Over 650 feet long and of 37,000 tons, they can make about 20 knots fully loaded.
Like the controversial Long Beach and Bainbridge earlier, the problems attendant with the construction of these six AOR's forced General Dynamics management to submit a nineteen volume claim to the Navy for cost-overruns based on unadjudicated change orders on the part of the Navy. General Dynamics requested an additional $78,416,340 over the fixed-price ship contract. In a final settlement the Navy awarded General Dynamics about $30 million in cost-overruns raising the total cost of the AOR's to about $221 million.164 To illustrate the magnitude of the problem of cost-overruns in the shipbuilding industry, General Dynamics, as of 1975, in behalf of all of its shipbuilding operations had filed aggregate claims with the Navy amounting to about $240 million on fixed-price ship contracts. So far the company has managed to collect only $74 million because of the complexity of the claims.165 Negotiations between General Dynamics and the Navy on the issue of cost-overruns is continuing.166
Rounding out the Navy contracts in this period was a four ship contract to construct four dock landing ships (LSD).167 These were Portland, Pensacola, Mount Vernon 168 and Fort Fisher. All four LSD's were delivered to the Navy between August, 1970 and November, 1972, and like the fleet replenishment oilers, involved cost-overruns in construction. General Dynamics submitted claims totalling some $76 million on these vessels. In the spring of 1975 the Naval Sea Systems Command (N.S.S.C.) awarded General Dynamics $21 million for cost-overruns on these four dock landing ships, bringing the total cost of these LSD's to about $118,190,904.xxx
In the merchant field the most important of the ship contracts was a three ship contract from Lykes Lines of New Orleans, Louisiana to construct the most complex cargo ship ever built in the United States. This was the revolutionary Seabee Barge Ship.170 Measuring about 875' x 106', the Seabee Barge Ship is capable of carrying 38 fully-loaded barges, each measuring 95.5' x 35' x 17', or 1,800 containers on three separate decks. Each of the
barges was capable of carrying about 850 tons and could be pushed or towed singly or in groups on inland waterways. Fully loaded, the Seabee Barge Ship was capable of carrying 51,000 tons of cargo, at a speed of about 20 knots.171
The Seabee Barge Ships named Doctor Lykes,Almeira Lykes and Tillie Lykes, are unique in that they were the first modular construction ships built by General Dynamics since it took over the yard in 1964.172 Each ship cost about $33 million to build and each was equipped with a sophisticated rear elevator with a 2,000 ton capacity and which was capable of operating while submerged. Synchronized hydraulic winches and cantilever wing walls made the Seabee Barge Ship one of the most uniquely designed ships ever built.173 All three ships were delivered to Lykes Lines between June, 1972 and March, 1973. They are currently involved in the carrier trade between the Gulf Coast and European ports. Lykes Lines has recently acquired recognition of
its patent on the ship from eight nations including most recently, the United States.174 In the spring of 1975, Lykes Lines sued General Dynamics Corporation and three of its subcontractors for $30 million in damages, alleging late delivery of the Seabee Barge Ships, deficient design, workmanship and materials.175 This complicated suit filed in U.S. District Court in Boston is currently under litigation.
Much of the new ship construction alluded to above was done by the modular system whereby complete ship units, preassembled in another area go into the ship at one central point. In a way it represents the application of the auto assembly technique to the shipbuilding industry. This type of ship construction was done on a much smaller scale at the Squantum yard during World War I, and at Newport News in the 1920's and 1930's. These yards really pioneered this unique system of ship construction. Litton's facility in Pascagoula, Mississippi, called Ingalls Shipbuilding Division, specializes today in the modular system of ship construction. This 611 acre facility, costing some $130 million is one of the newest yards in the country. It has been particularly effective in applying the aero-space emphasis on system engineering to the shipbuilding industry, and this is what has placed Litton in a very competitive position in the shipbuilding industry.176 There is no question that Fore River shipyard began moving in this direction in the 1960's for the same reason. Most recently, the C.T.D. at Fore River shipyard conceived of the idea of using modular construction to build a fleet of submarine tankers powered by nuclear plants. Thus far none of the oil companies has shown much interest due to the obvious environmental hazards.177
Towards the end of 1971 as work on the Lykes Seabee Barge Ships was progressing and work on the last of the new ship contracts was nearing completion, there were rumors rife that Fore River shipyard would have to close down due to a lack of new ship contracts and repair and conversion work to keep the yard going. This sentiment was echoed by David S. Lewis, President of General Dynamics Corporation at the annual meeting of stockholders in St. Louis, Missouri. "Time is getting short. We cannot hang on forever hoping for new business which always seems to be just over the horizon," Lewis noted.178
In the offing at the time however, was a six-ship contract worth $350 million from Maritime Dynamics, Inc., a newly formed Delaware corporation, jointly owned by General Dynamics Corporation (55%) and Maritime Fruit Carriers Company, Ltd. (45%), an Israeli-based firm. This lucrative six-ship contract called for the construction of six supertankers of 225,000 d.w.t. each. These supertankers with dimensions of 1094' x 144' would have a capacity to carry 65 million gallons of crude oil at a speed of about 15 knots. They were to be operated under lease to Maritime Dynamics, Inc. as American flag-carriers. At the time, granting of this lucrative supertanker contract was contingent on Maritime Dynamics, Inc. securing construction and mortgage insurance from the Federal Maritime Administration.179 The federal subsidy on these supertankers was to run as high as 43% of the $350 million price tag.180 After four long months of negotiation between
General Dynamics management, the Massachusetts Congressional delegation and the Federal Maritime Administration, a federal subsidy was granted.181 This lucrative merchant contract did not materialize however, because of the failure of Maritime Dynamics, Inc. to secure adequate financing through the First National Bank of Boston's major holding company, First National Boston Corporation which, it was hoped, would finance the construction of these ships.
Despite the apparent failure on the part of General Dynamics management to secure new ship contracts to keep the yard going, some repair and conversion work was procured which helped to stave off impending layoffs at the yard once the last of the new ship contracts had been completed. In early 1973, General Dynamics was awarded a $1.79 million Navy contract to overhaul and convert the Navy research ship, U.S.N.A. Hays. Hays, a twin-hulled vessel was originally built by Todd Shipyards of Seattle, Washington, and was 246' in length and of 3,080 tons. While at Fore River shipyard she was to receive new scientific equipment. This important repair and conversion contract provided about 100 new jobs, mainly for electrical workers, at the yard.182
Just prior to the keel laying of the first of the LNG's (LNG-41) under contract at the yard, Congressman James Burke (D-Massachusetts), in an attempt to help stave off the projected layoff of over 2,000 workers at the yard, opened up negotiations with the Pentagon to award Fore River shipyard a repair contract on the destroyer-tender, Puget Sound. Congressman Burke, in a telegram to then Secretary of Defense, Eliot Richardson, noted that the decision to close down the old Boston Navy yard facility, had created a labor surplus in the shipbuilding industry and had helped to further depress the regional economy.183 The repair contract on the Puget Sound never materialized.184
With the delivery of the last of the fleet replenishment oilers, Kalamazoo in July, 1973, the only work at the yard was some conversion work on the oceanographic research catamaran, Hays, alluded to above, and some sub-contracting work, which involved construction of submarine cylinders for yards in Newport News and Groton, Connecticut.185 This sub-contracting work helped to maintain employment for about 280 machine shop workers as General Dynamics management readied itself to send out layoff notices. Employment at the yard, according to Local #5 President, Arthur Batson, was the lowest it had been since General Dynamics took over the yard in 1964.186
Though the immediate future did not look bright, it was understood by both management and labor that the layoffs at the
the yard would be temporary. It was calculated that once Fore River shipyard had geared itself for the construction of the LNG's and work on the first of the LNG's (LNG-41) had actually begun, that employment at the yard would increase substantially. General Dynamics management calculated that at the peak point in the construction of the LNG'S, employment would be at between 5,500 and 6,000 workers.187
Initially the keel of the first of the LNG's (LNG-41) was to be laid down in July, 1973, but had to be put off until December 1, 1973 due to a number of problems attendant with the LNG program, the major ones being the slowness of the $40 million plant improvement program, problems with a major sub-contractor on the LNG program, and the pending approval of federal mortgage insurance on the LNG program. In the meantime, General Dynamics management had acquired a fairly substantial repair contract to drydock and repair a large oil transport barge, the Irving Sealion, operated by Irving Oil Company of Canada. The repair work on this 360' barge kept a number of trades at the yard busy, and like the other repair contracts, had the effect of staving off layoffs at the yard. 188
Besides the repair work on the Irving Sealion, repair work was also done on the 30,000 ton oil tanker, Esso Halifax which had hit
an iceberg en route to Resolute Bay, Nova Scotia. General Dynamics procured this repair contract because of its low bid.189 Again, this was indicative of General Dynamics recognition of the talent of the workforce at the yard, and its desire to keep it around.
In early 1974 as work on the first of the LNG's (LNG-41) has begun, General Dynamics was awarded a $2.2 million contract to overhaul and repair a Navy auxiliary drydock (ARD-7), which was used to repair submarines.190 Congressman James Burke of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation was instrumental in procuring this repair contract from the Navy. Repair work on ARD-7 kept many of the trades at the yard busy between February-August, 1974. After the completion of the repair work, ARD-7 returned to the U.S. Naval Submarine Base at Groton, Connecticut.191
While work on the first of the LNG'S (LNG-41) and the auxiliary drydock (ARD-7) progressed, a long and costly strike broke out at the yard. The five year contract which the worker's union (Local #5) had negotiated in 1969, expired on Saturday, March 16, 1974. The failure on the part of both management and union officials to negotiate a new contract before the old one expired, precipitated a walkout and then a strike.192 What appeared to be at the root of the difficulties were management and labor disagreements over length
of contract, and the issue of productivity.193 The strike proved to be one of the longest and costliest strikes in the history of Fore River shipyard, lasting some 17 weeks (118 days), ending on July 11, 1974 when management and labor finally reached an agreement on a tentative contract after lengthy bargaining sessions involving William J. Usery, Jr., head of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service in Washington, D.C.194 The strike, besides serving to embitter feelings at the shipyard, set the LNG program back approximately one year,195 prevented General Dynamics management from acquiring repair contracts that would have kept the various trades at the yard busy, and seriously jeopardized the long-term future of the shipyard. 196
Local No. 5 Headquarters,
After the settlement of the strike, General Dynamics procured a $6.8 million repair contract on the helicopter landing-ship, Raleigh, from the Navy.197 Six shipbuilding firms submitted bids on this repair contract including Bethlehem's East Boston and Sparrows Point, Maryland facilities, Maryland Drydock, and Avondale of New Orleans, Louisiana. General Dynamics was low bidder and for this reason won this important repair contract. Raleigh, 522' in length and of 14,300 tons was repaired and alterations and
improvements were completed without drydocking.198 Work on the Raleigh kept a number of the trades at the yard busy down through September, 1975 when work on the ship was finally completed. Raleigh left for her home base, Norfolk, Virginia on September 17, 1975 after some six months at Fore River shipyard. 199
Helicopter Landing-ship, Raleigh
Despite the fact that Fore River shipyard has eight LNG tankers under contract at the present time, worth $650 million, its future is not a secure one. Like most American shipyards it must continue to depend on government contracts which come and go on the whims of Congress. It must continue to seek to become more competitive in a shipbuilding market in which high labor costs and double-digit inflation have made ship prices prohibitive and have thus driven prospective buyers abroad. But even more importantly, it must seek to build ships of one particular type. By building ships of one type a shipyard can best utilize labor saving devices, increase productivity, and thus more effectively compete despite high labor costs and inflation. It was the founder of Fore River shipyard, Thomas Watson, who made this observation in 1900.200 In the opinion of the authors, Quincy Shipbuilding Division, in making the 125,000 cubic meter LNG tanker its main product line in the future, is moving in the direction that Watson indicated.
Our researches took us to the home offices of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where one could expect to find a good deal of information concerning Fore River shipyard. We were fortunate to receive the kind cooperation of G. L. Glosten of the Public Affairs Department. Mr. Glosten proved to be of valuable assistance owing to the fact that he is in charge of Bethlehem's archives, and before assuming this position, was an Assistant Section Head of C.T.D. at Fore River shipyard. The archives, located on the second floor of the 14th Street warehouse, contained all sorts of worthwhile research material. These include brochures published by the company, titled and untitled memos, photostats, copies of newspaper articles, magazine articles, eye-witness accounts and the like. These materials were arranged chronologically in large file cabinets, affording easy access. Sepatate folders were kept on some of the more important vessels built by Bethlehem during the period that it managed the yard. The archives also contain a priceless collection of photographs covering most of the years before and during Bethlehem ownership. Many of these photographs appear in this monograph. Separate photo albums chronicle the careers of such famous vessels as the Thomas W. Lawson, cruiser Northampton, liner Mariposa, battleship Rivadavia and the like. Many of these photo albums are currently in the possession of the Quincy Historical Society.
The only criticism of these archival sources is a purely academic one. Several items found in the archives were typed out memos that did not carry a title and thus could not be properly cited in this monograph. We hope that this will be understood. Further, newspaper articles, while properly dated, did not always have page numbers, thus there was some difficulty in citation of newspaper sources in this monograph.
The authors, besides tapping the resources of the Bethlehem archives, found the Bethlehem Public Library to be most helpful since it keeps a standing file on all the operations of Bethlehem Steel Corporation. Additional information was also obtained at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland, and the Boston Public Library, as well as the Thomas Crane Public Library and the Quincy Historical Society in Quincy.
The authors also found it helpful to talk with Mr. William Baker of Hingham, Massachusetts who was an engineer at Fore River shipyard from 1933 to about 1944, and again from 1949 to 1963. Lastly, copies of Jane's Fighting Ships and similar reference works were kept handy so as to more easily identify the numerous naval vessels built at Fore River Shipyard that either changed name or had the same name as a previous warship.
1 From Masefield's poem, "Shipbuilders," in Salt Water Ballads, (1902).
2 Donald McKay of East Boston was the builder of the famous clipper ships of the pre-Civil War era. History records that of the twenty-two passages from New York to San Francisco via Cape Horn under 100 days, McKay's clippers hold seven of these records. See: Carl G. Cutler, Greyhounds of the Sea, (New York: Halcyon House, 1930), 87-93.
3 Bath Iron Works was established in 1823 by the Sewall family, long one of Maine's most prominent shipbuilding and merchant families. Between 1823 and 1903 while under Sewall management, the Bath yard produced 105 vessels with a total tonnage of 130,953 tons according to the best estimates. The importance of the Bath yard is further magnified when one considers that there were over 350 shipbuilding establishments operating on the Maine coast during the time-Sewall owned the Bath yard, which produced over 5,000 vessels with an aggregate tonnage of 2.5 million tons. Given the competitive nature of Maine shipbuilding, the Bath yard was one of Maine's leading shipyards. See: Loyall F. Sewall, Jr., "Twilight of the Deepwater Sail," a paper delivered at Mystic Seaport, Mystic, Connecticut, July 28, 1971.
4 Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company is a subsidiary of Tenneco Corporation and is currently the largest builder of naval vessels in the United States.
5 Thomas A. Watson, Exploring Life, 220.
6 Untitled memo in archives of Bethlehem Steel Corporation.
7 Thomas A. Watson, Exploring Life, 220.
8 Historically, the Fore River Bridge has been a subject of controversy because it has denied Fore River shipyard direct access to the sea and has been a limiting factor in the long-range future of the yard. The present drawbridge which spans Fore River was built by the N.I.R.A. between 1934-1936. The supports of the drawbridge allows for the passage of vessels whose beam does not exceed 170 feet. General Dynamics Corporation, the current owners of the yard, have recognized that the bridge is a limiting factor in the long-range future of the yard and has placed the yard in a very uncompetitive position. Most recently the Quincy-based South Shore Chamber of Commerce established an action team to deal with the problem of bridge replacement. The Fore River Bridge Replacement Action Team (B.R.A.T.) is co-chaired by State Senator Allan McKinnon (D.-Weymouth) and Mayor Walter Hannon (R.-Quincy), and comprised of management, labor, financial and political leaders in the community. It has been successful most recently in plodding the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to award state monies to consulting firms to study the environmental and economic impact of bridge replacement, and how it will affect the local and regional economies. Some $296,200 has been appropriated to this end. See: Boston Globe, January 11, 1973, n.p.; Quincy Patriot Ledger, May 24, 1974, 24.
9 Thomas A. Watson, Exploring Life, 220. According to the 1902 Prospectus of the Fore River Ship & Engine Company, published in Harper's Weekly, only about 78 acres were developed along the yard's 13/4 miles of shoreline. The real estate at the yard was valued at about $100,000 according to the Prospectus.
10 United States House of Representatives, Status of Shipyards, 11, 10751.
11 The two best studies of Bell Telephone that have been done to date are those of Catherine D. Mackenzie and Frederick Leland Rhodes. Miss Mackenzie was personal secretary to Bell for ten years and Rhodes for many years was associated with A.T.& T.'s Engineering Department. Both works are based on the Bell papers and shed considerable light on Bell's pioneering efforts and his association with Watson. See: Catherine D. Mackenzie, Alexander Graham Bell: The Man Who Contracted Space, (Boston; 1928), and Frederick Leland Rhodes, Beginning of Telephony, (New York, 1929).
12 Allen Johnson & Dumas Malone, (eds.), The Dictionary of American Biography, X, 548-549.
13 Thomas A. Watson, Exploring Life, 194.
14 Thomas A. Watson, Exploring Life, 194.
15 Untitled memo in archives of Bethlehem Steel Corporation.
16 Untitled memo in archives of Bethlehem Steel Corporation.
17 Thomas A. Watson, Exploring Life, 198.
18 Thomas A. Watson, Exploring Life, 199.
19 Thomas A. Watson, Exploring Life, 199.
20 Thomas A. Watson, Exploring Life, 199.
21 Untitled memo in archives of Bethlehem Steel Corporation.
22 What proved to be a stimulus to the private American shipbuilding industry at this time was a timely study by Captain Alfred Mahan, U.S.N., entitled The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783, published in Boston in 1890. Captain Mahan laid emphasis on the need of a strong naval fleet of capital ships to prevent the future blockade of American ports and to keep the American deepwater trade running and the seas open to American commerce. The United States Navy took what Mahan had suggested to heart. In the decade of the 1890's there was a rash of naval contracts which unquestionably stimulated the private American shipbuilding industry. There is no question that the awarding of the two torpedo boat destroyer contracts to Fore River Engine Company at that time prevented this company from going under. For a more technical study of naval contracts and the effect that they have had on the private American shipbuilding industry see: John G. B. Hutchins, The American Maritime Industries and Public Policy, 1789-1914: An Economic History, (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1941), 441-481. This brilliant study constitutes Volume LXXI of the Harvard Economic Series.
23 Thomas A. Watson, Exploring Life, 212.
24 Photostat of comments by former employee, Frank Leahy.
25 Photostat of John Clements interview, dated March 31, 1945. Most of the labor force at the yard was unskilled and worked a 54-hour week. The skilled labor earned about .31 an hour and the unskilled labor about half as much.
26 Photostat of comments by former employee, Frank Leahy.
27 Society of Naval Architects, Historical Transactions, (1945), 203.
28 Thomas A. Watson, Exploring Life, 220.
29 Thomas A. Watson, Exploring Life, 214.
30 In the period following the American Civil War, shipbuilding became organized into large scale enterprises with scientific management and heavy investments in capital goods. As a result, localization patterns in the shipbuilding industry became greatly altered due to the necessity of using new economic resources. Since ship prices were determined under conditions of competition with prices bearing a close relation to the costs of production, it seems as if Watson's yard was going the way of most of the major shipyards of that time, i.e., coming to depend more heavily on government contracts. For a more detailed study of this phenomena see: Hutchins, cited above, 103-129, 141.
31 Thomas A. Watson, Exploring Life, 222.
32 Untitled memo in archives of Bethlehem Steel Corporation.
33 Engineering New, (November, 1903), 456-457.
34 Photostat of comments by former employee, Frank Leahy.
35 Photostat of comments by former employee, Frank Leahy.
36 Untitled memo in archives on Bethlehem Steel Corporation. Fore River Ship & Engine Company's legal counsel, J. B. Dill was an expert on corporate law and authored an interesting book on the subject entitled, Dill on New Jersey Corporations.
37 Thomas A. Watson, Exploring Life, 223.
38 Thomas A. Watson, Exploring Life, 214, 224. What put private American shipyard's like Watson's in a poor competitive position at the turn of the century was the high cost of steel which forced production costs up some 40% to 75% over comparable yards in Great Britain and Germany at the time. For a further explanation of this see: Samuel A. Lawrence, United States Merchant Shipping Policies and Politics, (Washington, 1966), 34-35.
39 Photostat, Minutes of Board Meeting of Fore River Ship & Engine Company, July 1, 1901, in archives of Bethlehem Steel Corporation.
40 Engineering News, (September 6, 1902), 374-82.
41 Photostat of comments by former employee, Frank Leahy. See also: Quincy Patriot Ledger, April 29, 1975, 18.
42 Thomas A. Watson, Exploring Life, 226. See also: Quincy Patriot Ledger, April 11, 1975, n.p.
43 Engineering News, (August 21, 1902), 121.
44 Thomas A. Watson, Exploring Life, 226.
45 Thomas A. Watson, Exploring Life, 226.
46 Photostat of comments by former employee, Frank Leahy, The Prospectus as mentioned above, appeared in Harper's Weekly, (1902).
47 Thomas A. Watson, Exploring Life, 233-236.
48 Thomas A. Watson, Exploring Life, 233-236.
49 Thomas A. Watson, Exploring Life, 233-236.
50 Thomas A. Watson, Exploring Life, 239.
51 Photostat of comments by former employee, Frank Leahy.
52 Thomas A. Watson, Exploring Life, 240-241.
53 Thomas A. Watson, Exploring Life, 236.
54 Allen Johnson & Dumas Malone, (eds.), The Dictionary of American Biography, X, 549.
55 Photostat of comments by former employee, Frank Leahy.
56 Untitled memo in archives of Bethlehem Steel Corporation.
57 Photostat of comments by former employee, Frank Leahy.
58 Untitled memo in archives of Bethlehem Steel Corporation.
59 Society of Naval Architects, Historical Transactions, (1945), 204.
60 Photostat of comments by former employee, Frank Leahy.
61 The most recent study on the Russo-Japanese War to appear is that of Denis and Peggy Warner. The study centers around naval weaponries and the impact that they had on the war and its outcome. See: Denis & Peggy Warner, The Tide at Sunrise: A History of the Russo-Japanese War, 1904-1905, (Garden City, 1974).
62 Untitled memo in archives of Bethlehem Steel Corporation.
63 Frederick T. Jane, Fighting Ships, (1914), 244.
64 Society of Naval Architects, Historical Transactions, (1945), 204.
65 Photostat of comments by former employee, Frank Leahy.
66 Engineering News, (September 20, 1901), 402-405.
67 Bethlehem Steel Corporation, , Ltd., (1919).
68 Program, Apprentice School Commencement, (1950, 1957). President Nixon's Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission, Mrs. Helen Delich Bentley came to Quincy on May 28, 1970 to address a "General Dynamics Night" audience at the Quincy Masonic Lodge. Prior to her appearance at this gathering she toured Fore River shipyard with General Dynamics officials. She noted that the shipyards that have training programs for the shipbuilding trades have lost more than 50% of the trainees to outside industries because of the factor of higher Pay. See: Quincy Patriot Ledger, May 29, 1970, n.p.
69 Frederick T. Jane, Fighting Ships, (1914), 174.
70 Frederick T. Jane, Fighting Ships, (1914), 171.
71 Frederick T. Jane, Fighting Ships, (1914), 169.
72 Untitled memo in archives of Bethlehem Steel Corporation.
73 Photostat of comments by former employee, Frank Leahy.
74 Frederick T. Jane, Fighting Ships, (1914), 424.
75 Frederick T. Jane, Fighting Ships, (1914), 165.
76 Samuel Eliot Morison, The Two-Ocean War, 53-54.
77 Alan Pater, United States Battleships, 144-145.
78 New York Times, April 26, 1913, 11.
79 New York Times, April 26, 1913, 11.
80 Untitled memo in archives on Bethlehem Steel Corporation.
81 Fore River Log, (January, 1919), 24.
82 Fore River Log, (January, 1919).
83 Fore River Log, (January, 1919).
84 Society of Naval Architects, Historical Transactions, (1945), 206.
85 Fore River Log, (January, 1919), 39.
86 Marine News, (December, 1950), 20.
87 Fore River Log, (January, 1920), 16.
88 Fore River Log, (January, 1920), 2.
89 Society of Naval Architects, Historical Transactions, (1945), 207.
90 Fore River Log, (January, 1919), 30.
91 Fore River Log, (January, 1920), 17.
92 Samuel Eliot Morison, The Two-Ocean War, 51.
93 Samuel Eliot Morison, The Two-Ocean War, 226.
94 John D. Hicks, Republican Ascendancy, 1921-1933, 23-49. Under the agreements negotiated at the Washington Conference, the United States was given naval parity with Great Britain and permitted a total capital ship tonnage of 525,850 tons. Since the United States capital ship tonnage at the time exceeded this figure, the United States was forced to scrap some tonnage and limit the construction of many capital ships such as Lexington, Saratoga and Massachusetts, then under construction.
95 Samuel Eliot Morison, The Two-Ocean War, 19. Admiral Morison affirms that the performance of the Langley in 1925 confirmed what many naval experts had been saying all along, and that was that the aircraft carrier was as important a naval weapon as was the battleship and was the strategic weapon of the future. Lexington as it turned out was to be the second operational carrier ever constructed.
96 Samuel Eliot Morison, The Two-Ocean War, 118-120.
97 Samuel Eliot Morison, The Two-Ocean War, 122-123.
98 Frederick T. Jane, Fighting Ships, (1940), 473.
99 Samuel Eliot Morison, The Two-Ocean War, 281-284; 392-393; 399; 455.
100 Under the agreements negotiated at the Washington Conference, few exceptions were allowed under the 5:5:3 ratio set in the agreements. Much capital ship tonnage then under construction was halted. The total capital outlay to that time was well over $300 million. See: Morison, cited above, 19; also, Hicks, cited above, 43, for details on this.
101 Untitled memo in archives of Bethlehem Steel Corporation.
102 Boston Herald, August 14, 1951, copy, n.p.
103 Untitled memo in archives of Bethlehem Steel Corporation.
104 Samuel Eliot Morison, The Two-Ocean War, 173-175.
105 Samuel Eliot Morison, The Two-Ocean War, 174.
106 Untitled memo in archives of Bethlehem Steel Corporation.
107 Samuel Eliot Morison, The Two-Ocean War, 146. Quincy (I) was designated CA-39.
108 Samuel Eliot Morison, The Two-Ocean War, 147-148. Admiral Morison notes that Riefkohl "made about as many mistakes as a commanding officer could make..."
109 Frederick T. Jane, Fighting Ships, (1940), 475-487. See also: Morison, cited above, 154. Admiral Morison notes that Japanese submarines managed to penetrate Wasp's destroyer screen, sinking her, but barely missing carrier Hornet.
110 Boston Herald, August 14, 1951, n.p.
111 William Churchill Edwards, Historic Quincy, 190.
112 Ships for Uncle Sam," Along the Lines, (September, 1941), copy, n.p.
113 William Churchill Edwards, Historic Quincy, 205.
114 Marine News, (December, 1950), 17-18.
115 William Churchill Edwards, Historic Quincy, 204.
116 Marine News, (December, 1950), 19.
117 The 1600 lb. bronze bell of the heavy cruiser, Quincy (II), in addition to a number of other ship items are now in the possession of the City of Quincy. Though the Quincy (II) went to the scrapheap in 1973, her memory will continue to live in the City of Quincy. The bell has been permanently placed next to City Hall as a memorial to this fine fighting ship. See: Quincy Patriot Ledger, March 11, 1975, 1.
118 William Churchill Edwards, Historic Quincy, 202.
119 Untitled memo in archives of Bethlehem Steel Corporation. The Hingham facility was recently put up for sale by the bank holding its mortage because of non-payment of taxes to the Town of Hingham by its present owners, Colonial Coastal Corporation of Waltham, Massachusetts.
120 William Churchill Edwards, Historic Quincy, 202.
121 Joseph Salak, "Kilroy Was Here," Our Navy, (October, 1971), 12-13. See also: Quincy Patriot Ledger, April 11, 1975, n.p.
122 Marine News, (December, 1950), 61.
123 Untitled memo in archives of Bethlehem Steel Corporation.
124 Marine News, (December, 1950), 21.
125 The Merchant Marine Act of 1936 initiated a vigorous cargo ship construction program. The act subsidized cargo ship construction up to 50% of the total cost and called for standardization in design of cargo vessels. Under this program the C-1, C-2, C-3, and C-4's were built. The C-2's were the most popular design. See: John B. Hutchins, "The American Shipbuilding Industry Since 1914," Business History Review, XXVIII, No. 2, (June, 1954), 116-117.
126 Historically, American-built oil tankers have been the smallest in the world due to the lack of port facilities in continental United States capable of handling oil tankers larger than 35,000 tons. The economic effects of this is staggering both to the oil companies and to the American consumers. The transport costs per/barrel of oil are higher for the American oil companies as a result. Further, American oil companies are placed in a very uncompetitive position in the world oil tanker trade as a result. See: "Our Orphaned Superships," National Review, (March 1, 1974), 261.
127 It is interesting to note that Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, the yard with the reputation for building quality destroyers for the Navy, did not get the contract to build the Willis A. Lee and Wilkinson, mainly because of some political wheeling-and-dealing on the part of the Eisenhower Administration. During World War II, Bath Iron Works had built more destroyers than the entire Japanese Empire and rightly should have gotten this lucrative destroyer contract. It seems as if the Eisenhower Administration in 1954, in order to help the re-election of Senator Leverett Saltonstall (R.-Massachusetts), transferred three destroyer contracts from Bath Iron Works to Fore River Shipyard, despite the documented fact that Bethlehem's cost was some $9.5 million higher than that of Bath Iron Works. This maneuver brought an immediate protest from Senator Margaret Chase Smith (R.-Maine). Fore River shipyard, in response, reduced its price by some $3 million and the Eisenhower Administration responded by awarding three ship contracts to the Bath concern. On the eve of the 1954 Congressional elections, two more destroyer contracts were awarded to Fore River shipyard. This little bit of political intriguing certainly helped the employment picture at the yard. See: Christian Science Monitor, April 22, 1970, n.p.; also, Drew Pearson, Bethlehem Globe-Times, (August 5, 1959), copy, n.p.
128 Untitled memo in archives of Bethlehem Steel Corporation.
129 The Merchant Marine Act of 1936 required that the United States have a viable merchant marine fleet not only for reasons of expanding United States domestic and foreign commerce, but in the interests of national security. The principle of having a merchant marine fleet built by government monies and utilized by the military in time of war to protect and ensure national security can be traced to the Shipping Act of 1916, and the Merchant Marine Acts of 1920 and 1928 respectively. See: Lane C. Kendall, "Capable of Serving as a Naval and Military Auxiliary," Proceedings of the United States Naval Institute, (May, 1971).
130 Following the end of World War I, the wartime merchant marine which had been constructed, subsidized and managed by the government, was returned to private management and the morass of wartime regulations and controls were dropped. Large numbers of these merchant vessels were sold to private companies. In 1921 the going-price was between $160.00 - $180.00 per/deadweight ton. The relative failure of this ship-sale program in the 1920's however, brought about a drastic reduction in prices by the time of the depression of the 1930's. For example, because ship sales were slow, prices between 1929 and 1933 dropped to between $5.00 - $6.00 per/deadweight ton. See: John B. Hutchins, "The American Shipping Industry Since 1914," Business History Review, XXVllI, No. 2, (June, 1954), 110-113.
131 "Gloom in the Shipyards," Fortune, (July, 1954), 96-99.
132 The "Forrestal class" carriers were of 60,000 tons, roughly double the tonnage of the famous "Essex class" carriers of World War II fame. The keel of the first of these giant carriers was laid down in 1952. Between 1955 and 1962, six of these were built for the Navy in a number of American yards. See: Quincy Patriot Ledger, October 21, 1955, copy, n.p.
133 Quincy Patriot Ledger, October 21, 1955, copy, n.p.
134 For those interested in the development of the embryonic nuclear navy of which Admiral Hyman Rickover played a key role, the authors recommend a study recently done by the Research Division of the Atomic Energy Commission. According to an unidentified source in the A.E.C., this study will constitute the "bible" of the embryonic nuclear Navy in the future since it is based on previously classified information in the possession of the Research Division of the Atomic Energy Commission. See: Francis Duncan, Nuclear Navy. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1974). The Pentagon's purchasing policy up to the time of the Kennedy-Johnson Administrations was based on cost-plus. This contributed somewhat to the profit margins of a great many of American defense industries. Secretary of Defense, Robert S. McNamara who served both the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations (1961-1968), changed the Pentagon's purchasing policy from cost-plus to a fixed-fee basis. It has been calculated by the Army Material Command (AMC) that the McNamara "cost-reduction" programs, between 1964-1969, saved the American taxpayers some $20 billion dollars. Though it saved billions, it exposed the defense industries like Bethlehem Steel Corporation, General Dynamics Corporation and others to the hazards of estimating and contracting, led to a depression in the stock of military industries, brought about declining profits, and made possible the takeover of many of these defense industries by some of the conglomerate formations current in the American economy today. See: Christian Science Monitor, December 29, 1969, 16.
135 The Savannah was the showpiece of the Eisenhower's Administrations' "Atoms for Peace" program. She is currently tied up in Houston, Texas, her nuclear plant having been removed just recently. See: Untitled memo in archives of Bethlehem Steel Corporation. See also: U. S. News & World Report, August 16, 1971,49, and, U. S. News & World Report, April 29, 1974, n.p.
136 United States House of Representatives, Status of Shipyards, II, 10666.
137 In 1958 the head of the C.T.D. at Fore River shipyard, Richard Tingey, one of the principal designers of Long Beach, disappeared off the coast of Scituate while sailing his 38-foot sloop. Speculation rife in the local newspapers was that Tingey had been kidnapped on the "high seas" by some "foreign power". The wreckage of his sloop was found but his body was never recovered. See: file of about thirty newspaper clippings on Tingey incident in archives of Bethlehem Steel Corporation, 14th Street Warehouse, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
138 William Churchill Edwards, Historic Quincy, 197.
139 Untitled memo in archives of Bethlehem Steel Corporation.
140 The cruiser Springfield was built at Fore River shipyard in 1944. At the time of the strike it was undergoing conversion work at the yard. It later served as the flagship of the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean.
141 Encyclopedia Brittannica, Book of the Year - 1961, 659.
142 The worst strike in the yard's history to that time was the 137-day strike that broke out on June 26, 1947, involving some 2,600 of the 3,800 members of the I.U.M.S.W. - C.I.O., Local 5. The union sought to force management to live up to the provisions of the Taft-Hartley law which had just been legislated. It should be noted that labor was justified in this strike, particularly since there was high unemployment at the shipyard at the time, and, even more importantly, since there was no unemployment compensation in Massachusetts at the time. About the only recourse labor had was to strike. For details on the 1947 strike see: Helen Delich, "After a Strike is Lost," The Nation, (February 7, 1948). Miss Delich, it should be noted, later became head of the Federal Maritime Commission in the Administration of Richard Nixon. A second unpleasant strike broke out in 1952 involving the steel industry and those that depended on it. The 1952 strike lasted 55 days. For a good summary of both the 1947 and 1952 strikes see: Joe Higgins, "Fight for Life at Quincy," New Republic, (November 3, 1947), and Newsweek, (August 4, 1952), 65-66.
143 Comptroller General of the United States, Report on Overcharges, (February, 1962), 1-10. The Bainbridge was the fourth Navy warship to carry that name. All four warships were named after Commodore William Bainbridge, second commandant of the Boston Navy yard. Bainbridge was commandant at the time the War of 1812 broke out.
144 Comptroller General of the United States, Report on Overcharges, (February, 1962), 1-10.
145 Untitled memo in archives of Bethlehem Steel Corporation.
146 Manhatten made the transit through the Northwest Passage for the first time in 1969 and a second time in the summer of 1970. At the time of these historic voyages she was under charter to the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey (Humble). Her owner was Seatrain Lines, Inc. of New York. Before her historic voyage in 1969 she was moved to Chester, Pennsylvania where she was cut up into three sections for the purpose of installing rudder guards, a steel girder for her midsection, and an extra heavy beam in her forward section. Over 30,000 tons of steel were installed in her new heavy duty hull to ensure her ice-breaking capabilities. She was then reassembled. See: Bethlehem Steel Company, Bethlehem-Built - 1963, 20. Also: National Geographic, Vol. 137, #3, (March, 1970), 374-39.
147 It should be noted that Secretary of Defense, Robert S. McNamara did not institute a fixed-fee policy until 1964. The Pentagon apparently was moving in this direction at the time. Herbert Roback, Staff Administrator for the Military Operations Subcommittee, House Committee on Government Operations, noted in a letter to the New York Times that: "A great deal was learned about procurement and contracting in the McNamara years, and the basic concepts then adopted or newly developed, though subject to modification with time and circumstance, will have a lasting effect." See: Roback's letter, "McNamara's Policy," New York Times, April 26, 1970, n.p.
148 In the decade of the 1960's, defense contracts were more a burden to American defense industries than not. A study done by the Logistics Management Institute in 1969 showed that the average profit margin of all U. S. industries was 8.7% of sales, but the average profit on defense and defense-related work was 4.2% of sales. Fortune noted most recently that General Dynamics Corporation, the current owners of Fore River shipyard and one of the biggest defense contractors in the country in the 1960's, ranked 481 in terms of earnings in a group of 500 corporations that were studied. What apparently hurt defense industries like General Dynamics, Lockheed, Northrup, General Electric and others was the fixed-fee policy of the Pentagon which cut into the profits of these defense industries. See: "The 500: A Report of Two Decades," Fortune, (May, 1975), 238-241; also, "The Fortune Directory of the 500 Largest Industrial Corporations," Fortune, (May, 1975), 208-235.
149 Comptroller General of the United States, Overpricing of the "Bainbridge", (March, 1964), 1-10. Because of the problems attendant with naval construction contracts, many private yards are refusing to bid on Navy contracts. According to the best estimates, the number of private yards doing Navy work has dropped from fourteen to six since 1964. Navy cost-control policies, unreliable Navy contract-cost estimates, multiple middle-of-construction ship design changes, tardy bill-payments practices, and oppressive supervision of civilian management have caused a number of private shipyards to refuse Navy work. See: Quincy Patriot Ledger, August 24, 1974, n.p.
150 U. S. News & World Report, (September 6, 1971), 82-83.
151 The Annual Report of General Dynamics Corporation describes the company as a diversified corporation consisting of fourteen operating divisions and subsidiaries engaged in both commercial and government work. Products of the fourteen divisions include aircraft, space hardware, telecommunication and data processing equipment, material resources and shipbuilding.
152 New York Times, December 15, 1963, III, 13.
153 Wall Street Journal, January 7, 1964, 9.
154 New York Times, January 1, 1964, 40.
155 United States House of Representatives, Status of Shipyards, II, 10666.
156 United States House of Representatives, Status of Shipyards, II, 10754.
157 General Dynamics Corporation, Annual Report, 1974. (St. Louis, 1974), 1,2. In order to accommodate the construction of the LNG's, new process and assembly lines had to be developed, two new shallow water building basins had to be designed and built, new fabricating shops as well as a giant 1,200 ton "Goliath" crane which will be used to place the aluminum spheres inside the LNG's once they are completed. See: South Shore Business Review, April 23, 1975, 11-15. Also: Quincy Patriot Ledger, May 2, 1975, n.p.
158 "From Steam to Nuclear Power," Quincy Sun, January 16, 1975, 10-A.
159 Congressman Hastings Keith, 12th Massachusetts Congressional District, Washington Report, (June, 1970), 2.
160 General Dynamics Corporation, Annual Report, 1974. (St. Louis, 1974), 1,2.
161 The Greenling, in training exercises off Bermuda in March, 1973 almost met the same end as Thresher. During a dive in waters almost three miles deep, Greenling, because of a faulty depth gauge came within 200 feet of being crushed. She was later drydocked at Portsmouth, New Hampshire for repairs on her instruments. See: Quincy Patriot Ledger, May 4, 1973, 4.
162 In 1973, Milwaukee underwent repairs at Fore River shipyard. Congressman James Burke of the 11th Massachusetts Congressional District was instrumental in securing a $1,105,998 Navy contract for the repair of the Milwaukee. See: Quincy Patriot Ledger, September 14, 1973, 1.
163 Kalamazoo began her career as the flagship of Rear-Admiral Julian Burke, Commander Service Force, U. S. Atlantic Fleet. Kalamazoo also holds the distinction of being the last naval vessel commissioned at the Boston Navy yard which was phased out by the Pentagon in 1973. This historic yard, since August of 1800, had witnessed the commissioning of some 500 Navy vessels, many of which were built at Fore River shipyard. See: Quincy Patriot Ledger, August 13, 1973, 16.
164 Quincy Patriot Ledger, February 4, 1975, n.p.
165 General Dynamics Corporation, Annual Report, 1974. (St. Louis, 1974), 21.
166 What is largely responsible for cost-overruns are repressive Navy cost-control policies, unreliable Navy cost-estimates, changes in ship design and materials during construction, tardy bill-payments practices and the like. For these reasons, as cited above, many private American shipyards are refusing Navy work.
167 The dock landing ships, when fully loaded, displace about 13,650 tons. The vessel is designed to carry heavy landing craft, combat vehicles, and a limited number of troops. During amphibious assaults the dock landing ship can move vehicles rapidly from her decks. One of the unique features of the dock landing ship is a floodable well deck, similar to a drydock which allows a smaller vessel to sail into and out of her interior for cargo handling and repair purposes. The dock landing ships are part of the Pacific Fleet's Amphibious Force.
168 Mount Vernon, christened at Fore River shipyard on April 17, 1971, was the third of the LSD's to be constructed at the yard. She was commissioned on May 13, 1972 at the Boston Navy yard by Rear-Admiral Joseph C. Wylie, Commandant of the First Naval District, and after a shakedown cruise, joined the Pacific Fleet's Amphibious Force. See: Boston Globe, May 12, 1972, 6.
169 Quincy Patriot Ledger, May 28, 1975, 1.
170 The "Lykes ships" were named in honor of the U. S. Navy Seabees.
171 The barges built by General Dynamics major sub-contractor, Equitable Shipbuilding of New Orleans, Louisiana. See: Quincy Patriot Ledger, June 24, 1971, 10.
172 All 177 sections of the Doctor Lykes, the first of the Seabee Barge Ships to be constructed, were pre-fabbed off-site and put into place by cranes. The Squantum yard pioneered this kind of construction during World War I and Newport News in Virginia on a much smaller scale in the 1920's and 1930's.
173 The fins on the Seabee Barge Ships measured 1100' x 115'. See: Quincy Patriot Ledger, June 24, 1971, 10.
174 The nations recognizing Lykes Lines patent on the Seabee Barge Ships are the United States, England, Holland, West Germany, Japan and Italy. France and Belgium have issued patents on the barges only. See: Quincy Patriot Ledger, January 17, 1975, n.p. For details of the controversy revolving around the design of the Seabee Barge Ships see: Quincy Patriot Ledger, October 31, 1975, 10.
175 The Wall Street Journal was the first news service to report the filing of the suit in U.S. District Court in Boston. The suit lists the co-defendants as General Dynamics Corporation and its major sub-contractors, Rucker Company of Oakland, California, Western Gear Corporation of Lynwood, California, Philadelphia Gear Corporation of King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. Lykes Lines is seeking about $12.6 million in damages from the three major sub-contractors and about $17.9 million in damages from General Dynamics Corporation. See: Quincy Patriot Ledger, June 19, 1975, 1.
176 Christian Science Monitor, January 9, 1970, n.p. See also: Wall Street Journal, March 6, 1973, n.p.
177 Each of the modules at Fore River shipyard weigh between 150 and 200 tons. See: United States House of Representatives, Status of Shipyards, 10755, 10756.
178 President Lewis noted that if no new ship contracts came in, the 6,000 workers at the yard would lose their jobs. Lewis did allude to the six supertankers, worth $350 million which would help the yard to offset many of its problems but the supertanker contract would not begin to affect the status of the yard for at least a year. Local #5 President, Arthur Batson, was quoted at the time as saying that talk of a supertanker contract worth $350 million "did not merit discussion." See: Boston Globe, May 4, 1972, n.p. See also: Boston Globe, May 10, 1972, 10.
179 The Merchant Marine Act of 1970 increased construction subsidies and got the federal government involved once again in ship construction. The Act, hailed by Congressman Hastings Keith (12th Massachusetts Congressional District) as the "most significant piece of maritime legislation in over 40 years," called for the construction of 300 ships in the next ten years. Sponsored by Senator Warren Magnuson (D.-Washington) and Congressman Edward Garmatz (D.-Maryland), the Act increased construction subsidies and extended the subsidy system to the bulk carrier traffic for the first time. It also created incentives to hold down increased in labor costs, an aspect of the Act that was vigorously opposed by the maritime labor unions. See: Harrison Glennon, Jr., "The Shipping Act of 1970 and the Current Status of the Merchant Marine," a paper delivered at Mystic Seaport, Connecticut, August 5, 1971. See also: Jeffrey Safford, "Government Merchant Marine Policy and Sudsidies, 1936-1970," a paper delivered at Mystic Seaport, Connecticut, August 9, 1971; Lane C. Kendall, "Capable of Serving as a Naval and Military Auxiliary," Proceedings of the United States Naval Institute, (May, 1971).
180 Boston Globe, January 12, 1972, n.p. See also: Christian Science Monitor, January 13, 1972, 4.
181 The Federal Maritime Administration's approval of a 43% subsidy at a rate of $25,325,000 per ship, raised the total price of each ship to about $58,925,000. Congressman James Burke, Congressman Hastings Keith, Senator Edward Brooke and Senator Edward Kennedy played key roles in negotiating the federal subsidy on this six-supertanker contract, which, as has been indicated, failed to materialize due to lack of financing. See: Boston Globe, May 20, 1972, n.p.
182 Quincy Patriot Ledger, January 13, 1973, 1, 12.
183 Quincy Patriot Ledger, May 19, 1973, 1.
184 Congressman James Burke was informed by then Acting Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Hugh Witt, that repair work on the Puget Sound would be put off until 1975 and at that time General Dynamics would get the work if it bid Iow. See: Quincy Patriot Ledger, May 19, 1973, 12; Quincy Patriot Ledger, June 7, 1973, 1.
185 Quincy Patriot Ledger, June 1, 1973, 1.
186 According to Local #5 President, Arthur Batson, the decrease in the work force at the yard represented a drop of 800 over the 1300 man level at the yard at the time. See: Quincy Patriot Ledger, June 1, 1973, 1.
187 P. Takis Veliotis who became President and General Manager of Quincy Shipbuilding Division in 1973 had previously managed the Davie Shipbuilding facility in Quebec, Canada. Veliotis, upon the occasion of his becoming head of the Quincy Shipbuilding Division noted that the LNG program, which was one of his major achievements, would increase the work force ar the yard to about 5,500 when the program reached the peak point of construction. See: Quincy Patriot Ledger, November 27, 1973, 1, 15.
188 Quincy Patriot Ledger, May 23, 1973, 1.
189 Quincy Patriot Ledger, September 17, 1973, 1.
190 The actual contract price on the ARD-7 was $2,203,832. Congressman James Burke urged Secretary of the Navy, John Warner to include Fore River shipyard on all defense contract bid lists. See: Quincy Patriot Ledger, February 12, 1974, 1.
191 Quincy Patriot Ledger, March 14, 1974, 1. Also: Quincy Patriot Ledger, September 27, 1974, 1.
192 The failure to produce an "eleventh hour" settlement resulted because of disagreements between management and labor over length of contract, across the board pay increases, and the insistence on the part of management at the yard that workers in the production trades perform their own service trades. According to Local #5 President, Arthur Batson, the issue was money. Batson was quoted at the time as saying, "The company doesn't want to talk about money and that's what we're interested in right now." See: Boston Globe, March 15, 1974, 28. Also: Boston Globe, March 17, 1974, n.p.
193 Boston Globe, March 17, 1974, n.p.
194 According to William J. Usery, Jr., the issue of productivity was the chief roadblock in the long contract negotiations. For details on Usery's role in the negotiations see: Quincy Patriot Ledger, July 11, 1974, 1. Also: Boston Globe, July 14, 1974, 31.
195 General Dynamics Corporation, Annual Report, 1974, (St. Louis, 1974), 2.
196 It is interesting to note that on May 30, 1974 while the strike was in full swing, General Dynamics management ran a full page ad in the Quincy Patriot Ledger entitled, "Does the Quincy Strike Really Make Sense?" The ad contained a controversial letter from P. Takis Veliotis to all yard employees, dated May 28, 1974. According to the letter, the long-term future of the shipyard depended to a great extent on the resolution of the productivity issue. Veliotis noted, "The major issue is our insistence that wasteful and inefficient work practices need to be changed. We are going to stabilize the boom-and-bust hiring practices that seem to have become a tradition at Quincy and, at the same time, meet our obligations to produce good ships built on time and delivered at the price we promised to our customer... Today, with the rest of the free world as advanced as we are in technology and mass-production, we simply must work smarter if American companies are going to stay in business... "See: Quincy Patriot Ledger, May 30, 1974, 34.
197 Quincy Patriot Ledger, December 24, 1974, n.p.
198 Quincy Patriot Ledger, December 26, 1974, n.p. See also: Quincy Patriot Ledger, January 10, 1975, n.p. and, Quincy Sun, January 16, 1975, n.p.
199 Quincy Patriot Ledger, September 18, 1975, 16.
200 Thomas Watson, Exploring Life, 227. Watson noted, "There are not enough ships of one type being built in the entire country to keep a single yard going. The only way to use labor saving devices is to build the same kind of ship over and over. Then the U.S. could compete despite high labor costs."