HISTORY - In 1801, the nation’s first government-owned shipyard, known as the Southwark Yard, was built in Philadelphia, where the U.S. Navy was born. During World War II’s peak production, the Navy Yard employed as many as 47,000 workers. After operating for 120 years, launching approximately 50 warships, and repairing over 1,200 ships, the site was designated for closure in 1990. The Defense Base Closure and Realignment Act (BRAC) II closed the Philadelphia Naval Base in 1991, and BRAC IV (1995) closed the shipyard, except for a few remaining support facilities.
Photos source: Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center Exit
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