Thursday, May 23, 2019
California Shipbuilding Corp.-- Part 4: End of War, End of Calship
The Calship yard had workers from every corner of the United States, lured by work and good wages. Eventually the force here numbered some 40,000. Only 1% had had any shipbuilding experience before they came.
After the war, the U.S. Navy and Maritime Commission cancelled their contracts with Calship and the level of shipbuilding decreased. Calship closed in September 1945, after launching its last Victory Ship. It was "four years to the minute after the first slid into the water."
Calship ranks 49th among U.S. corporations in the value of World War II military production contracts.
In 1947 the Calship facility was taken over by National Metal & Steel Corporation which operated a scrap yard there. Fifty-five of the Liberty and Victory Ships that were built there were also scrapped there.
The surviving museum Victory ships SS American Victory and SS Lane Victory were built in the Calship yard. The SS American Victory is in Tampa, Florida, and the SS Lane Victory is in Los Angeles. They both are open to the public and sail occasionally.