Boston Navy Yard, MA | CruiseBe
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Boston Navy Yard


Southeast of Chelsea Street, Charlestown, Boston, Massachusetts
History and museums
,
navy yard, historic site, landmark



The Boston Navy Yard, originally called the Charlestown Navy Yard and later Boston Naval Shipyard, was one of the oldest shipbuilding facilities in the United States Navy. Established in 1801, it was officially closed as an active naval installation on July 1, 1974, and the 30-acre (120,000 m2) property was transferred to the National Park Service to be part of Boston National Historical Park. Enough of the yard remains in operation to support the USS Constitution. The USS Cassin Young, a World War II-era destroyer serving as a museum ship, is also berthed here, and there is also a dock which serves as a stop on the MBTA Boat. Among people in the area and the National Park Service, it is still known as the Charlestown Navy Yard.

The South Boston Naval Annex was located along the waterfront in South Boston.

 

History

The earliest naval shipbuilding activities in Charlestown, Massachusetts, began during the American Revolutionary War. The land for the Charlestown Navy Yard was purchased in 1800 and the yard itself established shortly thereafter. The yard built the first U.S. ship of the line, USS Independence, but was primarily a repair and storage facility until the 1890s, when it started to build steel ships for the "New Navy". By then, it was called the Boston Navy Yard.

On June 24, 1833, the staff and dignitaries including Vice President Martin Van Buren, Secretary of War Lewis Cass, Secretary of the Navy Levi Woodbury, and many Massachusetts officials, witnessed "one of the great events of American naval history": the United States frigate Constitution was inaugurating the first naval drydock in New England designed by prominent civil engineer Loammi Baldwin, Jr.

The ropewalk supplied cordage used in the Navy from the time it opened in 1837 until the Yard closed in 1975. After the Civil War, the Yard was downgraded to an Equipment and Recruit Facility.

In the 1890s, the Navy began expanding and that brought new life to the Yard. In the first years of the 20th century, a second drydock was added. During WWII, it worked to fix British ships damaged by the Germans. On September 27, 1941—Liberty Fleet Day—Boston launched two destroyers, the USS Cowie and the USS Knight. In November 1941, Boston was one of four United States naval shipyards selected to build Captain class frigates as Lend-Lease for the Royal Navy. Since the United States was at war when these ships were completed, some were used by the United States Navy as destroyer escorts. In the post war period, the shipyard modified World War II ships for Cold War service through Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization (FRAM). The Korean War and Vietnam War did not bring much work to the Yard since it was so far from the fighting.

Ships built at Boston Navy Yard

  • 1814: USS Independence (90-gun ship of the line) War of 1812; Mexican–American War
  • 1825: USS Boston (18-gun sloop of war) Mexican–American War
  • 1827: USS Warren (20-gun sloop of war) Mexican–American War
  • 1827: USS Falmouth (24-gun sloop of war) Mexican–American War
  • 1837: USS Cyane (22-gun sloop of war) Mexican–American War; American Civil War
  • 1839: USS Marion (16-gun sloop of war) American Civil War
  • 1842: USS Cumberland (50-gun frigate) Mexican–American War; Battle of Hampton Roads
  • 1844: USS Plymouth (22-gun sloop of war) Perry Expedition
  • 1848: USS Vermont (74-gun ship of the line) American Civil War
  • 1858: USS Hartford (22-gun sloop of war) Battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philip; Battle of Mobile Bay
  • 1859: USS Narragansett (5-gun sloop of war) American Civil War
  • 1861: USS Wachusett (10-gun sloop of war) Peninsula Campaign; Bahia incident
  • 1861: USS Housatonic (11-gun sloop of war) Sinking of USS Housatonic
  • 1861: USS Maratanza (side-wheel steam gunboat) Peninsula Campaign; First Battle of Fort Fisher; Second Battle of Fort Fisher
  • 1862: USS Canandaigua (6-gun sloop of war) American Civil War
  • 1862: USS Tioga (side-wheel steam gunboat) American Civil War
  • 1862: USS Genesee (side-wheel steam gunboat) American Civil War
  • 1863: USS Monadnock (monitor) First Battle of Fort Fisher; Second Battle of Fort Fisher
  • 1863: USS Pequot (gunboat) First Battle of Fort Fisher; Second Battle of Fort Fisher
  • 1863: USS Saco (gunboat) American Civil War
  • 1863: USS Winooski (side-wheel steam gunboat)
  • 1864: USS Ammonoosuc (frigate)
  • 1865: USS Guerriere (sloop of war)
  • 1866: USS Worcester (sloop of war)
  • 1867: USS Nantasket (sloop of war)
  • 1868: USS Alaska (sloop of war) Battle of Ganghwa
  • 1876: USS Vandalia (sloop of war) 1889 Apia cyclone
  • 1916: USS Bridge (Combat stores ship) World War I; World War II
  • 1919: USS Brazos (Fleet oiler) World War II
  • 1920: USS Neches (Fleet oiler) World War II
  • 1921: USS Pecos (Fleet oiler) World War II
  • 1934: USS MacDonough (DD-351) (Farragut-class destroyer) Attack on Pearl Harbor; Battle of Savo Island; Battle of the Philippine Sea; Battle of Leyte Gulf
  • 1935: USS Monaghan (DD-354) (Farragut-class destroyer) Attack on Pearl Harbor; Battle of the Coral Sea; Battle of Midway; Battle of the Komandorski Islands; Battle of the Philippine Sea
  • 1935: USS Case (DD-370) (Mahan-class destroyer) Attack on Pearl Harbor; Battle of the Philippine Sea
  • 1935: USS Conyngham (DD-371) (Mahan-class destroyer) Attack on Pearl Harbor; Battle of Midway; Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands; Operation Crossroads
  • 1936: USS Mugford (DD-389) (Benham-class destroyer) Attack on Pearl Harbor
  • 1936: USS Ralph Talbot (DD-390) (Benham-class destroyer) Attack on Pearl Harbor; Battle of Savo Island; Battle of Kolombangara; Battle off Cape Engaño; Operation Crossroads
  • 1938: USS Mayrant (DD-402) (Benham-class destroyer) Naval Battle of Casablanca; Operation Crossroads
  • 1938: USS Trippe (DD-403) (Benham-class destroyer) Allied invasion of Sicily; Invasion of Salerno; Operation Crossroads
  • 1939: USS O'Brien (DD-415) (Sims-class destroyer) Guadalcanal Campaign
  • 1939: USS Walke (DD-416) (Sims-class destroyer) Naval Battle of Guadalcanal
  • 1939: USS Madison (DD-425) (Benson-class destroyer) Battle of the Atlantic; Operation Dragoon
  • 1939: USS Lansdale (DD-426) (Benson-class destroyer) Battle of the Atlantic
  • 1940: USS Gwin (DD-433) (Gleaves-class destroyer) Doolittle Raid; Battle of Midway; Naval Battle of Guadalcanal; Battle of Kolombangara
  • 1940: USS Meredith (DD-434) (Gleaves-class destroyer) Doolittle Raid
  • 1940: USS Wilkes (DD-441) (Gleaves-class destroyer) Naval Battle of Casablanca
  • 1940: USS Nicholson (DD-442) (Gleaves-class destroyer) invasion of Salerno; Battle for Leyte Gulf
  • 1941: USS Forrest (DD-461) (Gleaves-class destroyer) Operation Torch; Normandy invasion; Operation Dragoon; Battle of Okinawa
  • 1941: USS Fitch (DD-462) (Gleaves-class destroyer) Operation Torch; Normandy invasion; Operation Dragoon
  • 1941: USS Cowie (DD-632) (Gleaves-class destroyer) Operation Torch; Allied invasion of Sicily
  • 1941: USS Knight (DD-633) (Gleaves-class destroyer) Operation Torch; Allied invasion of Sicily; Allied invasion of Italy
  • 1941: USS Doran (DD-634) (Gleaves-class destroyer) Operation Torch; Allied invasion of Sicily
  • 1941: USS Earle (DD-635) (Gleaves-class destroyer) Allied invasion of Sicily
  • 1942: USS Guest (DD-472) (Fletcher-class destroyer) Battle of the Philippine Sea; Battle of Iwo Jima; Battle of Okinawa
  • 1942: USS Bennett (DD-473) (Fletcher-class destroyer) Battle of Iwo Jima; Battle of Okinawa
  • 1942: USS Fullam (DD-474) (Fletcher-class destroyer) Battle of the Philippine Sea; Battle of Iwo Jima; Battle of Okinawa
  • 1942: USS Hudson (DD-475) (Fletcher-class destroyer) Battle of the Philippine Sea; Battle of Iwo Jima; Battle of Okinawa
  • 1942: USS Hutchins (DD-476) (Fletcher-class destroyer) Battle of Surigao Strait; Battle of Iwo Jima; Battle of Okinawa
  • 1942: USS Charrette (DD-581) (Fletcher-class destroyer) Battle of the Philippine Sea; Battle for Leyte Gulf
  • 1942: USS Conner (DD-582) (Fletcher-class destroyer) Battle of the Philippine Sea; Battle for Leyte Gulf
  • 1942: USS Hall (DD-583) (Fletcher-class destroyer) Philippines campaign; Battle of Iwo Jima; Battle of Okinawa
  • 1943: USS Halligan (DD-584) (Fletcher-class destroyer) Philippines campaign; Battle of Iwo Jima; Battle of Okinawa
  • 1943: USS Haraden (DD-585) (Fletcher-class destroyer) Philippines campaign
  • 1943: USS Newcomb (DD-586) (Fletcher-class destroyer) Battle of Surigao Strait; Battle of Iwo Jima; Battle of Okinawa
  • 1943: USS Bennion (DD-662) (Fletcher-class destroyer) Battle of Leyte; Battle of Iwo Jima; Battle of Okinawa
  • 1943: USS Heywood L. Edwards (DD-663) (Fletcher-class destroyer) Battle of Surigao Strait; Battle of Iwo Jima; Battle of Okinawa
  • 1943: USS Richard P. Leary (DD-664) (Fletcher-class destroyer) Battle of Surigao Strait; Battle of Iwo Jima; Battle of Okinawa
  • 1942: HMS Bayntun (Captain-class frigate) shared credit for sinking U-757, U-1279, U-989 & U-1278
  • 1942: HMS Bazely (Captain-class frigate) shared credit for sinking U-648, U-600 & U-636
  • 1942: HMS Berry (Captain-class frigate) Battle of the Atlantic
  • 1942: HMS Blackwood (Captain-class frigate) shared credit for sinking U-648 & U-600
  • 1942: USS Evarts (DE-5) (Evarts-class destroyer escort) Battle of the Atlantic
  • 1942: USS Wyffels (DE-6) (Evarts-class destroyer escort) Battle of the Atlantic
  • 1943: USS Griswold (DE-7) (Evarts-class destroyer escort) shared credit for sinking I-39; Battle of Okinawa
  • 1943: USS Steele (DE-8) (Evarts-class destroyer escort) Pacific Theater of Operations
  • 1943: USS Carlson (DE-9) (Evarts-class destroyer escort) Battle of Okinawa
  • 1943: USS Bebas (DE-10) (Evarts-class destroyer escort) Battle of Okinawa
  • 1943: USS Crouter (DE-11) (Evarts-class destroyer escort) Battle of Okinawa
  • 1943: HMS Burges (Captain-class frigate) shared credit for sinking U-1063
  • 1943: USS Seid (DE-256) (Evarts-class destroyer escort) Battle of Okinawa
  • 1943: USS Smartt (DE-257) (Evarts-class destroyer escort) Battle of the Atlantic
  • 1943: USS Walter S. Brown (DE-258) (Evarts-class destroyer escort) Battle of the Atlantic
  • 1943: USS William C. Miller (DE-259) (Evarts-class destroyer escort) shared credit for sinking Japanese submarine I-55 (1944)
  • 1943: USS Cabana (DE-260) (Evarts-class destroyer escort) Pacific Theater of Operations
  • 1943: USS Dionne (DE-261) (Evarts-class destroyer escort) Pacific Theater of Operations
  • 1943: USS Canfield (DE-262) (Evarts-class destroyer escort) Pacific Theater of Operations
  • 1943: USS Deede (DE-263) (Evarts-class destroyer escort) Pacific Theater of Operations
  • 1943: USS Elden (DE-264) (Evarts-class destroyer escort) Pacific Theater of Operations
  • 1943: USS Cloues (DE-265) (Evarts-class destroyer escort) Battle of Okinawa
  • 1943: HMS Capel (Captain-class frigate) Battle of the Atlantic
  • 1943: HMS Cooke (Captain-class frigate) shared credit for sinking U-988 & U-214
  • 1943: HMS Dacres (Captain-class frigate) Normandy Invasion
  • 1943: HMS Domett (Captain-class frigate) shared credit for sinking U-988
  • 1943: HMS Foley (Captain-class frigate) shared credit for sinking U-538
  • 1943: HMS Garlies (Captain-class frigate) shared credit for sinking U-358
  • 1943: HMS Gould (Captain-class frigate) shared credit for sinking U-91 & U-358
  • 1943: HMS Grindall (Captain-class frigate) Battle of the Atlantic
  • 1943: HMS Gardiner (Captain-class frigate) Battle of the Atlantic
  • 1943: HMS Goodall (Captain-class frigate) Battle of the Atlantic
  • 1943: HMS Goodson (Captain-class frigate) Battle of the Atlantic
  • 1943: HMS Gore (Captain-class frigate) shared credit for sinking U-91 & U-358
  • 1943: HMS Keats (Captain-class frigate) shared credit for sinking U-1172 & U-285
  • 1943: HMS Kempthorne (Captain-class frigate) Battle of the Atlantic
  • 1943: HMS Kingsmill (Captain-class frigate) Normandy Invasion
  • 1943: HMS Lawford (Captain-class frigate) Normandy Invasion
  • 1943: HMS Louis (Captain-class frigate) shared credit for sinking U-445
  • 1943: HMS Lawson (Captain-class frigate) Battle of the Atlantic
  • 1943: HMS Pasley (Captain-class frigate) Battle of the Atlantic
  • 1943: HMS Loring (Captain-class frigate) Battle of the Atlantic
  • 1943: HMS Hoste (Captain-class frigate) Battle of the Atlantic
  • 1943: HMS Moorsom (Captain-class frigate) Battle of the Atlantic
  • 1943: HMS Manners (Captain-class frigate) shared credit for sinking U-1051
  • 1943: HMS Mounsey (Captain-class frigate) Battle of the Atlantic
  • 1943: HMS Inglis (Captain-class frigate) Battle of the Atlantic
  • 1943: HMS Inman (Captain-class frigate) Battle of the Atlantic
  • 1943: USS O'Toole (DE-527) (Evarts-class destroyer escort) Battle of the Atlantic
  • 1943: USS John J. Powers (DE-528) (Evarts-class destroyer escort) Battle of the Atlantic
  • 1943: USS Mason (DE-529) (Evarts-class destroyer escort) Battle of the Atlantic
  • 1943: USS John M. Bermingham (DE-530) (Evarts-class destroyer escort) Battle of the Atlantic
  • 1943: USS Edward H. Allen (DE-531) (John C. Butler–class destroyer escort) rescued crew of the SS Andrea Doria
  • 1943: USS Tweedy (DE-532) (John C. Butler–class destroyer escort)
  • 1943: USS Howard F. Clark (DE-533) (John C. Butler–class destroyer escort) Battle for Leyte Gulf; Battle of Okinawa
  • 1943: USS Silverstein (DE-534) (John C. Butler–class destroyer escort) Pacific Theater of Operations; Korean War
  • 1943: USS Lewis (DE-535) (John C. Butler–class destroyer escort) Pacific Theater of Operations
  • 1943: USS Bivin (DE-536) (John C. Butler–class destroyer escort) Pacific Theater of Operations
  • 1943: USS Rizzi (DE-537) (John C. Butler–class destroyer escort)
  • 1943: USS Osberg (DE-538) (John C. Butler–class destroyer escort)
  • 1945: USS Donner (LSD-20) (Casa Grande-class dock landing ship) Mercury-Redstone 2 recovery
  • 1945: USS Fort Mandan (LSD-21) (Casa Grande-class dock landing ship)
  • 1945: USS Tortuga (LSD-26) (Casa Grande-class dock landing ship) Korean War; Vietnam War
  • 1945: USS Whetstone (LSD-27) (Casa Grande-class dock landing ship) Korean War; Vietnam War
  • 1955: USS Wagner (DER-539) (John C. Butler–class destroyer escort)
  • 1955: USS Vandivier (DER-540) (John C. Butler–class destroyer escort)

Current use

The Yard closed after the Vietnam War. When ideas were floated for redevelopment of the yard, one popular idea was to have the yard turned into a construction yard for oil tankers. Ultimately, these plans fell through, and the site became part of the Boston National Historical Park. Its mission is, "to interpret the art and history of naval shipbuilding".

The Charlestown Navy Yard hosts many attractions. The fully commissioned USS Constitution and the museum ship USS Cassin Young (DD-793) are tied up at Pier 1 and open to the public. The Navy Yard also hosts the USS Constitution Museum. Dry Dock No. 1 is still used for ship maintenance for the Constitution and the Cassin Young. In May 2015, the Constitution entered the dry dock for three years of repairs.

The Yard is toward the north end of the Freedom Trail and is seen by thousands every year. The MBTA Boat stops at nearby Pier 3, providing easy visitor access to the Yard.




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