The California Shipbuilding Corporation at Terminal Island, Los Angeles,
was another of the nine shipyards approved in early 1941 and from which
it was estimated that 260 ships would flow from their 65 ways in two
This yard, generally known as 'Calship,' was the third emergency yard on
the West Coast and was managed by Henry Kaiser and his associates.
Situated on land owned by the local ports authority, it was originally
planned with eight ways but this figure was soon raised to fourteen as
the yard expanded along the Cerritos Channel, which connects the port of
Los Angeles with the port of Long Beach.
Records for speed were achieved after the yard had expanded and was
remodeled. The monthly quota of ship deliveries, set at twelve, was
exceeded by June 1942 and substantially exceeded during every month of
1943. One of the vagaries of supply and demand was that while the
contracts urged builders to deliver as many ships as possible, the
Maritime Commission was endeavoring to impose restraint due to a ten
percent shortage of steel, this shortage in some measure being brought
about by the Commission's own revised figures of ship output that had
already been lowered due to the earlier lack of steel.
In an effort to improve welding methods, Calship developed special
welding procedures. Although the sequence of welding plates and
sections was difficult to plan, it was believed these sequences were
connected with the 'locked-in' stresses - the possible cause of some
fractures. However, the experts were to hold a very different theory to
this a few years later.
This shipyard supplied the nucleus management required to establish the
Marinship yard, and early fabrication for Marinship was performed at the
Suggestions from the personnel of all shipyards for improving efficiency
gave large savings to the Commission and Calship ranked third in the
scale of total savings.
At the end of the war Calship was paid $25 million and given title to all
its yard facilities, which in 1941 was estimated to cost $10
million but which in actual fact cost some $27 million. In return
they undertook to restore the property to the condition called for in
Liberty ship output: 306 vessels at an average cost of $1,858,000 each,
plus 30 Liberty tankers.
|USMC Numbers||Yard Numbers|
|295-300 ||50-55 |
|631-739 ||56-164 |
|1632-1691 ||165-224 |
|1854-1879 ||225-250 |
|2225-2230 ||251-256 |
|1910-1915 ||257-262 |
World War II Construction Records of California Shipbuilding Corporation
See copies of Calship Log, published by the California Shipbuilding Corporation