A quick walk through the Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyards Inc.1941

I have selected a small sample from the acclaimed 1941"Liberty Ship" photo essay by Alfred T Palmer. I selected the photographs he took between the ships berths, I feel this creates a more focused view of life around the liberty ships as opposed to the construction and loading addressed more fully in the entire essay collection. I hope that the presentation gives an impression of walking the docks, while the ships were being fabricated. The full collection can be accessed through the Library Of Congress.

Here are two members of the Liberty Fleet lying at anchor in the basin of a large Eastern shipyard of the Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyards Inc., Baltimore, Maryland. Of the two ships visible, the john Randolf was mined in the Denmark Strait 1942, later salvaged and hulked,before finally being scrapped 1952. The Richard Henry Lee survived the war before being Scrapped in 1965.

At ground level, between the ways of this large Eastern shipyard run tracks for flat cars carrying materials or sections to be hoisted onto the deck of ships under construction.

A flat car carrying materials to be hoisted onto the decks of ships under construction

Ships of the Liberty Fleet lying at anchor in the eastern basin of Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyards Inc., awaiting final fitting and rigging. Identified here is the Roger B Tanney which was torpedoed and lost in the South Atlantic 1943.

Two members of the Liberty Fleet, one the Francis Scott Key which survived the war and was finally scrapped in 1967, lying at anchor in the basin of an Eastern shipyard, awaiting final fitting and rigging. Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyards Inc., Baltimore, Maryland.

Lying at anchor in the basin of the Bethlehem Fairfield shipyard, awaiting final fitting and rigging, is the Charles Carrol, the ship survived the war and was not scrapped until 1971.

These flat cars loaded with prefabricated and assembled sections for ships under construction at a large Eastern yard are leaving nearby plant formerly used for the manufacture of Pullman cars.

4 comments:

Maureen said...

I find these fascinating as I didn't know the earlier history of Fairfield. I first saw the area in the late 80s when the remnants of the southern-mine workers were living in the shadow of the storage tanks.

Anonymous said...

My dad worked at Bethlehem -Fairfield Shipyard in 1942 & early 1943. He did mainly production work, but sometimes worked in the office marking time cards. He claimed they used an early computer to process them for payroll. We thought he was dreaming! Dad passed away this year at age 88. Cleaning his home, I found a bag containing all his pay stubs from the shipyard. The stub backs were marked IBM. Online I learned the shipyard did use an IBM "punch card" type computer. I noticed something else on those stubs - the long hours dad worked - up to 88 hours per week.Liberty ships transported two thirds of all war time cargo from the US - jeeps, tanks, ammo, even troops. In 1943 Dad joined the Army Air Corp. Originally to fly to Europe for combat duty he was instead transported by Liberty Ship! I'm proud of dad's military service & work helping build Liberty Ships. I don't know if this photo was taken by Arthur S. Siegel, but there are some neat B&W online photos of the shipyards taken by him that document those days of emergency wartime ship building very well.

Ed T said...

Where can these types of pictures be found . I am doing research for a WWII documentary on the Naval Armed Guard who served on the Liberty Ships. Great pictures.

Frank Hyland said...

Hi to one and all. My name is Francis Hyland from Kildare Ireland. From old family papers I found when my mother passed away in 2005 my Gran Uncle a Mr. Peter Lennox worked in the ship yards building the Liberty Ships. There is refrence to him recieving a citation from president Roosavelt for having overseeing the construction of a Liberty Ship in record time. He went on to establish his own ship building business in Florida and returned to visit his family in Ireland on a number of occasions during the 50ts.
I am looking to get in contact with his descendants. I am not sure of which ship yard he worked in. My information is vague so anybody out there with suggestions as to how I can progress this project I would be very appreciative. E mail ...frankhyland@gmail.com ......many thanks and Merry Christmas .