Bath Iron Works


Bath Iron Works

Bath Iron Works (BIW) is a shipyard located on the Kennebec River in Bath, Maine. Since its foundation in 1884 by Thomas W. Hyde, Bath Iron Works has built private, commercial and military vessels. Its largest customer has historically been the United States Navy, for which the shipyard has built and sometimes designed battleships, frigates, cruisers and destroyers. Among the latest is the Sclass|Arleigh Burke|destroyer|4, which is among the most advanced surface warships in the world. BIW was purchased in 1995 by General Dynamics and is one of the largest private employers in Maine.

In World War II, the toughness of warships launched by Maine workers gave rise to the saying "Bath-built is best-built." [See Peniston, Sanders, Snow.]

History

Bath Iron Works was incorporated in 1884 by General Thomas W. Hyde, a native of Bath who served in the American Civil War. After the war, Hyde acquired a local shop involved in the manufacture of windlasses and other iron hardware used on the decks of the many wooden ships built in Bath's many shipyards. He expanded the business by improving existing practices, entering new markets, and sometimes by acquiring other existing businesses in town.

By 1882, Hyde Windlass was expanding with an eye to entering the new and growing business of iron shipbuilding, and on February 28, 1890 the recently-incorporated Bath Iron Works won its first contract for complete vessels, two iron gunboats for the U.S. Navy. The USS|Machias|PG-5|2, one of these 190-foot gunboats, was the first ship actually launched by the company. (Historian Snow (see "Further Reading") says the gunboat was commanded during World War I by Chester Nimitz, an assertion that is not supported by Nimitz's biographers.Fact|date=April 2007)

In 1892, the yard won its first commercial contract for a steel vessel, the 2,500-ton steel passenger steamer "City of Lowell". In the 1890s, the company built several yachts for wealthy sailors.

In 1899, General Hyde, suffering from the Bright's Disease that would kill him later that year, resigned from management of the shipyard, leaving his sons Edward and John in charge. That year the shipyard began construction of the USS|Georgia|BB-15|2, the only battleship to be built in Bath. The ship dominated the yard for five years until its launching in 1904, and was at times the only ship under construction. The yard faced numerous challenges because of the weight of armor and weapons. In sea trials, the "Georgia" averaged 19.26 knots (35.67 km/h) for four hours, making her the fastest ship in her class and the fastest battleship in the Navy.

The company continued to rely on Navy contracts, which provided 86% of the value of new contracts between 1905 and 1917. The yard also produced fishing trawlers, freighters, and yachts throughout the first half of the century.

At peak production during World War II (1943–1944), the shipyard launched a destroyer every 17 days.

In 1981, Falcon Transport ordered two tankers, the last commercial vessels built by BIW.

In 1988, the USS|Samuel B. Roberts|FFG-58, commissioned two years earlier at Bath, survived a mine explosion that tore a hole in its engine room and flooded two compartments. Over the next two years, BIW repaired the "Roberts" in unique fashion. The guided missile frigate was towed to the company's dry dock in Portland, Maine, and put up on blocks, where its damaged engine room was cut out of the ship. Meanwhile, workers in Bath built a 315-ton replacement. When it was ready, the module was floated south to Portland, placed on the dry dock, slid into place under the "Roberts," jacked up, and welded into place. [http://www.navybook.com/nohigherhonor/pic-ffg58repair.shtml] By surviving a hit that Naval Sea Systems Command engineers thought should have sunk her, the "Roberts" validated the penny-pinching design of the Sclass|Oliver Hazard Perry|frigate|4, the U.S. Navy's largest post-WWII class until the "Burkes" — and validated the Navy's against-the-odds decision to have picked BIW to design it.

In 2001, BIW wrapped up a four-year effort to build an enormous concrete platform, the Land Level Transfer Facility, for final assembly of its ships. Instead of being built on a sloping way so that they could slide into the Kennebec at launch, hulls were henceforth moved by rail from the platform horizontally onto a moveable dry dock. This greatly reduced the work involved in building and launching the ships. [http://www.gdbiw.com/company_overview/history/default.htm]

Notable ships built

*
** USS|Georgia|BB-15, liy1904
* Smith class destroyers
** USS|Flusser|DD-20 World War I
** USS|Reid|DD-21 World War I
* Paulding class destroyers
** USS|Paulding|DD-22 World War I - Rum Patrol
** USS|Drayton|DD-23 World War I
** USS|Trippe|DD-33 World War I - Rum Patrol
** USS|Jouett|DD-41 World War I - Rum Patrol
** USS|Jenkins|DD-42 World War I
* Cassin class destroyers
** USS|Cassin|DD-43 World War I - Rum Patrol
** USS|Cummings|DD-44 World War I - Rum Patrol
* O'Brien class destroyer
** USS|McDougal|DD-54 World War I - Rum Patrol
* Tucker class destroyer
** USS|Wadsworth|DD-60 World War I
* Sampson class destroyers
** USS|Davis|DD-65 World War I - Rum Patrol
** USS|Allen|DD-66Silverstone, Paul H. "U.S. Warships of World War II" Doubleday & Company (1968) p.103] World War I - Attack on Pearl Harbor
* Caldwell class destroyer
** USS|Manley|DD-74Silverstone, Paul H. "U.S. Warships of World War II" Doubleday & Company (1968) p.276] World War I - Guadalcanal Campaign - Operation Flintlock - Battle of Saipan - Philippines campaign (1944-45)
* Wickes class destroyers
** USS|Wickes|DD-75Fahey, James C. "The Ships and Aircraft of the United States Fleet" Ships and Aircraft (1939) p.17] World War I - Destroyers for Bases Agreement
** USS|Philip|DD-76 World War I - Destroyers for Bases Agreement
** USS|Woolsey|DD-77 World War I
** USS|Evans|DD-78 Destroyers for Bases Agreement
** USS|Buchanan|DD-131 Destroyers for Bases Agreement - St. Nazaire Raid
** USS|Aaron Ward|DD-132 Destroyers for Bases Agreement
** USS|Hale|DD-133 Destroyers for Bases Agreement
** USS|Crowninshield|DD-134 Destroyers for Bases Agreement
* Clemson class destroyers
** USS|Preble|DD-345Silverstone, Paul H. "U.S. Warships of World War II" Doubleday & Company (1968) p.212] Attack on Pearl Harbor - Guadalcanal Campaign
** USS|Sicard|DD-346 Attack on Pearl Harbor - Battle of Empress Augusta Bay
** USS|Pruitt|DD-347 Attack on Pearl Harbor
* Farragut class destroyer (1934)
** USS|Dewey|DD-349Silverstone, Paul H. "U.S. Warships of World War II" Doubleday & Company (1968) p.114] Attack on Pearl Harbor - Battle of the Coral SeaOftsie, R.A., RADM USN "The Campaigns of the Pacific War" United States Government Printing Office (1946) p.55] - Battle of Midway - Guadalcanal Campaign - Battle of the Eastern Solomons - Battle of the Philippine SeaTillman, Barrett "Clash of the Carriers" (2005) ISBN 978-0-451-21965-5 pp.301-306]
* Mahan class destroyers
** USS|Drayton|DD-366Silverstone, Paul H. "U.S. Warships of World War II" Doubleday & Company (1968) p.118] Battle of TassafarongaOftsie, R.A., RADM USN "The Campaigns of the Pacific War" United States Government Printing Office (1946) p.140] Philippines campaign (1944-45)
** USS|Lamson|DD-367 Battle of Tassafaronga - Philippines campaign (1944-45) - sunk in test "Able" of Operation Crossroads
* Somers class destroyers
** USS|Sampson|DD-394
** USS|Davis|DD-395
** USS|Jouett|DD-396 Invasion of Normandy
* Sims class destroyers
** USS|Sims|DD-409Silverstone, Paul H. "U.S. Warships of World War II" Doubleday & Company (1968) p.126] Battle of the Coral SeaOftsie, R.A., RADM USN "The Campaigns of the Pacific War" United States Government Printing Office (1946) p.54]
** USS|Hughes|DD-410 Battle of MidwayOftsie, R.A., RADM USN "The Campaigns of the Pacific War" United States Government Printing Office (1946) p.74] - Battle of Santa CruzOftsie, R.A., RADM USN "The Campaigns of the Pacific War" United States Government Printing Office (1946) p.122] - Naval Battle of GuadalcanalOftsie, R.A., RADM USN "The Campaigns of the Pacific War" United States Government Printing Office (1946) p.128] - Philippines campaign (1944-45)
* Gleaves class destroyers
** USS|Gleaves|DD-423 invasions of Sicily, Italy and Southern France
** USS|Niblack|DD-424 invasions of Sicily, Italy and Southern France
** USS|Livermore|DD-429Silverstone, Paul H. "U.S. Warships of World War II" Doubleday & Company (1968) p.129] invasions of North Africa and Southern France
** USS|Eberle|DD-430 invasions of North Africa and Southern France
** USS|Woolsey|DD-437 invasions of North Africa, Sicily and Italy
** USS|Ludlow|DD-438 invasions of North Africa, Sicily, Italy and Southern France
** USS|Emmons|DD-457Silverstone, Paul H. "U.S. Warships of World War II" Doubleday & Company (1968) p.132] invasions of North Africa, Normandy, Southern France and Okinawa
** USS|Macomb|DD-458 invasions of North Africa, Southern France and Okinawa
* Fletcher class destroyers
** USS|Nicholas|DD-449Silverstone, Paul H. "U.S. Warships of World War II" Doubleday & Company (1968) p.135] Guadalcanal campaign - Philippines campaign (1944-45) - Korean War - Vietnam War
** USS|O'Bannon|DD-450 Naval Battle of GuadalcanalOftsie, R.A., RADM USN "The Campaigns of the Pacific War" United States Government Printing Office (1946) p.127] Guadalcanal campaign - Naval Battle of Vella LavellaOftsie, R.A., RADM USN "The Campaigns of the Pacific War" United States Government Printing Office (1946) p.148] - Philippines campaign (1944-45) - Korean War - Vietnam War
** USS|Chevalier|DD-451 Guadalcanal campaign - Naval Battle of Vella Lavella
** USS|Strong|DD-467 Guadalcanal campaign
** USS|Taylor|DD-468 Guadalcanal campaign - Philippines campaign (1944-45) - Korean War - Vietnam War
** USS|De Haven|DD-469 Guadalcanal campaign
** USS|Conway|DD-507Silverstone, Paul H. "U.S. Warships of World War II" Doubleday & Company (1968) p.138] Guadalcanal campaign - Philippines campaign (1944-45) - Korean War
** USS|Cony|DD-508 Guadalcanal campaign - Philippines campaign (1944-45) - Battle of Surigao Strait - Korean War
** USS|Converse|DD-509 Guadalcanal campaign - Battle of Empress Augusta BayOftsie, R.A., RADM USN "The Campaigns of the Pacific War" United States Government Printing Office (1946) p.153] Battle of Cape St. GeorgeOftsie, R.A., RADM USN "The Campaigns of the Pacific War" United States Government Printing Office (1946) p.159] - Battle of the Philippine Sea - Philippines campaign (1944-45)
** USS|Eaton|DD-510 Guadalcanal campaign - Philippines campaign (1944-45)
** USS|Foote|DD-511 Guadalcanal campaign - Battle of Empress Augusta Bay - Philippines campaign (1944-45) - Battle of Okinawa
** USS|Spence|DD-512 Guadalcanal campaign - Battle of Empress Augusta Bay - Battle of Cape St. George - Battle of the Philippine Sea - Philippines campaign (1944-45)
** USS|Terry|DD-513 Guadalcanal campaign - Battle of the Philippine Sea - Battle of Iwo Jima
** USS|Thatcher|DD-514 Guadalcanal campaign - Battle of Empress Augusta Bay - Battle of the Philippine Sea - Philippines campaign (1944-45) - Battle of Okinawa
** USS|Anthony|DD-515 Guadalcanal campaign - Battle of the Philippine Sea - Battle of Okinawa
** USS|Wadsworth|DD-516 Guadalcanal campaign - Battle of the Philippine Sea - Philippines campaign (1944-45) - Battle of Okinawa
** USS|Walker|DD-517 Philippines campaign (1944-45) - Battle of Okinawa - Korean War - Vietnam War
** USS|Abbot|DD-629Silverstone, Paul H. "U.S. Warships of World War II" Doubleday & Company (1968) p.141] Philippines campaign (1944-45)
** USS|Braine|DD-630 Battle of the Philippine Sea - Philippines campaign (1944-45) - Battle of Okinawa
** USS|Erben|DD-631 Philippines campaign (1944-45) - Battle of Okinawa - Korean War
** USS|Hale|DD-642 Philippines campaign (1944-45) - Battle of Okinawa
** USS|Sigourney|DD-643 Guadalcanal campaign - Philippines campaign (1944-45) - Battle of Surigao Strait
** USS|Stembel|DD-644 Philippines campaign (1944-45) - Battle of Okinawa - Korean War
** USS|Caperton|DD-650 Battle of the Philippine Sea - Philippines campaign (1944-45)
** USS|Cogswell|DD-651 Battle of the Philippine Sea - Philippines campaign (1944-45) - Vietnam War
** USS|Ingersoll|DD-652 Philippines campaign (1944-45) - Vietnam War
** USS|Knapp|DD-653 Battle of the Philippine Sea - Philippines campaign (1944-45)
** USS|Remey|DD-688Silverstone, Paul H. "U.S. Warships of World War II" Doubleday & Company (1968) p.143] Battle of Saipan - Philippines campaign (1944-45) - Battle of Surigao Strait - Battle of Okinawa
** USS|Wadleigh|DD-689 Battle of Saipan
** USS|Norman Scott|DD-690 Battle of Saipan
** USS|Mertz|DD-691 Philippines campaign (1944-45)
* Allen M. Sumner class destroyers
** USS|Barton|DD-722Silverstone, Paul H. "U.S. Warships of World War II" Doubleday & Company (1968) pp.146-7] Invasion of Normandy - Philippines campaign (1944-45) - Korean War
** USS|Walke|DD-723 Invasion of Normandy - Philippines campaign (1944-45) - Battle of Okinawa - Korean War - Vietnam War
** USS|Laffey|DD-724 Invasion of Normandy - Philippines campaign (1944-45) - Battle of Okinawa - Korean War - preserved National Historic Landmark in Charleston, South Carolina
** USS|O'Brien|DD-725 Invasion of Normandy - Philippines campaign (1944-45) - Korean War - Vietnam War
** USS|Meredith|DD-726 Invasion of Normandy
** USS|De Haven|DD-727 Philippines campaign (1944-45) - Battle of Okinawa - Korean War
** USS|Mansfield|DD-728 Philippines campaign (1944-45) - Korean War - Vietnam War
** USS|Lyman K. Swenson|DD-729 Philippines campaign (1944-45) - Battle of Okinawa - Korean War - Vietnam War
** USS|Collett|DD-730 Philippines campaign (1944-45) - Korean War
** USS|Maddox|DD-731 Battle of Okinawa - Korean War - Gulf of Tonkin Incident - Vietnam War
** USS|Hyman|DD-732 Battle of Okinawa - Korean War
** USS|Mannert L. Abele|DD-733 Battle of Okinawa
** USS|Purdy|DD-734 Battle of Okinawa - Korean War
** USS|Robert H. Smith|DM-23 Battle of Okinawa
** USS|Thomas E. Fraser|DM-24 Battle of Okinawa
** USS|Shannon|DM-25 Battle of Okinawa
** USS|Harry F. Bauer|DM-26 Battle of Okinawa
** USS|Adams|DM-27 Battle of Okinawa
** USS|Tolman|DM-28 Battle of Okinawa
** USS|Drexler|DD-741 Battle of Okinawa
* Gearing class destroyers
** USS|Frank Knox|DD-742Silverstone, Paul H. "U.S. Warships of World War II" Doubleday & Company (1968) p.148] World War II - Korean War - Vietnam War
** USS|Southerland|DD-743 World War II - Korean War - Vietnam War
** USS|Chevalier|DD-805Silverstone, Paul H. "U.S. Warships of World War II" Doubleday & Company (1968) p.150] Korean War
** USS|Higbee|DD-806 World War II - Korean War - Vietnam War - Battle of Dong Hoi
** USS|Benner|DD-807 World War II - Vietnam War
** USS|Dennis J. Buckley|DD-808 Vietnam War
** USS|Agerholm|DD-826 Korean War - Vietnam War
** USS|Robert A. Owens|DD-827
** USS|Timmerman|DD-828 (Experimental ship completed with aluminum superstructure and high-horsepower engines)
** USS|Myles C. Fox|DD-829 Vietnam War
** USS|Everett F. Larson|DD-830 Vietnam War
** USS|Goodrich|DD-831
** USS|Hanson|DD-832 Korean War - Vietnam War
** USS|Herbert J. Thomas|DD-833 Korean War - Vietnam War
** USS|Turner|DD-834
** USS|Charles P. Cecil|DD-835 Vietnam War
** USS|George K. MacKenzie|DD-836 Korean War - Vietnam War
** USS|Sarsfield|DD-837 Vietnam War
** USS|Ernest G. Small|DD-838 Korean War
** USS|Power|DD-839 Vietnam War
** USS|Glennon|DD-840
** USS|Noa|DD-841 Recovered astronaut John Glenn in Friendship 7 on 20 February 1962
** USS|Fiske|DD-842 Korean War - Vietnam War
** USS|Warrington|DD-843
** USS|Perry|DD-844 Vietnam War
** USS|Bausell|DD-845 Korean War - Vietnam War
** USS|Ozbourn|DD-846 Korean War - Vietnam War
** USS|Robert L. Wilson|DD-847 Vietnam War
** USS|Witek|DD-848Silverstone, Paul H. "U.S. Warships of World War II" Doubleday & Company (1968) p.152] (no overseas deployments - used exclusively for ASW research)
** USS|Richard E. Kraus|DD-849 Vietnam War
* Dealey class destroyer escorts
** USS|Dealey|DE-1006Blackman, Raymond V. B. "Jane's Fighting Ships" (1970/71) p.458]
** USS|Cromwell|DE-1014
** USS|Hammerberg|DE-1015
* Mitscher class destroyers
** USS|Mitscher|DL-2Blackman, Raymond V. B. "Jane's Fighting Ships" (1970/71) p.435]
** USS|John S. McCain|DL-3 Vietnam War
* Forrest Sherman class destroyers
** USS|Forrest Sherman|DD-931Blackman, Raymond V. B. "Jane's Fighting Ships" (1970/71) p.439]
** USS|John Paul Jones|DD-932
** USS|Barry|DD-933 Vietnam War
** USS|Manley|DD-940 Vietnam War
** USS|Dupont|DD-941
** USS|Bigelow|DD-942 Vietnam War
** USS|Hull|DD-945 Vietnam War
** USS|Edson|DD-946 Vietnam War
** USS|Somers|DD-947 Vietnam War
* Charles F. Adams class destroyers
** USS|Charles F. Adams|DDG-2Blackman, Raymond V. B. "Jane's Fighting Ships" (1970/71) p.437]
** USS|John King|DDG-3
** USS|Sampson|DDG-10
** USS|Sellers|DDG-11
* Farragut class destroyers
** USS|Dewey|DDG-45Blackman, Raymond V. B. "Jane's Fighting Ships" (1970/71) p.432]
** USS|Preble|DDG-46 Vietnam War
* Leahy class cruisers
** USS|Leahy|CG-16Blackman, Raymond V. B. "Jane's Fighting Ships" (1970/71) p.431]
** USS|Harry E. Yarnell|CG-17
** USS|Worden|CG-18 Vietnam War
* Belknap class cruisers
** USS|Belknap|CG-26Blackman, Raymond V. B. "Jane's Fighting Ships" (1970/71) p.429]
** USS|Josephus Daniels|CG-27
** USS|Wainwright|CG-28 Vietnam War
** USS|William H. Standley|CG-32 Vietnam War
** USS|Biddle|CG-34 Vietnam War
* Garcia class frigate
** USS|Glover|FF-1098Blackman, Raymond V. B. "Jane's Fighting Ships" (1970/71) p.456]
* Brooke class frigates
** USS|Talbot|FFG-4Blackman, Raymond V. B. "Jane's Fighting Ships" (1970/71) p.452]
** USS|Richard L. Page|FFG-5
** USS|Julius A. Furer|FFG-6
*Sclass|Oliver Hazard Perry|frigates
**USS|Oliver Hazard Perry|FFG-7Clement, Janet Ann, LT USNR "The FFG-7 Program: A Shipbuilding Status Report" "United States Naval Institute Proceedings" (June 1981) p.109]
**USS|McInerney|FFG-8
**USS|Clark|FFG-11
**USS|Samuel Eliot Morison|FFG-13
**USS|Estocin|FFG-15
**USS|Clifton Sprague|FFG-16
**USS|Flatley|FFG-21
**USS|Jack Williams|FFG-24
**USS|Gallery|FFG-26
**USS|Stephen W. Groves|FFG-29
**USS|John L. Hall|FFG-32
**USS|Aubrey Fitch|FFG-34
**USS|Underwood|FFG-36
**USS|Doyle|FFG-39
**USS|Klakring|FFG-42
**USS|Dewert|FFG-45
**USS|Nicholas|FFG-47
**USS|Robert G. Bradley|FFG-49
**USS|Taylor|FFG-50
**USS|Hawes|FFG-53
**USS|Elrod|FFG-55
**USS|Simpson|FFG-56, launched August 31,1984. One of four U.S. Navy ships in commission to have sunk an enemy vessel with shipboard weaponry, the others being the USS|Constitution, USS|Porter|DDG-78, and USS|Carter Hall|LSD-50,
**USS|Samuel B. Roberts|FFG-58, launched in 1984 and repaired after being punctured by a mine in 1988
**USS|Kauffman|FFG-59
*s
** USS|Arleigh Burke|DDG-51, commissioned July 4, 1991.
** USS|Bainbridge|DDG-96, liy2005
** USS|Gridley|DDG-101, liy2006
** USS|Sterett|DDG-104
** USS|Howard|DDG-83
*s
** USS|Zumwalt|DDG-1000
** DDG-1001

External links

* [http://www.gdbiw.com/ Bath Iron Works website]
* [http://www.navybook.com/nohigherhonor/pic-ffg58repair.shtml USS "Samuel B. Roberts" (FFG-58) under repair at BIW's Portland dry dock]

Further reading

*cite book| author=Eskew, Garnett Laidlaw| title=Cradle of Ships | location=New York | publisher=Putnam| year=1958| id=ASIN B0007E5VY4 (First general history of BIW.)
*cite book
author=Peniston, Bradley
title= [http://www.navybook.com/nohigherhonor No Higher Honor: Saving the USS Samuel B. Roberts in the Persian Gulf] |location=Annapolis | publisher=Naval Institute Press
year=2006
id=ISBN 1-59114-661-5
(Describes the construction of a "Perry"-class guided missile frigate, the training of its precommissioning crew at BIW, and the complex repair job that returned it to duty.)
*cite book| author=Sanders, Michael S.| title=The Yard: Building a Destroyer at the Bath Iron Works | location=New York | publisher=HarperCollins| year=1999| id=ISBN 0-06-019246-1 (Describes the construction of USS Donald Cook (DDG-75) at BIW.)
*cite book| author=Snow, Ralph L.| title=Bath Iron Works: The First Hundred Years | location=Bath, Maine | publisher=Maine Maritime Museum| year=1987| id=ISBN 0-9619449-0-0 (The definitive work on BIW from 1884-1987.)
*cite book| author=Toppan, Andrew| title=Bath Iron Works (Images of America: Maine) | location=South Carolina | publisher=Arcadia Publishing| year=2002| id=ISBN 0-7385-1059-9 (Historic and contemporary photos of BIW.)

References


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