Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Constructing Destroyers at Norfolk Naval Shipyard-Part 1

Keel-laying ceremony for USS Helm (DD-388)
The museum was recently given two photo albums depicting the construction of the destroyers Bagley (DD-386), Blue (DD-387), and Helm (DD-388) at Norfolk Naval Shipyard-Portsmouth between 1936 and 1938. All three ships were built from funding provided by President Franklin Roosevelt's National Industrial Recovery Act, a controversial "New Deal" program designed to revitalize American manufacturing. All three warships had very active Naval careers during World War II.

The photos show the complete cycle of construction from the ceremonial keel laying to builders' trials. Here are a few of the pictures. More will be published later this week.

The finished product of Helm's bridge and deck house at one the Yard's manfacturing shops.

Hulls of Blue (left) and Helm (right). Notice the sign at the far right. It reminds workers that the ships were built under funding provided by the National Industrial Recovery Act.

Installing the bridge and deck house on the Helm's hull.

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