The Long Beach Naval Shipyard was located between San Pedro and Long Beach, California, just 20 miles south of Los Angeles International Airport. It began operations in April 1940 and closed in 1997. The Long Beach Naval Shipyard was instrumental for the U.S. Navy during World War II as well as after the war. For many years, the Long Beach Naval Shipyard was among the top ship repair facilities.

Long Beach Naval Shipyard History 

The Long Beach Naval Shipyard opened on April 7, 1940 as the Moreell Dry Dock facility. After World War II, the U.S. Navy converted the yard into the U.S. Naval Dry Docks at Roosevelt Base in California. In 1945, the name was changed to Terminal Island Naval Facility. In 1948, the name was again changed to Long Beach Naval Shipyard.

Long Beach Naval Shipyard’s Facility

The Long Beach Naval Shipyard encompassed 214 acres including 2.4 million square feet of covered building space. The shipyard’s portal crane capacity reached 67 tons and the floating crane capacity ranged from 25 to 112 tons. The yard even contained an enormous 374 foot floating crane, which surpassed 386 tons of capacity. Long Beach Naval Shipyard’s facility included:

  • 165 buildings
  • 3 graving docks
  • 5 industrial piers
  • 12,000 linear feet of ship berthing space

Long Beach Naval Shipyard’s Functions

During WWI and WWII, the Long Beach Naval Shipyard’s employees rebuilt and repaired damaged U.S. warships including destroyers, tankers, and cruisers. The Long Beach Naval Shipyard closed following WWII and reopened during the Korean War (January 1951). The shipyard’s 17,000 employees and innovative equipment performed various ship repair tasks including:

  • Rigging systems
  • Welding projects
  • Sandblasting
  • Wood working
  • Pipe fittings

The Long Beach Naval Shipyard was also responsible for repairing the Navy’s non-nuclear surface ships.

Asbestos at Long Beach Naval Shipyard

Asbestos, a fibrous mineral, was widely used in ship construction and repairs until the late 1970s. Because asbestos fibers are durable and fire-resistant, asbestos was ideal for many shipbuilding materials. Asbestos is dangerous when its fibers are released and inhaled. When inhaled, asbestos fibers remain permanently lodged in the lungs and can cause severe and fatal disease, such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, or lung cancer.

The Long Beach Naval Shipyard’s employees were unaware that exposure to high asbestos levels posed a threat. Additionally, the shipyard was poorly ventilated and shipyard workers did not wear protective clothing or respiratory equipment. As a result, many former Long Beach Naval Shipyard workers have become ill with asbestos-related illnesses, which may take up to 40 year to develop.

Asbestos Injuries at Long Beach Naval Shipyard – California

If you or a loved one has been injured by asbestos exposure while working at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard, please contact our experienced lawyers today to assess your legal rights.

Published November 17, 2011 by