Brooklyn Navy Yard, Brooklyn, NY

History of the Brooklyn Navy Yard

The U.S. Navy Yard in New York was authorized by President John Adams in 1801 and was one of the first five Navy shipyards established in the U.S. It was built in Brooklyn, NY, just east of an area known as The Battery in lower Manhattan, where British troops guarded New York City during the American Revolution. It was commonly referred to as the the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

It wasn’t until 1820 that the Navy Yard’s first ship, the USS Ohio, was launched. It was one of a fleet built in Brooklyn to stop pirate ships from entering U.S. waters. In 1837, the Navy Yard completed the first U.S. steam-powered warship, Fulton II. It built ships used in the Spanish-American War and later, to boost President Theodore Roosevelt’s “Great White Fleet” that announced the U.S. as a world power.

During the 20th century, the Brooklyn Navy Yard built ships to support the Navy during two world wars, including the USS Arizona. The Arizona was destroyed on December 7, 1941, in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii during the surprise attack by Japan that pushed the US into World War II.

The Navy Yard doubled in size during the war and housed the world’s largest dry docks and crane. The war ended aboard another Brooklyn-built ship, the USS Missouri, where Japan signed an unconditional surrender on September 2, 1945.

The Brooklyn Navy Yard shut down in 1966 along with 90 other military bases. Later, it became an industrial park with a civilian shipbuilding company. Today, it houses 330 industrial concerns including the largest film studio complex outside Hollywood.

Brooklyn Navy Yard and Asbestos

Asbestos was used throughout the ships built at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Asbestos is the only known cause for mesothelioma, a rare cancer that most often affects chest organs—particularly the lining of the lungs—and less often, the stomach. According to the American Cancer Society, the English government recognized a link between breathing in asbestos and lung scarring back in the 1920s.

The huge explosion of shipbuilding during World War II, however, exposed more workers than ever to asbestos. People who worked in shipbuilding are among the largest group diagnosed with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related disease, particularly in the lungs. There is no recognized safe level of asbestos exposure.

Airborne asbestos fibers can be inhaled and lodge in the lining of the lungs, causing scarring and cancer, including the incurable cancer mesothelioma. Mesothelioma symptoms can take decades to develop and the cancer is typically late stage when diagnosed, limiting treatment options.

What You Can Do If You Are Exposed To Asbestos

At virtually all shipyards in existence by the mid-20th century, ships built and replaced at the Brooklyn Navy Yard are known to have contained asbestos. Asbestos was used in equipment on the ships.

If you have been exposed to asbestos, understand that some of the symptoms may mimic minor colds or viruses. However, asbestos-related disease symptoms last longer. Contact your physician if you have these problems for more than a few days or a week:

  • Persistent coughing, particularly with blood
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest or abdominal pain
  • Night sweats
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fever
  • Fatigue

Mention that you worked with or near asbestos.

In addition, family members of workers exposed to asbestos may also be at risk for asbestos-related diseases. According to the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry, workers whose clothing became contaminated with asbestos dust or fibers carried them home, where others were exposed.

Belluck & Fox, LLP, is a nationally-recognized asbestos and injury law firm with decades of experience working with asbestos victims. The firm has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of those injured by asbestos.

If you were diagnosed with mesothelioma, Belluck & Fox can help you and your family. Contact us for a free case review to learn more.

Ships Repaired at Brooklyn Naval Yard

USS Active YTM-112
USS Adirondack AGC-15
USS Ahrens DE-575
USS Albany
USS Alexander Hamilton WPG-34
USS Antietam CV-36
USS Austin LPD-4

USS Bache DD-470
USS Benson DD-421
USS J.A. Bole DD-755
USS Bonne Homme Richard CV-31
USS Borum DE-790
USS Brooklyn CL-40

USS Calcaterra DE-390
USS Chambers DE-391
USS Champlin DD-601
USS Chara AKA-58
USS Cincinnati CL-6
USS Clark DD-361
USS Comanche CG
USS J.E. Connolly DE-450
USS Constellation CV-64
USS Cooper DD-695
USS Cowie DD-632
USS Cushing DD-797

USS Dahlgren DD-187
USS Dale DD-353
USS Davis DD-395
USS Davison DD-618
USS Dolphin SS-169
USS Duluth LPD-6
USS Durant DE-389

USS Edsall DE-129
USS H.J. Ellison DD-864 (Bayonne Annex)
USS Elmore DE-686
USS Enterprise CVN-65
USS Erie PG-50
USS Europa AP-177 (Bayonne Annex)
USS C.L. Evans DE-113
USS Evarts DE-5

USS Finnegan DE-307
USS Foss DE-59
USS Franklin CV-13
USS Franklin D. Roosevelt CV-42

USS Gantner DE-60
USS Gyatt DD-712 (Bayonne Annex)

USS Hamilton WPG-34
USS Helena CL-50
USS Hobby DD-610
USS Holder DE-401
USS Holder DE-401 (Bayonne Annex)
USS Honolulu CL-48
USS Hornet
USS Houston CL-81
USS Hull DD-350
USS Hurst DE-250

USS Independence CV-62
USS Indiana BB-58
USS Ingram DE-62
USS Iowa BB-61

USS Jamestown PG-55
USS John C. Spencer (USCG)
USS Juneau CL-52

USS Kearsarge CV-33
USS Kenosha
USS Kretchmer DE-329

USS Lansing DE-388
USS LaSalle LPD-3
USS Levant
LST 311-318
USS Lexington CV-16
USS Loy DE-160

USS Marblehead CL-12
USS Marchand DE-249
USS Matagorda AG-122
USS Mayrant DD-402
USS McGowan DD-678
USS Mellville AD-2
USS Menges DE-320
USS Merak AF-21 (Bayonne Annex)
USS Merrill DE-392
USS Mervine DD-489
USS Monitor LSV-5
USS Monroe DD-489
USS Morris

USS New Orleans CA-32
USS Niagara PG-52
USS North Carolina BB-55

USS Ogden LPD-5
USS O’Neil DE-188
USS Ordronoux DD-617
USS Oriskany CV-34

USS Parker DD-604
USS R.I. Payne DE-578
USS Pensacola CA-24
USS Pettit DE-255
USS Phelps DE-360
USS Phoebe MSC-199
PT’s 589-593 (Squadron 40)

USS Quick DD-490

USS Raleigh LPD-1
USS Renshaw DD-499
USS Richardson AP-118
USS Rolette AKA-99
USS William D. Rush DD-714

USS Sabine AO-25
USS Saratoga CV-60
SC 5-64 (Subchasers)
USS South Dakota
USS Spencer WPG-36
USS Seminole ATF-65
USS Shea DD-750 (DM-30, MMD-30)
USS Steinaker DD-863
USS Stern DE-187
USS Stribling DD-867
USS Sturtevant DD-240

USS Tarazed AF-13 (Bayonne Annex)
USS Taussig DD-746
USS Thornhill DE-195
USS Ticonderoga CV-14
USS Tillman DD-641
USS Tullahoma

USS Uhlman DD-687

USS Vance DE-387
USS Vancouver LPD-2
USS Vogelgesang DD-862

USS C.R. Ware DD-865
USS Wasp CV-18
USS Welles DE-628
USS Wilhoite DE-397
USS J.W. Wilke DD-800

YF-293 (Bayonne Annex)

Civilian Ships:

TT Brooklyn