Federal Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Annex - Port Newark
History of Federal – Port Newark
The Federal Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Annex at Port Newark was a short-lived extension of Federal’s main facility in Kearny. The site was formerly the Submarine Boat Company, according to Brian J. Cudahy’s “Box Boats: How Container Ships Changed The World.” Federal took over the site in January of 1942 and a contract from the U.S. Navy.
The Port Newark annex was used specifically to build landing crafts, escort ships, and Gearing class destroyers. There were a total of 52 escort vessels and 12 destroyers built at the facility during the war but several were finished at other facilities before being commissioned. Most shipbuilding operations ceased when World War II ended. The site is vacant today.
Federal Port Newark and Asbestos Exposure
Working at a Navy shipyard during World War II was almost as deadly as fighting in the war itself. The combat death rate for military personnel was about 18 per 1,000, while 14 per 1,000 shipyard workers ultimately succumbed to some sort of asbestos-related disease.
Navy shipyards provided thousands of workers with steady, relatively high-salaried jobs during a time when the country was still recovering from the Great Depression. Federal Shipbuilding and Dry Dock employed more than 52,000 workers at the Kearny location alone during the war, and thousands more at the Port Newark annex.
There have been several cases which the wives and families of former Federal Port Newark employees were exposed to asbestos when the fibers were brought home on workers’ clothing.
Navy veterans stationed on ships built at Federal Port Newark were also exposed to asbestos in a variety of ways. Firemen, shipfitters, electricians, mechanics, and boiler men were among the exposed personnel.
Asbestos exposure is the only known cause of mesothelioma. It can take 15-60 years for symptoms of asbestos exposure to become visible. See a doctor right away if you are coughing up blood, have chronic breathing problems, and/or experience dramatic weight loss in a short period of time.
What You Can Do If Diagnosed With Mesothelioma
Belluck & Fox, LLP, has over 20 years of experience litigating asbestos-related claims of former shipyard workers. Contact the firm immediately if you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma. Belluck & Fox, LLP, has won over $600 million in compensation for its clients and is consistently rank as one of the top law firms in the country by U.S. News and World Report.