Established on 12 June 1800 during the administration of President John Adams, the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is the oldest continuously operating shipyard in the United States Navy. It is situated on a cluster of conjoined islands called Seavey's Island in the Piscataqua River, whose swift tidal current prevents ice from blocking navigation to the Atlantic Ocean.
After averaging the completion of less than two submarines a year in the 1930s, the Portsmouth Navy Yard completed an astonishing thirty-two submarines in 1944 including the simultaneous launching of three submarines. The yard built seventy-nine submarines between 1941 and 1945, a fleet that collectively represented thirty-seven percent of the United States submarines built during the war and that was responsible for sinking over one third of the Japanese shipping sunk by United States submarines.
32 in`44 analyses the factors behind the yard's record setting submarine production that made such a significant contribution to the winning of the war.
About the Author
Rodney Watterson is a graduate of the US Naval Academy (BS), MIT (MS Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering and a Naval Engineer), and the University of New Hampshire (PhD History). During his thirty-year naval career he was involved with shipyards and the design, construction, and maintenance of submarines. Following his naval career, he worked for Textron Automotive Company for ten years in various management positions including plant manager. In retirement he has been pursuing his lifelong love of history, a path that has led to this work that marries that love with his extensive submarine, shipyard, and industrial management experience.
Rodney K. Watterson, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and MIT, was involved with shipyards and submarines throughout his thirty-year naval career. A resident of Hampton, NH, he holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of New Hampshire.