Oregon Shipbuilding Yards, c1943

Production of Liberty ships in support of the war effort was in full swing during this circa 1943 aerial view of the Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation shipyards in North Portland, just beyond St. Johns. The outfitting dock at center still remains, as well as a few of the buildings seen here. The shipyards delivered almost 500 Liberty, Victory and Attack Transports during WWII.

A2004-002.6712 Aerial view Oregon Shipyards St Johns 1943(City of Portland Archives)

9 thoughts on “Oregon Shipbuilding Yards, c1943

  1. For all that I have read about this period it still amazes me how quickly this nation mobilized and the incredible production they achieved. So I wonder how many of those ships ended up being broken up just a few miles down the river years later…

  2. The large while building with the circular driveway in the center-right of the photo was the Oregon Shipbuilding administration building which in 1948 became the 2nd campus of the Vanport Extension Center (apparently known as Vanport College by the students) after the Vanport flood destroyed the original campus. It remained there for four years until moving in 1952 to the Park Blocks to become Portland State Extension Center, then Portland State College and eventually Portland State University.

    You can see photos of the building in use by the college here on the PSU history page

  3. don’t know which ship yard but I remember my Father and Brother both worked at one. I remember being allowed to watch one of the first ships built being launched. My memory remembers the ship going on its side when it came down the skids but within minutes is straightened up. Was quite an amazing sight to see.

  4. It is interesting that the area to the north of the shipyard is completely inundated in this photo. Today the area is industrial land but in 1943 it appeared to be part of the flood plain, and at some point it was filled and developed

  5. The shipyard sat on what was originally William Gatton’s donation land claim. Everything north of the Ramsey land claim (Time Oil Rd.) is underwater. The Gatton family cemetery and Fred Ramsey’s headstone are located at the top of the s-curve, at the intersection of what is now called Burgard and Columbia.

  6. I have a disk from Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation. It has a plaque on the upper right side with name and number. I says: Property of the United States Government
    Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation.

    Any information on it and its value would be most appreciated.

  7. I love the history of the Liberty Ships, their yards and their success. I visited the Jerimiah Obrien and wished I had in some way been part of that era.

  8. Is it possible to get a record of accident at Oregon shipyards. My Father fell around 1943 and paralyzed for life.

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