Home : Home : Shipyards : Portsmouth : History : 20th Century History
20th Century
 
During World War I, the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNSY) work force expanded to nearly USS Albacore5,000 people. At this time, the Shipyard took on a new and important role--the construction of submarines--in addition to the overhaul and repair of surface vessels. World War II saw the civilian employment rolls swell to over 25,000. Over the course of World War II over 75 submarines were constructed at PNSY, with a record four submarines launched on one day. Following World War II, PNSY was the Navy’s center for submarine design and development. The research submarine, USS Albacore (shown right), with its revolutionary "tear drop" shaped hull and round cross section, set the standard for all subsequent submarine hull design world-wide. PNSY continued to build submarines until 1969, when the last submarine built in a public shipyard, the nuclear powered USS Sand Lance, was launched. Other key events include:


1905 - Russo-Japanese War ended when a Peace Treaty was negotiated and signed on the Shipyard.
1917 - First submarine built in a U.S. Naval Shipyard -- the L-8.
1937 - First U.S. Submarine built with an all-welded steel hull -- Snapper.
1937 - First live underwater explosion tests in the Shipyard.
1941 - First live underwater explosion tests, using operational submarines Tambor and Trout as targets.
1942 - First U.S. Submarine construction of high tensile steel -- Balao.
1944 - Established a record for building the greatest number of submarines during a calendar year -- 31 during 1944. Building time per submarine was reduced from 469 calendar days in 1941 to 173 days in 1944.
1944 - Launched a record four submarines in a single day, January 27. 
1947 - Pioneered in design of 20 submarines to Guppy types. First completed was Odax.
1948 - First snorkel installed in a U.S. Submarine -- Irex.
1951 - First new submarine after World War II incorporating lessons learned during the War -- Tang.
1953 - Launched first truly submersible hull developed using dirigible form, a breakthrough in hydrodynamic design -- Albacore - the world’s fastest submarine when built. It included the first remotely operated ballast control system and the first pilot control console.
1958 - First nuclear powered submarine built in a government shipyard -- Swordfish.
1961 - Completed submarine Abraham Lincoln, first Polaris missile submarine built at the Shipyard.
1967 - Engineering innovations in Jack to reduce operating noises and to increase power efficiency.
1968 - Launched deep diving submarine Dolphin.
1971 - Commissioned last new submarine constructed at the Shipyard -- Sand Lance. Took on new mission to overhaul, repair and refuel nuclear powered submarines.
1980 - State of the Art Traducer Repair Facility - Building 306 - completed.Trident Submarine Maine
1983 - New Inside Machine Shop - Building 300 - completed.
1988 - New Engineering facility - Building 86A - completed.
1995 - Hosted commissioning of Trident-class submarine -- Maine.
1998 - Honeywell mainframe retired after 25 years of support.
1999 - Navy housing gets "quality of life" upgrade.

19th Century History

21st Century History