United Dry Dock: USS Mahan (DD-364) – Staten Island NY

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The Destroyer USS Mahan DD-364 was built at the United Dry Docks shipyard in Staten Island, New York, between 1934 and 1935. Funding for the construction of the ship came from the Public Works Administration (PWA) project (see Kermit Project, New York City New Deal Navy Ships).

The Mahan was the lead ship of the US Navy’s Mahan-class destroyers. In 1941, it was at sea in the Pacific when Pearl Harbor was attacked; it searched for the enemy strike force without success. It was sunk in 1944 as a result of kamikaze attacks. The Mahan won five battle stars.

The United Dry Docks shipyard in Staten Island was formed in 1929 in a merger with Morse Dry Dock and Repair Company and several other companies. It was in service until 1963. The shipyard built two warships under the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933 (NIRA), which gave president Franklin D. Roosevelt the authority to build ships and an agency, the PWA, to pay for them.

Source notes

  1. Kermit Project, New York City New Deal Navy Ships, accessed June 4, 2018.
  2. Kermit project, The Destroyer USS Mahan DD-364, accessed June 5, 2018.
  3. McBride, William, Technological Change and the United States Navy, Johns Hopkins Studies in the History of Technology, Johns Hopkins Press (2011).  Within three weeks of his March [1933] inauguration, Roosevelt was encouraging naval rearmament as part of public works since approximatley 85 percent of shipbuilding costs went to labor ... In a complete break with precedent, naval construction now would be at the discretion of the president and begin by executive order. NIRA gave the president carte blanche to construct ships and procure aircraft as allowed under the terms of the naval treaties ... thirty-two ships [were] contracted by Roosevelt under NIRA...”
  4. Ickes, Harold, Back To Work: The Story of the PWA, The Macmillan Company (1935).
  5. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Executive Order 6174 on Public Works Administration, June 16, 1933: “During the ensuing 30 days the Federal Emergency Administrator of Public Works shall have authority to allot [a] sum ... not to exceed $238,000,000 to the Department of the Navy for the construction of certain vessels”.
  6. Federal Works Agency, Millions for Defense: Emergency Expenditures for National Defense, 1933-1940, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC (1940).
  7. Building the Navy's Bases in World War II: History of the Bureau of Yards and Docks and the Civil Engineer Corps, 1940-1946, Part II, The Continental Bases, Department of the Navy Bureau of Yards and Docks. The quotation above is just a sample, it's a massive document that deserves a thorough reading.
  8. Stobo, John R, The New Deal Yard, 1933-1937, Part 2, John R. Stobo, Columbia University, October 2004, which quotes from Thompson, H.I., Inspector of Naval Materiel, “Ships Under NIRA”, letter of 20 September 1933 to commandants of the Navy yards, RG181; National Archives, Northeast Region, New York, which lists each ship that was to be built and at which yards (CL = cruiser; DD = destroyer; PG = gunboat; CV carrier):

Project originally submitted by Frank da Cruz on June 6, 2018.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

United Dry Docks
Staten Island, NY

Location notes: General location marker

Coordinates: 40.6409853, -74.119026

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