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The Last Survivors of New York Shipbuilding Co.
  Last Revised: 31 October 2018

CVL-28 Cabot being scrapped
CVL-28  Cabot being scrapped in Brownsville, TX

The roster of surviving vessels built by New York Shipbuilding continues to shrink. 

Current survivors include three lightships, five Coast Guard cutters, one car float, the Savannah, and the carrier Kitty Hawk.

Of these 11 known remaining ships, the immediate future of only six can be considered reasonably secure: the two museum lightships, the historic Savannah, and the former USCG cutters owned by the Great Lakes Naval Museum, Liberty-Maritime Museum, and the Cutter Alert Preservation Team.

The Kitty Hawk is headed for the shipbreakers, to the dismay of a veterans group which had been organizing a museum bid. 

It's possible that one or more of the shipyard's unpowered minor vessels (car floats and cargo barges) is still in use along a river waterfront or quietly rusting away in something like the Staten Island boat graveyard. It's even possible that somewhere an LCT or LCI lumbers on as an island ferry or delivery truck. But if so, it would not appreciably slow the inexorable march toward industrial extinction, nor mitigate the history already lost: every submarine, every cruiser, every battleship, every destroyer, every light carrier, every tanker, every ocean liner.

June 2009 Update:  Two additions to the list, in the form of a pair of 125-foot Coast Guard cutters built in 1927. The Morris, formerly WSC-147, is in the hands of the Sea Scouts in Stockton CA. The Ewing, now known as Pacific Hunter, is in Seattle and up for sale. It's also come to our attention that the Alert, formerly WSC-127, sailed from San Francisco to Portland OR in 2006 under Captain (and new owner) Michael Stone.

July 2009 Update: Two more possible survivors have surfaced, though identification of them is still incomplete. Great Lakes Dredge & Dock's 1957 vessel Jessie is either the drilling tender launched as Howard S. Cole Jr.,  or the water barge launched as I.W. Alcorn. Bay Coast Railroad's car float Nandua appears to be one of six car floats launched that year for the Pennsylvania Railroad and Erie Railroad. Further inquiries are pending.

Oct 2010 Update: Ex-President Hayes, Ex-Upshur, T/V State of Maine was removed from its berth at Little Sand Island and towed to International Shipbreakers in Brownsville for scrapping. It had been on loan to the Coast Guard for fire training.

March 2012 Update: The C3-S-38a break-bulk freighter (Export) Ambassador departed Suisin Bay, having been sold for scrapping.

April 2012 Update: The C3-S-38a break-bulk freighter (Export) Adventurer departed Suisin Bay for scrapping.

April 2014 Update: The three remaining Neosho-class fleet oilers (Hassayampa, Ponchatoula, and Kawishiwi) were sold for scrap and removed from Suisin Bay Reserve Fleet (NDRF).

April 2015 Update: After 44 years with the Sea Scouts, the cutter Morris was passed to a small maritime museum which is now attempting to sell it.

October 2017 Update: The US Navy announced its decision not to offer the Kitty Hawk for museum donation, instead slating it for scrapping.

April 2018 Update: Observation Island was sold for scrapping to International Shipbreakers of Brownsville. It left the Beaumont reserve facility in May.

The following list is organized by date of launch.

Probably safe Endangered Gone
Launched Designation/Name Status (links are to ship or facility Web sites)
1904 LV-79 Cape Lookout Shoal (aka Barnegat)


Photo © 1977 by Michael P. McDowell

Contract 23. Lightship. Oldest surviving Yorkship vessel. Decomissioned 1967 and donated to Chesapeake Maritime Museum. Sold to Heritage Ship Guild, 1970, after which it went on exhibition at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, PA. Added to National Register of Historic Places 29 Nov 1979. After the Guild disbanded in the 1980s, sold to the owner of Pyne Poynt Marina in Camden, NJ, where the lightship is moored and resting in the mud in poor condition. In its 2018 assessment, Preservation New Jersey lists its status as Endangered.
1904 LV-83 Relief (aka Swiftsure)


Photo © 2008 by J.S. Clark

Contract 26. Lightship. Since 1967, on exhibition at the Northwest Seaport Maritime Heritage Center, Seattle, WA. As of 2018, undergoing a "major restoration," including replacing the wooden main deck.
1908 LV-87 Ambrose


Photo © 2005 by Sam Meyer.

Contract 47. Lightship. Since 1968, on exhibition at the South Street Seaport Museum, New York, NY. Tours are included with museum admission ($12).
1926 WSC-127 Alert

Contract 322. Coast Guard cutter (Active-class). Berthed in Portland, OR and owned and operated since 2005 by the The Cutter Alert Preservation Team, Inc. Although considered operational, Alert is described as "overdue for a dry-docking." Tours are available, as are overnight stays for youth and veterans (berths for 38).IMO: unknown.
1926 WSC-129 Bonham


Contract 324. Coast Guard cutter (Active-class). Ex-Polar Star (for Sea Venture, Inc., 1959-2005). There are conflicting reports after that. Several maritime tracking sites report her registered as Mindy B, possibly for Schottel, Inc. However, she was photographed in 2012 as Polar Star on the Willamette River, and in August 2017 as Polar Star at an unknown location. The 2017 video walk-throughs show her to be in very poor condition. Owner and current status unknown; further inquiries are underway. IMO: 8841890
1927 WSC-137 Ewing

Contract 332. Coast Guard cutter (Active-class). Ex-Pacific Raider  (1969-1994). Configured as a commercial fishing vessel and registered as Pacific Hunter, she is currently berthed in Lake Union, Seattle, WA. As of Oct 2018, the former cutter is listed for sale for $27,000. Call Sign: WY7641. IMO: 7051383.
1927 WSC-146 McLane


Photo © 2007 by Michael P. McDowell

Contract 339. Coast Guard cutter. Since 1993, preserved as a museum ship at Great Lakes Naval Memorial and Museum, Muskegon, MI.
1927 WSC-147 Morris

Contract 341. Coast Guard cutter. Ex-Dauntless. From 1971-2015, property of the Sea Scouts. Was the largest vessel owned and operated by the Sea Scouts, last homeported at Stockton, CA, and operated by the West Sacramento chapter as SSS Morris. From 2000-2010 it received $2 million in repairs and restoration paid for by Bob French. In Apr 2015, donated to Liberty-Maritime Museum, with last posted condition report Jun 2016. It is listed for sale by the Museum for $240,000. IMO: unknown.
14 Dec 1940 AR-5 Vulcan

Contract 422. Repair vessel. Last surviving vessel from NYSB's World War II production. Transferred to the Maritime Administrationís NDRF, Feb 1999 and placed in the James River Reserve. Disposition contract awarded to Bay Bridge Enterprises 9 Nov 2006. Towed to  Bay Bridge Enterprises, Chesapeake, VA, for scrapping 19 Dec 2006. Naval Vessel Register reports scrapping completed 11 Nov 2007, though this photo purportedly dated Feb 2008 showed her still largely intact.
04 Apr 1943 CVL-28 Cabot


Photo courtesy ECOSAT

Contract 434. Light carrier. Purchased at US Marshal's auction Sept. 9, 1999 by Sabe Marine Salvage. An 11th-hour effort by ECOSAT to save her from the torches failed, and she was scrapped in Brownsville, Texas. The island tower, CIC, and Ready Room were purchased by the Texas Air Museum, and are displayed as part of a Light Carrier Memorial.
04 Jan 1949 P.R.R. 601
Contract 481. Car float. As Captain Edward Richardson, was largest and last of the PRR's car floats for the Chesapeake Bay crossing. Last owned and operated by Bay State Railroad as Nandua for a Little Creek VA-Cape Charles MD operation. Despite $1 million in state-financed repairs in 2010, BSR suspended float operations in 2013, and closed down all operations in May 2018. Current status of this vessel is unknown to me.
09 Jan 1951 State of Maine


Photo © 2009 by Jan Berghuis
 

Contract 487. Cargo vessel. Ex-President Hayes, ex-T-AP-198 Upshur. From 1973-1997, training vessel, Maine Maritime Academy. Last on loan from MARAD to US Coast Guard's Fire & Safety Test Detachment on Little Sand Island, Mobile AL, for fire-fighting research. Grounded by Katrina storm surge Aug 2005 and refloated May 2006. Status downgraded from Training Use to Historic Review on 18 Aug 2009; from Historic Review to Disposal on 10 Nov 2009. Withdrawn from NDRF on 23 Nov 2010. Scrapped at International Shipbreakers, Brownsville TX.
15 Aug 1953 T-AGM-23 Observation Island


Photo © 2007 by Naitokz

Contract 494. Missile tracking ship. Ex-Empire State Mariner. From 1956-1979, missile test ship (YAG-57/EAG-154/AG-154) for Polaris test and evaluation. Modified to missile tracking ship 1979-81 and redesignated T-AGM-23. Assigned to the Pacific Fleet and used to monitor Russian missile launches. Carried the Cobra Judy radar system. Inactivated 25 March 2014 and towed to Beaumont TX for placement in the reserve fleet. Entered BRF on 29 March 2014 under custody arrangement. Inactivated 31 March 2014. Title transferred to MARAD on 8 May 2014, status Non-Retention. NDRF status changed from Stripping to Disposal on 1 Aug 2015. Sold for scrapping to International Shipbreaking, Ltd., of Brownsville in April 2018. Departed BRF under tow 3 May 2018.
12 Jun 1954 AO-144 Mississinewa


Being scrapped at Esco Marine, Brownsville, Feb 2007. Photo by Michael Martin.

Contract 500. Fleet oiler. Transferred to the Maritime Administrationís NDRF, May 1999. On 24 May 2005, NDRF status changed from Historic Review to Disposal. Scrapping was contracted 27 Sep 2006. Departed JRRF on 30 Jan 2007 under Navy disposal contract with International Shipbreaking Ltd. Scrapping was completed in Brownsville, TX, on 11 Feb 2008.
12 Sep 1954 AO-145 Hassayampa


Photo © 1966 by Dick Leonhardt

Contract 501. Fleet oiler. Transferred to the Maritime Administrationís NDRF, May 1999 and placed in Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, CA. Sold for scrapping April 2014 to All Star Metals, Brownsville TX. Departed Suisun Bay under tow on 29 May 2014.
11 Dec 1954 AO-146 Kawishiwi


DOD photo, 1991. AO-146
entering the channel at Pearl Harbor.

Contract 502. Fleet oiler. Transferred to the Maritime Administrationís NDRF, May 1999 and placed in Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, CA. Sold for scrapping 1 May 2014 to International Shipbreaking Ltd. of Brownsville, TX. Departed Suisun Bay under tow on 12 June 2014.
10 Mar 1955 AO-147 Truckee


DOD photo, 1996. Unit 7 of the
James River Reserve Fleet. AO-147
is 4th from the right of the lineup.

Contract 503. Fleet oiler. Transferred to the Maritime Administrationís NDRF, May 1999 and placed in James River Reserve Fleet, James River, VA. On 24 May 2005, NDRF status changed from Historic Review to Disposal. Sold to Bay Bridge Enterprises of Chesapeake, VA, for scrapping, Jul 2008, and removed from its James River mooring 6 Aug 2008.
9 Jul 1955 AO-148 Ponchatoula

Contract 504. Fleet oiler. Transferred to the Maritime Administrationís NDRF, May 1999 and placed in Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet, Suisun Bay, CA. Sold for scrapping 28 April 2014, to International Shipbreaking Ltd., Brownsville, TX. Removed from Suisun Bay to Mare Island for cleaning hull, 15 May 2014. Removed from Mare Island, 5 June 2014, by M/V Elspeth III for transit to Brownsville, TX.
1 Jan 1957 DE-1029 Hartley
 
Contract 512. Destroyer escort. Sold to Colombia in 1972 and redesignated DE-16 Boyaca. Stricken in 1994 after ending its career as a stationary headquarters ship. According to the Newport Dealeys web site, Boyaca was disassembled for transport to Guatape, Colombia, where it was to become a museum. However, the project languished and as of 2013 the remains of the ship were reported to have been removed from the site.
28 Aug 1958 Atlas

Contract 519. Tanker. Delivered 28 Aug 1958 to Tankers & Tramps Corp. of Philadelphia. Later Connecticut (1966) for Connecticut Transport, Inc. Acquired by MARAD 19 Oct 1983 and placed in Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet. Sent to ISL in Brownsville for scrapping under contract, 25 Oct 2005, at a cost of $1,299,327. Scrapping complete 18 Aug 2006.
21 Jul 1959 N.S. Savannah


Photo © 2009 by Ivan S. Abrams

Contract 529. Nuclear-powered demonstration cargo-passenger liner (P2-N1-MA40a). Listed on National Register of Historic Places. Laid up and defueled, 1972. From 1981 to 1994 was a museum ship at Patriot's Point, South Carolina. From 1994 to 2006, was berthed in the James River Reserve Fleet, VA. On 15 Aug 2006 was withdrawn from JRRF to receive $1 million in repairs and maintenance at Colonna's Shipyard in Norfolk. On 1 Feb 2007, vessel relocated from Norfolk to Newport News. From March to May 2008, in drydock at BAE Systems Norfolk Ship Repair yard. Since 8 May 2008, berthed in "protective storage" at Pier 13, Canton Marine Terminal, 4601 Newgate Avenue, Baltimore, MD. Not open to general public, but tours available. In custody of MARAD, which has a 60-year license to possess the vessel and its nuclear reactor, pending decommissioning (to be completed by 2031).
23 Apr 1960 Export Ambassador


PMARS photo

Contract 530. Cargo ship, C3-S-38a class. Placed in NDRF in 1981 as Ambassador, and located in Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet at Suisun Bay, California. On 1 Oct 2004, NDRF status was downgraded to Non-Retention/Stripping. On 18 Mar 2010, NDRF status changed from Historic Review to Disposal. As of 22 March 2012, departed Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet for scrapping.
21 May 1960 CVA-63 Kitty Hawk


U.S. Navy photo

Contract 514. Aircraft carrier. Departed Japan after 10 years of forward deployment on 28 May 2008. Legacy decommissioning 31 Jan 2009. Inactivated and decommissioned 12 May 2009. Laid up in reserve in Bremerton, WA. On 25 Oct 2017, the US Navy announced its decision to dispose of Kitty Hawk by scrapping (the same fate as its former companions on the Bremerton waterfront, Ranger, Constellation, and Independence). The ship was not offered for museum donation. Low steel prices and the loss of 3 of 8 MARAD-licensed shipbreakers may delay her sale and removal for a time.
4 Jun 1960 DDG-5 Claude V. Ricketts


DOD photo, 1994. Ricketts
(foreground) and Lawrence await
scrapping in Baltimore.

Contract 527. Guided-missile destroyer. Stricken and sold for scrap to a breaker in Baltimore in 1994, but contractor defaulted. Navy cancelled contract 10/01/96 and repossessed vessel. Placed in NISMF at Philadelphia, 2nd Street Wharf, Berth 6. Finally scrapped by Metro Machine under contract at a cost of $2,702,506, with work completed 8 November 2002.
9 Jul 1960 Export Adventurer


PMARS photo

Contract 531. Cargo ship, C3-S-38a class. NYSB's final civilian vessel. Placed in NDRF in 1981 as Adventurer, and located in Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet at Suisun Bay, California. On 1 Oct 2004, NDRF status was downgraded to Non-Retention/Stripping. On 18 Mar 2010, NDRF status changed from Historic Review to Disposal. As of 11 April 2012, sold for scrapping and removed from Suisun Bay.
10 Dec 1960 DDG-6 Barney


Drydock 4 of the former
Philadelphia Navy Yard

Contract 528. Guided-missile destroyer, Adams-class. Stricken 1992 and sold for scrap 1994;. Survived another 5 years in Philadelphia NISMF due to default by scrapper. Resold in 1999 and scrapped  by Metro Machine at a cost of $25 million; work competed 22 Feb 2006.
21 Jul 1961 DDG-15 Berkeley



Contract 536. Guided-missile destroyer. Transferred in 1992 to the Greek Navy, where it served as DDG-221 Themistokles, a Kimon-class air defense destroyer. Decommissioned 18 February 2002, and sold for scrap 19 February 2004.
9 Dec 1961 DDG-16 Joseph Strauss

Contract 537. Guided-missile destroyer. Transferred in 1992 to the Greek Navy, where it served as DDG-220 Formion, a Kimon-class air defense destroyer. Decommissioned 18 February 2002 and sold for scrap 19 February 2004.
29 May 1965 AOE-2 Camden


Being scrapped at Esco Marine,
Brownsville TX, Oct 2007.
Photo by Michael Martin.

Contract 542. Served as a fast support ship assigned to Pacific Fleet, homeported in Bremerton, WA. Decommissioned October 14, 2005 at Kitsap Bay. Sold for scrap April 13, 2007. Made final transit of Panama Canal in August, 2007, en route to Brownsville, TX. Scrapped at ESCO Marine, with work completed 18 May 2008.

For more details about any particular vessel, go the Ships List.


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