The Place, the Ships, the People
A Celebration 75 Years in the Making
It all started when...
In a “Judgment on the Declaration of Taking,” dated March 23, 1942 (just three weeks after the site was selected), the U.S. government asserted its unquestionable right to “acquire property by eminent domain . . . under authority of the Attorney General of the United States . . . for national defense purposes.”
Within a month, the government became the sole owner of all physical property on Pine Point, including the 80 homes and the NWPR buildings. With the clear objective to build the shipyard at maximum speed, the government allowed approximately 30 days for people to leave before their homes were either moved or leveled.
After only three months from the onset of construction on the shipyard, the first ship keel was laid for the Liberty ship William A. Richardson on 27 June 1942.
Over 20,000 strong, they came to see the launching of the William A. Richardson at Marinship, on the afternoon of Saturday, Sept. 26, 1942. They gathered around the head of Way 6 in a great circle of massed humanity. They clustered in thousands on the rim of the highway beyond, and high up on the sides of the Sausalito hills were thousands more — all present to watch the drama.
And the shout that went up when the ship came to life and started down the ways! And the thrill when the ship, calm as a lady, settled onto the waters of Richardson Bay. She took to the water perfectly — calm, unruffled, ship-shape!
On 16 June 1945, Marinship set a world record by constructing and delivering the tanker SS Huntington Hills in a mere 33 days, with 28 days on the way and 5 days of fitting out after launch. At its peak, 20,000 workers were employed at Marinship. In the 3½ years that Marinship was active, it launched 15 Liberty ships, 16 fleet oilers, and 62 tankers — a total of 93 ships.