The California Shipbuilding Corporation
(CalShip), established in February 1941 on Terminal Island, became one of the focal points
in Los Angeles' war effort. At CalShip, forty thousand men and women worked under war
contracts to produce 467 vessels in four years. Known as the "Liberty Fleet," these cargo
ships were designed to be constructed faster and less expensively than traditional cargo
ships. The CalShip shipyard closed in September 1945 after the launching of its last Victory
ship, "four years to the minute after the first slid into the water." The collection is
comprised of fifty-one copies of the bi-weekly magazine,
for the period September 1, 1941 to January 11, 1945.
The California Shipbuilding Corporation (CalShip), established in February 1941 on Terminal
Island, became one of the focal points in Los Angeles' war effort. With the United States'
entry into World War II, shipbuilding turned from a small industry into an industrial giant
up and down the West Coast. Large Navy contracts brought port expansion and shipbuilding to
California, and shipyards sprang up from San Francisco to San Diego. Under contracts from
the U.S. Department of Maritime Commission and a number of U.S. Navy contracts, Los Angeles
engaged in a thriving shipbuilding business in the early 1940s. Workers from every region of
the United States migrated to the area for work in the shipyards and the docks of
California. As a result, at the peak of shipbuilding in California, the industry employed
over 282,000 people. Shipbuilding became a highly efficient wartime industry in California,
employing laborers dedicated to quality and expediency in their work. The building of ships
and the number of jobs in the industry peaked in mid-1943 and held together well until the
end of the war.
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