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Sun Ship Inc.


United States


Page review

1917 - 1989
Ceased activities

Last updated

12 years 12 weeks ago


Sun Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company (Sun Ship) was developed by Sun Oil in 1917 as a tanker builder and was in continuous operation throughout the lean inter-war years.  At the beginning of the WWII emergency, its 8 ways were increased to 20 with $28mm from the USMC, and later to 28, making it the single largest shipyard in the country.  At its peak it employed more than 40,000 people, organized in four adjacent yards.  The most northerly of the four, known as the #4 Yard, was manned almost exclusively by African-American workers.  After the war, the South Yard and the #4 Yard were sold for industrial development and Sun continued as a merchant shipbuilder in the Central and North Yards.  It was sold to Pennsylvania Shipbuilding (Penn Ship) in 1982, but closed in 1989.  The North Yard is now Penn Terminals, a very successful independent cargo terminal, the only U.S. port facility that employs Boilermaker labor.  The Central Yard site has been sold or leased for multiple uses: the south end is now part of neighboring Kimberly-Clark (formerly Scott Paper), the parking lot to the east of Morton Avenue is now a state penitentiary and the big floating dry-dock is now in Galveston; the remainder of the Central Yard is now a Casino and Racetrack (May, 2010). Source:

We did not find more information about this Yard. Your input is highly appreciated (photo's of the Yard and dredging equipment, company logo).

Equipment built

Name Type Built Power Volume
A. Mackenzie TSHD 1924 1250 m³
Dan C. Kingman TSHD 1924 1300 m³
Essayons TSHD 1983 10742 kW 4587 m³
Essayons - old TSHD 1950 6100 m³
W.L. Marshall TSHD 1924 1250 m³
William T. Rossell TSHD 1925


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