Newport Naval Yard
In 1861, sparked by increasing tension between the northern and southern states, the Naval Academy was relocated to Newport, Rhode Island, from its original home in Annapolis, Maryland. This move was initiated by Naval command to protect the Navy ships stationed at the Academy from aggressive Confederate forces. The academy did well in its new location, but with the end of the Civil War, the Navy chose to move the Academy back to Annapolis in 1865.
The Navy wanted to coordinate its shipbuilding and naval-maneuver activities in the Narragansett Bay, so between 1941 and 1946 the government set up a Naval Operating Base at that location. At 162,000 shipyard workers, the population of the NOB station peaked in 1944. Workers at the Naval Operating Base were in charge of berthing and tug service, piloting, logistics service, harbor facilities, mooring buoys, and running recreational and housing facilities. Stations belonging to the yard included the torpedo station, training station, and Advanced Base Depot/Construction Battalion Center in Davisville Rhode Island. Asbestos was a product frequently used in Navy yards like the Newport Naval Yard and asbestos has been identified as the primary cause of mesothelioma. A mesothelioma prognosis is generally fatal as there is no cure. Treatment to improve quality of life, however, can be obtained at a number of top mesothelioma clinics in the country. Doctors like Dr. David Sugarbaker now have far more advanced treatment options from which to choose including surgical options like extrapleural pneumonectomy and/or chemotherapy with Alimta®, Onconase or Navelbine. Refer to our mesothelioma treatment guide for more information. In addition, Navy veterans were exposed to asbestos as well. We have compiled a separate directory of veteran medical centers and a veteran medical support guide to help this population with their special concerns and needs.
Naval Base, Newport replaced the NOB organization in 1946, and the base was now concerned chiefly with maintenance, upkeep, and modernization. Buildings in the yard were modernized or replaced during this period to keep the shipyard up to date. Unfortunately, these efforts could not prevent the disestablishment of the Naval Base at the end of the Vietnam War. The Naval War College and the large Naval Underwater Systems Center survived, however, and they remain at the location today.
- Coletta, Paolo E., Ed. United States Navy and Marine Corps Bases, Domestic. London: Greenwood Press, 1985. Ppgs. 346-358.