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Established in 1891 as a naval station, the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard is located in Bremerton, Washington on the west side of the Puget Sound. Although it was created as a repair site, during World War I it began to be used to build ships as well.

During the war, they Navy Yard built 25 subchasers, seven submarines, two minesweepers, seven sea-going tugs, and two ammunition ships, as well as 1,700 small boats.

During World War II, the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard served mainly as a repair facility for US and allied ships damaged in battle. In fact five of the six ships still floating after the attack on Pearl Harbor were brought to Puget Sound for mending. But the purpose of the shipyard was not meant to be only repair. As with most Navy shipyards, approximately twenty percent of the resources were used for new construction. The rest of the time should be devoted to repair, especially during wartime. In this particular shipyard, most of the construction was in the realm of smaller ships. They were, however, highly active in modernizing the ships of the Pacific Fleet. After World War II, it was used largely as a storage facility for older ships.

The shipyard was revitalized during the Korean War. Many of these ships were brought out of retirement and repaired. But the main activity came from new construction, in which they built a new class of guided missile frigates. In 1965, the shipyard was expanded when it became a designated nuclear-capable repair center. The shipyard became the home of the nuclear carrier USS NIMITZ (CVN 68) in 1987.

Currently, the shipyard has become the site for dismantling nuclear vessels. First, the nuclear reactor is removed. Then, the rest of the ship is taken apart and the pieces are sold. In this Ship-Submarine recycling program, the steel and other parts can be reused. The shipyard also maintains what is known as the “mothball fleet,” which consists of a huge reserve fleet of inactive US Navy vessels. It includes not only ships, but also aircraft carriers. In 1992, the shipyard became a National Historic Landmark.

In 2003, the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard (PSNS) joined forces with the Naval Intermediate Maintenance Facility (IMF) forming the PSNS & IMF. This move has created the ability to run a highly resourceful maintenance facility that is able to handle jobs quickly and with financial efficiency. Still today, this shipyard offers timely, cost-effective repairs to Naval fleets.

Those who worked in naval shipyards were commonly exposed to the hazardous products associated with vessel constructions. Among these products were those made with asbestos, which has been conclusively linked to the deadly cancer mesothelioma. Those who believed they may have been exposed to asbestos should seek the consultation of a doctor. Early diagnosis is key to increasing mesothelioma treatment options. Fill out the brief form on this page to receive a complimentary mesothelioma and asbestos information packet.

Written by

Tara Strand Senior Content Writer

Tara Strand specializes in researching and writing about asbestos, raising awareness and advocating for a ban.

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Reviewed By

Jennifer Lucarelli Legal Advisor and Contributor

Jennifer Lucarelli is a partner at the law firm of Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney & Meisenkothen, specializing in asbestos litigation.

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