In the 1930s, when third-generation destroyer production began with the goldplaters (see chart at right), Boston Navy Yard—like other yards—built ships in pairs: Macdonough and Monaghan, Case and Conyngham, Mugford and Ralph Talbot, and Mayrant and Trippe, followed by Sims-class O’Brien and Walke. When the United States entered World War II, the yard had also already completed two Benson-class and four of an eventual ten Gleaves-class destroyers, which it followed with five high-bridge and nine low-bridge Fletchers. First of these was Hutchins, one of six ships modified to carry a float plane catapult. Concurrently it built a number of destroyer escorts while employing, at its wartime peak, nearly 50,000 workers on three shifts, seven days per week.
With the launching of Richard P. Leary, 6 October 1943, the yard ceased new destroyer construction—it did not build ships of either the Allen M. Sumner or Gearing classes. Destroyer work continued, however, with the Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization (FRAM) program of the fifties and sixties. After determined it obsolete in the early 1970s, the Navy transferred the yard to the National Park Service 1 July 1974. Today, frigate USS Constitution and Fletcher-class destroyer Cassin Young are on display as part of the 30-acre Boston National Historical Park, centered around old yard buildings.